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Open GL: A Primer Paperback – 19 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (19 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201741865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201741865
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,510,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Edward S. Angel is a Professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Media Arts at the University of New Mexico. He received his PhD from the University of Southern California and his BS in engineering from the California Institute of Technology. His present research interests are in computer graphics and scientific visualization. He is also the author of the best-selling book, Interactive Computer Graphics: A Top-Down Approach Using OpenGL, Third Edition, also published by Addison-Wesley.

Professor Angel is the Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Digital Pueblo Project, which is combining arts and technology to promote economic development among the communities in New Mexico through collaborative graphics and animation projects.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By O. Arnold on 13 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I think the idea behind this book is excellent. The OpenGl Red and Blue books are not sufficient in my mind to bring the uninitiated into the world of OpenGl programming. This book provides great explanations that just don't exist in the Red book and is written to take the reader gradually through increasing complexity levels. As a result, I have learned a great deal through this book and refer to it constantly.

However, I was very dissapointed with the coded examples the book provides. There are way too many spelling mistakes, which is unacceptable when you're publishing a book containing coded examples. Why didn't the author try and actually compile the code before he put it in the book!? I would like to give this book a full 5-stars, but was unhappy that the book managed to make it to press containing so many mistakes. I hope they republish this book without the errors.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
I searched the web for an introduction to OpenGL and the world of 3D gaming. I am an experienced programmer and so didn't want some long winded pain staking intro to the world of OpenGL - I wanted to quickly cover all basic principles involved. I certainly got that with this book ! It covers opengl and importantly - glut.h and it's functions as well. Forget NeHe (gaming developers site) as that doesn't have glut code for Windows ! - what takes NeHe 300 lines in VC++ this book can give you in 15 lines ! Within one day I had developed simple 2D apps with the ability to move the camera, resize, redraw, and to create animation. The next day I was onto 3D ! As I said this is so simple (if you're a C programmer). Although there are a few errors in his program code they're certainly easy to spot and rectify and probably mean you use your brain that little bit more and learn it that more thoroughly. I'd give it 5 stars but for the simple errors and the text's confusion between which coordinate systems we should be using and when.
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Format: Paperback
This book is by far the best quick reference for the OpenGL API. It's short, straight to the point, and avoids the usual bs you get with most reference books. Yes, there are a few spelling mistakes etc. in the code, but I've come to expect that in every programming book I read.

My only objection is that it doesn't delve into the really nitty gritty stuff; although there are other books out there which do this.

If you're interested in any kind of graphics or games programming, buy this! It'll be your friend for life.
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Format: Paperback
What I've found when trying to learn new programming languages or API's is that coding examples are essential, and that's where this book fails horribly. Many of the examples require that you use code from other examples in the book, which quickly makes it confusing to quickly test and code something you just read about. Furthermore the examples are riddled with bad coding practices and spelling errors. I've spent way too much time fixing code because of this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Perfect for a beginner with basic programming skills. 6 Nov. 2001
By Owen C. Marshall - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book recently as a supplement to a computer graphics class that I am currently taking at Ohio State University. While this book is not an in-depth coverage of OpenGL or computer graphics, it does provide clear and concise explanations of OpenGL and GLUT functions necessary for the novice. I found it to be well organized and full of useful examples of code.
The author states that it is meant as a companion book to his textbook on OpenGL. It is easy to see that this is the case, in that certain expectations exist in order to fully appreciate the book. For example, the book does not cover the transformation matrices which form the bases for the transformation functions. It glosses over the coordinate transformations as well. In order to focus on how to achieve a desired effect the Primer concerns itself more with demonstating different functions and their effects rather than explaining how the functions achieve the things they do.
Still, I bought the book knowing this was the case. It is an excellent companion to a more thorough text. I am using Hill's Computer Graphics Using OpenGL, Second Edition.
Naturally, for a complete guide to OpenGL, I recommend the Red Book, OpenGL Programming Guide currently in it's Third Edition.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Useful, albeit buggy 11 Jun. 2002
By Tyler Rayner - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book doesn't intend to be a full, in-depth OpenGL manual. It gears itself toward providing a dense, mid-level overview of a complex graphics API. The problem with this book is that it is filled with buggy example code. Considering the fact that the reader of this book will not be an experienced OpenGL developer, it's difficult to go through code line-by-line and find the careless type-o or other error. For some reason, this is a fairly common problem in many programming books (O'Reilly books being an exception). Why the publishers don't make sure the sample code compiles before they print a book, is beyond me.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
excellent starting point 25 Oct. 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a programmer who needs to implement some graphics in an application. Nothing really serious, but beyond the functions of Win32 API. So naturally I turned to OpenGL, but at first a was little turned off by its complexity (well, so I thought).
I ended up buying this book, and also the "red book" (OpenGL Programming Guide). OpenGL Primer is a great book to get a general overview and fast hands on experience. I was amazed how easy it actually is to get a basic OpenGL program up and running. When I am interested in more in depth knowledge on a subject, I turn to the red book.
Again I can recommend this to every beginner on this subject. Although on the cover it states "for programmers with background in computer graphics", I can say its easy to understand even if you have next to no prior knowledge, like me.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Does just what it says... 17 Mar. 2005
By Brian Borman - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a great little reference book to get started in using openGL. Its small size keeps it as a handy reference beside the keyboard. The function calls are placed in their own highlighted boxes complete with descriptions, to make looking up syntax less painful.

The choice to use GLUT for the windows system is excellent since it allows programs to run fairly consistent on Windows, Linux, and Mac. It also grealy simplifies the code examples and allows focus onto the important openGL calls.

For serious development, learning a more sophisticated windowing API is neccessary, but to master the fundamentals of openGL, this book will get you there.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Nothing particularly extraordinary or helpful 30 Jun. 2005
By Joseph E. Tate - Published on
Format: Paperback
While this book does have a decent number of code samples (though it could certainly use both more samples and more detailed samples), the book seems to just be a rehash of the well-known OpenGL red book (OpenGL Programming Guide). I've been reading them simultaneously, and I've yet to find anything of use in Angel's book that is not in the red book. So, do yourself a favor and don't waste the time/money reading this book--your time would be better spent delving further into the code samples and online resources associated with the OpenGL Programming Guide.
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