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3D Games: Animation and Advanced Real-time Rendering Hardcover – 19 Feb 2003

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From the Back Cover

The computer entertainment industry drives many of the advances in computing technology, and the second volume of 3D Games shows how to use advanced techniques in games technology and how these techniques can also be applied in other areas. The book concentrates on three main areas:

  • generic processes - the build process, real-time processes and software design

  • real-time rendering processes

  • character animation

The treatment of these topics is built around a specific games system, Fly3D SDK 2.0 (included on the accompanying CD-ROM). By rooting as many as possible of the techniques described within the book in a practical games system, the book is able to balance theory and practice.

As well as proving invaluable for professionals in the games industry, the book can be used for courses in games programming and development, animation, advanced graphics, and multimedia.

The potential of games to embrace other applications within computing is strong, with the advent of techniques for high scene complexity at low processing costs. The Fly3D engine is not only a vehicle for game creation, but has already been used to develop 3D Internet applications, architectural walkthroughs for CAAD and generic 3D visualisation. Workers in these areas will find the techniques described and accompanying software extremely useful.

Alan Watt, based at the University of Sheffield, is the author of many successful books including 3D Computer Graphics, Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, The Computer Image and 3D Games Volume 1.

Fabio Policarpo is a software developer and founder of the company Paralelo Computaç©o based in Rio de Janeiro. He co-authored The Computer Image and 3D Games Volume I and currently works on new applications for real-time rendering and gaming technologies.

CD includes: Full Fly3D SDK including source code for engine, front-ends, plug-ins and utilities;  Demo levels; Engine Guide and Reference Manual and tutorials. for Fly3D SDK documentation, updates, new demos, FAQs and message board.

The included software runs on any Microsoft Windows computer system and requires a 3D video card with full OpenGL support. For making changes to the source code, Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 is required. For scene geometry creation, 3DStudio Max 3.x and 4.x plug-ins are included.

About the Author

Alan Watt, based at the University of Sheffield, is the author of many successful books including 3D Computer Graphics, Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, The Computer Image and 3D Games Volume 1: Real-Time Rendering and Software Technology. Fabio Policarpo is a software developer and founder of the company Parelelo Computaçao based in Rio de Janeiro. He is currently working on independent 3D action multiplayer games.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Real Time Rendering & Games Technology 28 May 2003
By Mark Carleton - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Volume II picks up where Volume I left off by concentrating on more current real time rendering and game engine topics. Where Volume I painted a broad sweeping overview of real time graphics topics, Vol. II extends this and ties in more closely with how many of those ideas affect the actual creation of games in a real 3d games engine called 'fly3d2' included on CD with the text (a more current and improved version of 'fly3dsdk' from Vol. I). All source code is included for the engine and can be kept current via the website through downloads as it is steadily updated. ... the complete source code for all engine modules and utilities requires purchase of the book.
Mr. Policarpo the coauthor maintains the site and regularly contributes to threads so support remains current (a real blessing in a rapidly advancing science such as this).
Some of the topic covered include: Gamespace (BSP, PVS...) management, LightMap creation and challenges, Camera control, Collision Detection and Response, Path Planning and AI, Shader and TexureMapping with various effects, Character Animation, Skeletal Mesh Animation and related issues as well as the fly3d2.0 environment and support and tutorials to play with and to make these ideas real...

The book covers most of the features include in the engine and anticipates extensions that may some day be added as well. The engine design is modular and lends itself to the creation of plugins that can leverage classes already included or that are completely new created by the user. Users can design levels, characters, objects, and control how they interact with the engine. Tutorials are included in the book as well as on the website with new ones being added by members of the community quite regularly. The modular design (in C++) and utilities that adapt Microsoft's Visual Studio and Discreet's 3dsmax (as well as Quake level conveter and a few others) allow seamless integration of these tools into the environment for a wealth of creative possibilities.
The text is clearly and concisely written and Mr. Watt demonstrates a commanding expertise in these topics without a lot of gimmicky embellishments or self-aggrandizement common in other more fly-by-night texts. This is a real hardcover edtion made to last by a quality computer technology publisher. Watt obviously maintains a close relationship with coauthor Policarpo the designer of the fly3d engine so writing ties in well with the fly3d platform but is not limited by or to it.
I cheerfully recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning the sometimes difficult and challenging topics of game creation, expansion and maintenance. It is a demanding subject not for the weak of heart that can be difficult and time consuming to master. I've found there are a lot of other books out there that promise to deliver by tempting the potential buyer with the ease and completeness their books will include; however, I have not come across any others as yet that come close to the coverage and approach this (and the previous) volume supplies.
Before I bought this book I already had tried other approaches to learning this material but found the all the books I'd bought offered poor to none of the support and potential that 3d Games Vol. II together with the fly3d platform delivers. To learn this material one needs to be able to play with the ideas and be excited about the possibilities and have the ability to play with real tools in a real games environment. 3d Games Vol. II is concise, helpful, well-written, and enjoys a small but dedicated community available through the website.
Mark Carleton Maguire
Boston MA
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Big Help 13 Sept. 2003
By Alex Hernandez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a huge help to game developers. I found it a great read while writing my first game engine. It covers so much stuff it makes you want to try and add it all to your game! I am really happy with this book.
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