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Geometric Tools for Computer Graphics (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) Hardcover – 10 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (10 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558605940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558605947
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 19 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,183,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"An hour of a programmer's time often costs more than the price of a book. By this measure, you hold a volume potentially worth thousands of dollars. That it can be purchased for a fraction of this cost I consider a modern miracle. The amount of information crammed into this book is incredible." --Eric Haines

About the Author

24 years of professional programming, primarily focused on modeling tools and geometric algorithms. Employers include Digital Equipment Corporation, Apple, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Digital Domain, and Industrial Light + Magic. Formed and lead groups specializing in these areas as well as in physics simulation.
Film Credits: Oil & Vinegar, 102 Dalmatians, Disney's Magic Lamp, Mickey's Philharmagic, Reign of Fire, Kangaroo Jack, Chicken Little, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
ACM Siggraph, IEEE.
M.S. in Computer Science, University of Washington.

Dave Eberly is the president of Geometric Tools, Inc. (www.geometrictools.com), a company that specializes in software development for computer graphics, image analysis, and numerical methods. Previously, he was the director of engineering at Numerical Design Ltd. (NDL), the company responsible for the real-time 3D game engine, NetImmerse. He also worked for NDL on Gamebryo, which was the next-generation engine after NetImmerse. His background includes a BA degree in mathematics from Bloomsburg University, MS and PhD degrees in mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and MS and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of North Carolina at ChapelHill. He is the author of 3D Game Engine Design, 2nd Edition (2006), 3D Game Engine Architecture (2005), Game Physics (2004), and coauthor with Philip Schneider of Geometric Tools for Computer Graphics (2003), all published by Morgan Kaufmann. As a mathematician, Dave did research in the mathematics of combustion, signal and image processing, and length-biased distributions in statistics. He was an associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio with an adjunct appointment in radiology at the U.T. Health Science Center at San Antonio. In 1991, he gave up his tenured position to re-train in computer science at the University of North Carolina. After graduating in 1994, he remained for one year as a research associate professor in computer science with a joint appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery, working in medical image analysis. His next stop was the SAS Institute, working for a year on SAS/Insight, a statistical graphics package. Finally, deciding that computer graphics and geometry were his real calling, Dave went to work for NDL (which is now Emergent Game Technologies), then to Magic Software, Inc., which later became Geometric Tools, Inc. Dave’s participation in the newsgroup comp.graphics.algorit

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 May 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just got this book about a week ago and I haven't been able to put it down since. A great resource, a real treasure full of well presented gems. A large number of topics are well presented with mathematical depth that enables you to understand the code. The code is very well written and concise. Truly a great book and a pleasure to read. I hope to see more books like this in the future. I am interested in medical imaging applications and I know I will be using this book for a long time to come.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr AI on 19 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one of only three books that never strays far from the side of my computer. I work as a consultant to the games industry and I don't hesitate to recommend this book to clients.
I use this book as a reference, I'm not sure if anyone would want to read it through (unless you needed a serious crash course in 3d math). And so far I've only come across one bit of math that the book didn't contain (incidentally I tracked that down in another of Dave's books). So it is extraordinarily exhaustive.
The book isn't easy reading: "Make it as simple as possible but no simpler." This is Dave's strength in all his books: he doesn't shy away from the fact that the topic can be hard and the math is complex. His co-writer has a similar style in this book. At the end of the day the books that claim to let you write great 3d engines with no experience in 30 days are having you on: its the serious industry books like this that will really make a difference to your career.
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By A Customer on 8 May 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just got this book about a week ago and I haven't been able to put it down since. A great resource, a real treasure full of well presented gems. A large number of topics are well presented with mathematical depth that enables you to understand the code. The code is very well written and concise. Truly a great book and a pleasure to read. I hope to see more books like this in the future. I am interested in medical imaging applications and I know I will be using this book for a long time to come.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book seemed poised to be the Numerical Recipes of the computational geometry world. It had the potential to offer enthralling, clear and advanced explanations of a wide range of interesting topics. Sadly it has fallen far short.
The vast majority of the book is concerned with extremely simple geometric problems, such as discovering the distance between a point and a line in 2D. With a little maths, most people can solve problems like this in less time than it would take to find and read the appropriate section of the book. The same mathematical techniques are regurgitated ad nauseam and, like some of Eberly's other books, are left poorly explained and liberally dotted with typos. Definitely not for the mathematical novice.
The many trees that went into printing this hefty tome died in vein. Three (of 13) chapters cover 2D problems, which I imagine few readers are interested in these days. Another three chapters are wasted on a treatment of vectors, points and matrices which is too subtle and theoretical to be insightful for anyone not already acquainted with university-level linear algebra, yet simultaneously of minimal practical value to the rest of the book. Furthermore, some of the proofs in this section are so flawed as to question the understanding of the authors themselves (see deductions of formulae for dot and cross product, pp116-120). However, just to emphasise how insultingly elementary most of the content is, there are a couple of appendices explaining basic trigonometry, and formulae for perimeters, areas and volumes of certain standard shapes, such as circles and squares.
I suspect few readers will have any interest in at least a third of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
warning: first edition 7 July 2003
By David Minogue - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I commend the authors on a timely and valuable book. However, a word of caution: this book is full of errors. Every couple of pages I am noting in the margin: did they mean A instead of B? Having encountered so many errors, I am reading every formula with scepticism. The errors are serious enough that I have trouble recommending the book without reservations, but I know of no suitable alternative. I can only hope that the errors will be weeded out of future editions.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Excellent information, marginal execution 17 Aug. 2005
By Steve - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First, the good:

-Once you learn everything in this book, you'll should be ~well~ prepared to start implementing a powerful 3D engine.

-The three-chapter introduction to linear algebra is, quite frankly, one of the most intuitive I've ever read. Mind you, I wouldn't suggest that anyone studying linear algebra go out of their way to buy this book (since those three chapters are a small fraction of the book). However, anyone getting their first taste of linear algebra from this book should consider themselves fortunate to have such a lucid, concrete introduction to the subject. (Granted, you'll need some 'mathematical maturity' to understand it, but it should be easier to grasp than your average linear algebra text.)

And then, the bad:

-Errors galore. Fortunately, you can get a list of corrections from the book's web site, though if you print it out you may be a bit put off by the fact that it's some 25 pages. (To be fair, however, it has all corrections listed chronologically in order they were identified, then listed again by page number, so there's really only about 12 pages of corrections.) If you happen to have the second edition of this book, then you'll only have about 5 pages of corrections.

-Some of those corrections pretty much just scrap an explanation from the book and start over....which is fine, aside from having to read things like "Cross(Dot(u,v) * w))" which isn't particularly intuitive, and the fact that some of these new explanations seem to need corrections of their own (like those that appear to confuse w-parallel with w-perp, and so on).

-It seems a bit arrogant of the authors to make the occasional appeal to things that the "astute reader" may have noticed. Such appeals seem like a subtle insult to the "less than astute reader," which, in any public forum, will only serve to alienate.

All in all, if you're willing to put up with errors and have your "astuteness" challenged, you can learn tremendous things from this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Coordinate free! 5 April 2005
By William R. Devore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I found that does an incredible job of covering vector geometry from a coordinate free approach. The first 1/4 of the book covers the basics with an excellent mathematical approach. The rest of the book show excellent examples of just about any type of intersection and collision of geometry; OBB, sphere, cones, polygons etc.... The is great for doing things like Frustum culling and the like. The only weird thing was it is missing Eberly's discussion on sphere/cone intersection; but no matter you can get it at the website.

I highly recommend this book for those that want to understand the core of 3D graphics from a coordinate free approach. I am very happy I purchased the book. It has inspired me to purchase a clifford algebra book to better understand coord-free algebra.

If you are simply looking for code and are not interested in the mathematical reasoning then you problably should look elsewhere. This book is for those who want to get a better understanding of core 3D graphics from a very friendly approach.

I also noticed that those who rated this book with few stars where simply looking for something quick. Face it 3D graphics and math go hand in hand. Otherwise you are just kidding yourself.
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
An incredible amount of material in a single book 18 Nov. 2002
By Eric Haines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a solid grounding in vectors and matrices, then covers a wide range of 2D and 3D geometric algorithms, such as object/object distance and intersection, boolean operations, BSP trees, convex hulls, and more. It is a comprehensive guide, giving relevant theory, methods, and working code fragments. It's an incredible value for the amount of material it covers. I think it is a must-have for computer graphics professionals (and others in related fields). In the interest of full disclosure, I wrote the Foreword to this book, which I did because I was pleased with how good it is.
Visit Dave Eberly's "Magic Software" site for more about the book's contents.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Content But Needs More Thorough Review Of Mathematics 7 May 2008
By G. Chastain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have owned this text for some time and I find it very informative as it covers a great deal of subjects. A review of the table of contents will give an indication of the material covered. The book is not only valuable to graphics programmers but engineers in other disciplines looking for a good approach for solving various geometric problems.

A previous reviewer complained about the notation being "non-standard". The book was written for someone with a mathematical background to include a sound background in vector algebra, geometry and matrix operations. The notation used is in explaining the mathematics behind the solution to a problem is standard >mathematical< notation. If you don't have a background in these areas of mathematics, then you may have a problem understanding it. But fortunately, there are many inexpensive books on those subjects available for purchase that can get you quickly up to speed.

The code is written in the C language. Typically, code is provided only for a specific algorithm (problem being solved). Complete applications that give examples of using the algorithm implementation aren't provided as this is beyond the scope of the book. The scope of the book is to teach you how to solve specific mathematical problems of interest. Not to teach you the many different ways that mathematical solution may be employed in all genres of programming.

The reason that I failed to give this book a 5-star rating is due to the many errors in the text. There was an impressive (to put it kindly) list of errata published on line for the initial printing. The 2nd printing of the text (and how do you know on Amazon if it is a 2nd printing?) is supposed to have most of the errors corrected. However, since the 2nd printing, errors continue to be reported. A complete list of the errata for this book is available at the web site [...].

Having experience in writing many complex technical works, I can say that it takes great dilligence and peer review to capture errors in an intense tecnicaly work such as this book. While this book seems to have excessive errors in it, this type of problem is common with most publishers. There simply isn't enough effort/expense put into having a sufficient number of qualified technical people to review the work and look for errors overlooked by the authors. And believe me, quality peer reviews are necessary for complex technical works such as this one with mathematics on virtually every page. So I do agree with a previous reviewer that you should be cautious at taking the solution/implementation of a mathematical problem from this book at "face value" without questioning if it is correct for all possible test cases. Test and verify the solution.

Given the above comments, I would still recommend this text as it covers so many different topics and problems encountered in 2D and 3D geometry. This book is valuable to many engineers other that programmers working in graphics or game development.

But I would like to see a re-print that has been 100% thoroughly peer reviewed by **mathematicians**, the algorithm implementations analyzed for correctness and an error-free copy printed.
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