I realize this is probably a ridiculous question, but before trying to figure out what libraries to use for which projects, I think it makes sense to really understand the purpose of such libraries first.
A lot of video games use libraries like OpenGL. All the tutorials I've seen of such libraries demonstrate how to write code that tells the computer to draw something. Thing is, in games these days everything is modeled using software such as Zbrush, Maya, or 3ds Max. The models are textured and are good to go. It seems like all you'd need to do is write an animation loop that draws the models and updates repeatedly rather than actually program the code to draw every little thing. That would be both extremely time consuming and would make the models useless. So where does OpenGL or Direct 3D come in in relation to video games and 3d art? What is so crucial about them when all the graphics are already created and just need to be loaded and drawn? Are they used mainly for shaders and effects?
This question may just prove how new I am to this, but it's one I've never heard asked. I'm just starting to learn programming and I'm understanding the code and logic fairly well, but I don't understand graphics libraries or certain frameworks at all and tutorials are not helping.