It has been a truly great pleasure for us to use this textbook, during Fall 2008, in our teaching and research. To summarize the fundamental advantages of this volume, we would use three words: "balance", "conciseness", and "accessibility".
"Balance & Conciseness":
The book covers Graphics & Visualization in a balanced manner. Chapters 1-5, 7, 11, 12-15, and 17 fully cover all subjects that naturally fit under the labels "Basic and Advanced Computer-Graphics", i.e., "Rasterization, Antialiasing & Clipping", "2D/3D Transformations", "Culling & Hidden-Surface Elimination", "Geometric Modeling", "Illumination", "Shadowing", "Texturing", "Ray Tracing" and "Animation". Equal weight is placed on Visualization topics, i.e., "Model Representation/Simplification", "Color", "Geometric Modeling for Visualization", "Scene Management", "Visualization Principles", "Scientific Visualization", and "Global Illumination" (in Chapters 6, 8-11, 16-18). The presentation of all related concepts/methods/technologies is clear, concise and short, so that the student reader is nicely guided in his/her study from one topic to the next. There is a nice balance between textual discussions, mathematical formulas and algorithms, making the text usable by the vast variety of specialties dealing, nowadays, with computer graphics and visualization. All subjects are covered at the same level, in clear, nicely-written short sections.
The main problem we see, in most current texts in "Graphics & Geometric Modeling", is a lack of balance between these three focal points: "computer science", "mathematics" and "applications". Indeed, the majority of the current Graphics books is focusing on the first aspect, "computer science (CS)", making the life of the reader very hard when he/she happens to be a "non-CS person" (this is the case, e.g., for us). To be honest with you, what we dislike the most about current computer-graphics books is the fact that we often "see" the author "saying" to us: "a-ha! you are not a CS major!". We are very happy to report that this book succeeds in being very accessible for "non-CS people" without jeopardizing the so-essential CS core of it! We feel that, at last, the computer-graphics community has an advanced computer-graphics textbook that is accessible also by mechanical engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, medical doctors, designers, civil engineers, etc, etc, etc!
Professor Nickolas Sapidis
Dr. Argyris Arnellos
UNIVERSITY OF THE AEGEAN
Department of Product & Systems Design Engineering
Ermoupolis, Syros, GR-84100, Greece