Making animation in C++

I'm trying to build an animated pendulum.  I have researched that C++ can receive the simulated data given out from another program to allow me to use this data in C++ to make the animated pendulum.  So this is why I'm chosing C++ to make it.

What I am still confused is what type of libraries I need to use.  I know that I need to choose a library but don't know what's the difference between all of them or what they are used for.  What's the most suitable library should I choose to make the animated pendulum using C++?  Any links that can help with what I'm trying to do would be helpful too!  Thanks
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There are a few other questions, such as are you attempting to do this in OpenGL? If not, then how are you attempting to do this?  Is your pendulum going to have variable speed and/or length?  If you could, please give us as much detail as possible so we can help you to the best of our abilities.

That will depend on what OS you're targetting.
slashmanAuthor Commented:
I'll be running on WinXP.
slashmanAuthor Commented:
Yes I would guess its going to be in OpenGL if that's what I need to make the graphics.  That's one of the things I'm unsure about...which I need to use to produce the pendulum in the easiest possible way.  The pendulum's only thing that can be changed would be the speed.  The mass, and length will be constant.  Thanks
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