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3D Programming for Windows® (Pro - Developer) Paperback – 3 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (3 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735623945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735623941
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 841,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Charles Petzold has been writing about Windows programming for 25 years. A Windows Pioneer Award winner, Petzold is author of the classic Programming Windows, the widely acclaimed Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Programming Windows Phone 7, and more than a dozen other books.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John Twist on 13 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
If you've read Petzold's previous book on WPF "Applications = Code + Markup" the first thing you'll want to know about this book is 'Has Charles made the same mistake and conciously opted to use barely any images or diagrams?'. The good news is no, he hasn't. The book has plenty of screenshots and diagrams that really complement the text.

Petzold has covered the subject in tremendous detail and with a thouroughness I really didn't expect, uncovering mathematical topics I haven't even thought about since I left University. For example, three of the chapters are called "Algorithmic Mesh Geometries", "Matrix Transforms" and "Quaternions" - 3D programming isn't for the mathematically impaired.

As a reference, this book is a *must have* for anyone working with, or about to work with 3D in WPF. On the other hand, if you're looking for a quick overview of the 'art of the possible' with WPF 3D then this probably isn't the book for you. Indeed I think it might have benefited from a longer, gentler introduction to ease you into the subject matter; a 10,000 feet view, if you will.

The prose of the book is very dry making it an almost impossible casual read but, given the subject matter, it would be hard to avoid this problem. So in summary: an OK read for the curious, a great reference and good book overall.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Definitely worth buying if you're using WPF professionally because of the amount of time (and therefore money) it can save compared with just using the standard online documentation of WPF. Has a really good range of examples showing interesting things you can do with WPF and is very readable, conversational and engaging.
Like many WPF resources, it's frustrating in having so much material only in XAML and so little in C# - a problem if you need to write an application that's highly dynamic and interactive rather than just using WPF to make an interface look attractive and show ready-made images/meshes. There is a chapter on algorithms to make meshes but that doesn't compensate for the lack of programming-language examples elsewhere. There's rather too much glossing over tricky details and non-obvious syntax where the textbook could really add value, and too much reliance on library functions which are available to download but never explained in the text. There's a lot of basic material on vectors and transformations which you don't need if you do Maths/Physics/Engineering but which might be useful for Computer Scientists or those with a non-technical background. Has a large section on quaternions which is more likely to be useful since this is a more specialised topic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Strong fundamentals and fun stuff too 18 Sep 2007
By Eric Sink - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent overview of WPF 3D.

Petzold blends his development experience with his math background to explain everything quite thoroughly, from the details of the API to the hows and whys of the math underneath.

* He explains why WPF 3D shades triangles differently depending on whether they share their vertices or not.

* His explanation of quaternions is probably the best I have read.

* He talks about why Viewport3DVisual is better than Viewport3D for printing.

* He explains the math behind lighting calculations.

The book contains lots of pictures, lots of sample code and a library of useful classes for WPF 3D programming.

If you're doing anything with WPF 3D, you simply must have this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An excellent and practical introduction to WPF 3D 17 Jan 2009
By Eran Levy - Published on
Format: Paperback
First, maybe it's worth mentioning that unlike most other books on 3D out there, it concentrates solely on WPF 3D, right from the beginning, and it assumes you have enough knowledge of C# .net/WPF. It doesn't "waste" half of the book trying to teach you C#/Visual Studio/XAML etc... it's a very good attitude. If you need to learn WPF/C#, read another book first. Charles Petzold has a great book on WPF, for example.

And to the book - It teaches most fundamental elements of 3D and how it's done in WPF. Meshes, models, camera, lights, textures, transforms and some basic 3D math are all there. There's also a chapter about quaternions.
Most of the material is well written, and good examples are given throughout the book, just where needed, and all well explained. The examples compile without any problem in Visual Studio 2005/2008 (the Express editions are enough btw).
All the examples are in C#.

Most of the material tends to be pretty practical and useful for real-world application. And that's particularly true to the last chapter, which try to inspire you with real world usage of WPD 3D and examples.

Just note that most of the material isn't very advanced. You'll have to learn more by yourself to write really useful 3D applications. But the book is just what it should be - gives you a very good jump start and leaves the rest for you to explore.

I highly recommend this book for anyone with knowledge of WPF who'd like to jump to the WPF 3D wagon.
Many WPF books dedicate a chapter or 2 about 3D. Even if you read one - this book have much more material and practical info about WPF 3D than those, so I highly recommend in this case as well.
Also, people with knowledge of other more advanced 3D platforms (DirecX/OpenGL) who'd like to know WPF 3D will also find this book useful.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Really good, but so light on animation 28 July 2009
By John W. Conwell - Published on
Format: Paperback
I really want to give this book a 4 or 5 star rating. Petzold goes into amazing detail about almost all aspects of creating 3D images. You really cant go wrong with this book if all you are doing is building static images.

But the books coverage of animation is sadly light. Even though there is a whole chapter on animations, its really light coverage and leaves me wanting for so much more.

And the real problem with this book is, who creates static 3D images? You most likely do 3D AND animation together.

So if you need the guts details on 3D WPF rendering than this book is for you. I you need guts on animation, not so much. And if you need 3D rendering and animation, than you might as well get this book, but know that you'll need to look elsewhere for animation details.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great intro to 3D Programming 17 July 2008
By MrPerphekt - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantastic intro into the world of 3D Programming. It explains the concepts in an easy to understand format and gradually eases you into the more complex aspects of 3D. Also, because it is for WPF it makes it a cinch to get up and running quickly. I've also found that this book is a great way to get acquainted with 3D and these concepts are easily transferrable into the more complex 3D languages (ie: Direct3D and OpenGL). I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to learn 3D or to expand their WPF repetoire!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A must have 3D programming reverence 11 Mar 2010
By Michael Poore - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Petzold books are some of the best for C++ and C# and WPF programming. The drawback to the approach Petzold uses is that one must still invest in another book or two by another author to get the full picture. Petzold for good reason works from the basics and does not use the Visual Studio wizards for the most part. It is important to know both however when developing code. But even so, this is an excellent reference book that has helped me immensely in learning and using C#, WPF and XAML.
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