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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 Hardcover – 4 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568817207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568817200
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 20.3 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 packs in documentation and in-depth coverage of basic and high-level concepts related to using Direct 3D 11 and is a top pick for any serious programming collection. … perfect for a wide range of users. Any interested in computation and multicore models will find this packed with examples and technical applications.
Midwest Book Review, October 2011

The authors have generously provided us with an optimal blend of concepts and philosophy, illustrative figures to clarify the more difficult points, and source code fragments to make the ideas concrete. Of particular interest is the chapter on multithreaded rendering, a topic that is essential in a multicore world. Later chapters include many examples such as skinning and displacement, dynamic tessellation, image processing (to illustrate DirectCompute), deferred rendering, physics simulations, and multithreaded paraboloid mapping. As if all this is not enough, the authors have made available their source code, called Hieroglyph 3. Books do not get any better than this!
—David Eberly, Geometric Tools

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alessio T on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book for learning and understand how Direct3D 11 works and how to use it.
I am a newbie on graphics and DirectX programming, and maybe for some users this book could be difficult to read without a small background of 3D-graphics and object oriented programming... But the content of this book clears a lot of dark corners of the Direct3D programming up, especially if you do not have a solid understanding how the API works.
The book could be divided into two parts, one form those want to know more about the base of the API (and also for those don't know nothing or quite nothing about Direct3D 11), and a second part about some intermediate and advanced topics and techniques that could be done with the last version of Direct3D.
The first parte explains very clearly the fundamentals of Direct3D, starting with a small overview of the API itself, then explaining every single notion in the right order to understand how Direct3D works and how use it, from the resources (buffers and textures), to the rendering pipeline (showing every single stage, including high-level pipeline functions). It also teaches very well the two new most important additions since Direct3D 10.x: the tessellation pipeline and the computation pipeline. It also has a chapter about HLSL (High Level Shader Language)
The second part is more about advanced topic, like multithreaded rendering, tessellation, deferred rendering and water simulation. These topics are approached to show the potential of Direct3D 11, so if you are searching traditional algorithm and basic render operation you should search elsewhere (the MSDN library could be a good point to start ' ).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is filled with illustrations and covers almost everything you need to know to make your application work with DirectX 11.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Teddy on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
- Accompany examples in CD (hieroglyph) should be much (!) well written using lates C++. U can use STL or Boost for many of the things in there!
- Pictures in majority are with no specific purpose and I feel kinda used to "fill the pages". Example: Textures pictures are so many and so no informative!
- Need MUCH more practical examples in there if you want your audience not only to buy the book but also learn from it.
- Many things in there just plain repeat, I feel like dejavu reading many of the things.

That book can be in half, even third of pages, with bigger quality.
Otherwise print, paper quality and look are superb.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Unremarkable 23 Oct. 2011
By Patrick Rouse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With it having been several years since I last worked with Direct3D (DX9), I wanted a book as a refresher in the DirectX way of doing things when I decided to return to computer graphics. What I got, was largely unspectacular.

Practical rendering is by no means a poor book. It authors are Microsoft DirectX Most Valuable Professionals. This means the material presented is accurate and well written, but it fails on too many fronts to be considered great. The first half of the book is dedicated to explaining the Direct3D 11 Pipeline or at least it tries to. What you get is ultimately a regurgitation of the freely available DX documentation. The authors do little to actually explain the behind the scenes workings and I have a feeling if it is your first foray into DX you will be quickly lost. The one bit of explanation they routinely throw at you is through the use of images to explain concepts. This sounds excellent until you realize what it really means. You get images like a cube with six exploded sides demonstrating a cube map (which is sadly one of the better images) and my personal favorite, an image of a sphere in three different positions to demonstrate translations. This examples may sound petty, but if you read this book you will constantly roll your eyes at the ridiculousness of these listings. Code listings for the book's first half are no better. They are literally ripped from Microsoft's documentation and dumped on the page in an unremarkable matter.

The book improves in it's second half with more concrete examples of the concepts. They are actually interesting reads and very well explained compared to the first half. Unfortunately, here is where the book's biggest problem comes in. The authors have elected to use Jason Zink's Hieroglyph 3 engine as the basis for all of their examples. While I'm certain Mr. Zink's engine is of a high quality, it is a huge mistake. The justification for it's use is so we as readers are not bogged down in minutia when it comes to initializing Direct3D and Win32. In practice, it fails to allow us experience in initializing Direct3D. This is a fairly important component of using the API and it's dismissal is absurd. You will be forced to return to the documentation of the DXSDK in order to find anything of use, unless you want to be locked into the Hieroglyph engine. The biggest problem with authors using their own engines is in the changes that occur over time. Including raw DX and Win32 code allows future use even through subsequent DXSDK changes with a minimal of rewriting. The Hieroglyph engine is already changing from the version when the book was published just a few short months ago. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the books appendix stating that the Boost libraries are required for building the engine. On the engines homepage, this dependency has already been removed. This isn't a big deal for now, but does speak to the rate at which libraries tend to change overtime. It is entirely possible in the future the engine will have changed so much it's usefulness will suffer. Because of the use of the Hieroglpyh engine, all of the examples focus on shader code and leave everything else up to the engine itself. This is not particularly useful when you want to learn how to code in D3D11 from the ground up.

While the authors have presented a few useful chapters, the book fails to deliver consistently. If you are looking for anything other than a few shader code examples of trendy topics, you will have to look elsewhere. I recommend picking up Frank D. Luna's Direct3D 10 book to learn the fundamentals of DX programming. Afterward the Direct3D 11 documentation will be more than sufficient at highlighting the differences in the older and newer APIs. If you want the examples this book offers, I would suggest a GPU pro or ShaderX book as they are considerably heavier on content and will provide many more examples than this book provides. Again, it is not a bad book and if I were looking for strict documentation this would be high on my list. It's weakness however is in striking a balance between documentation like theory and cohesive examples of implementation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Most Impressive. Maybe The Best DirectX 11 Book on the Market. 29 April 2014
By A. M. Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was thoroughly impressed by Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 by Jason Zink. Microsoft’s Direct3D API is certainly not for beginners, and neither is this book. But, at the same time, the author does a great job of explaining the material in a way that is approachable. The book assumes you are already comfortable with C++, and doesn’t hold your hand with the syntax. This is great, since you really should have an understanding of C++ before jumping into 3D graphics programming. It’s also not the kind of book that expects you to type in long pages of example code into your computer. In fact, there are not really any complete examples listed in the book at all. Instead the author chooses to highlight specific API calls and explain how different techniques can be implemented using the GPU.

This is in stark contrast to the last DirectX 11 book I read by Frank Luna. Luna’s text was great, don’t get me wrong. But it was very focused on producing functional demos to showcase certain effects (like shadow mapping or ambient occlusion). Instead Zink chooses to go totally knee-deep into the API itself and, as a reader, I came away much more confident that I understood the material. Just as an example, early on in the book there is a 100 page chapter just on resources. Most other tutorials would briefly show how to create a buffer, and then move on other stuff. Not here. In fact, the next 200 pages of the book is just about how the pipeline works. It’s really great, and rare to find such insight.

Don’t be fooled, there is certainly code in these pages, and there are a few examples. The book covers some topics like deferred rendering, multi-threaded graphics, dynamic tessellation, and physics. What I liked about the examples is that only the bare minimum amount of code was shown. Just enough to understand the key concepts without getting bogged down with boiler-plate code. It also made reading along much nicer, without having to feel like you need to get up every 5 minutes and type something in on a PC. Plus, the source code for the examples, and the author’s engine, are available for free online. So no need to type either way.

One thing I really enjoyed was the discussion on DirectCompute and on compute shaders. There are hardly any books covering DirectCompute, so it’s great to see so much space dedicated to the API. I am very interested in using this in my own engine, though it’s difficult to find information on the topic. Practical Rendering and Computation includes several chapters using compute shaders, for example to do image processing (blur). There was also a good amount of space given for tessellation. So if you are at all interested in these specific topics, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to get this book.

One other thing. Mad props to Jason Zink for being available to the community. You’ll find him on the gamedev.net forums, even helping out newbies with their 3D questions. Much respect.

All-in-all, this was quite an eye-opening read. I mean, after reading the Luna book and doing some online tutorials, I thought I knew about DirectX 11. Well, I knew something. But this book went much further than what I had previously seen on the topic. I would even recommend reading this *before* Frank Luna’s book, as I think that would flow a little better. Get the foundation solid, and then start learning how to code specific effects. Anyway, this book comes highly recommended by me if you are attempting to learn Direct3D.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Definitely Not a Beginner's Book ; High Quality Reference 27 Aug. 2013
By Anonymous787 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Conclusion : all around practical guide, highly beneficial, excellent reference
Recommended for experienced users.

First, Windows XP can't work with DirectX 11.
This isn't a beginner's book. If you started but didn't know , no worries. My advice though is to stop & read or if you want, have beside you an introductory book. You'll surely have a better learning experience with this book if you did. There are several out there. One that is notably popular that's an all-in-one (3D, graphics, gaming) book & the one I best recommend is Frank Luna's "Introductory to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 11." He has written other books like these for previous versions of DirectX too.
This book is packed & technical with abundant knowledge on the subject & given to you in a logical way. What you get from this book is split up into 2 parts: You first learn the API design. Then you apply what you learned through practical rendering in which you learn how to design & implement algorithms for this purpose. Direct 3D 11 has significant features unlike previous versions . Some of these are new multi-threading ways, general purpose GPU computation & things in the Tessellation stage you can do.

Some important differences in the DirectX documentation:

1. gives more low-level details on the API functions
(at a technical level)
2. less info. on how to map higher level Rendering/Computation
concepts -to actual API & hardware pipelines
3. may have less focus on what an api is used for
4. may have less focus on the practical uses which the book's primary
focus is aimed at.

I have explored this documentation to some extent. It is an exhaustive reference that comes with the DirectX SDK. Its directory is well-structured which also has information on previous DirectX versions. There's a lot of example programs you can explore. The Windows SDK for Windows 8 should contain a newer DirectX SDK . For more on this, go to [...]

There's lots of information given on various topics which some are grouped. A helpful, visual aid to facilitate learning Direct3D 11 is the Hieroglyph3 framework & the enjoyable practice programs you can work with that were built with the framework. Many parts of the book are clear, easy & understandable. But be on guard for the difficult & complex stuff that lies ahead. Overall, book isn't a light reading but it deserves your time, patience, & appreciation of the hardwork that the authors poured out into it. It certainly is one of the best & finest reference books on Direct3D 11 & should be added to your collection.

Some Favorites: Hieroglyph(3) is open source & an ongoing project, programs

Improvements: There's a lot covered & it's fine to put it all in one book. But to make it worthwhile, please give more attention & effort to explain better & with examples the numerous areas of the books that were difficult.

Here's a shortcut preview what you'll learn: (taken from book)

Part 1: Direct3D 11 Foundations

Direct3D 11: overall library structure, major functional API portions, how application interacts

Direct 3D Resources: many variations of memory-based resources 1. details each type 2. how to create them 3. where 4. when to use

Rendering Pipeline: mechanics, general uses, how each stage fits

Tessellation Pipeline: individual stages, how they work tog., the tessellation system function & what developers can expect from it

Computation Pipeline: using GPU for tasks in addition to rendering, threading architecture describing the various available memory systems

HLSL : syntax, objects, functions
Multi-threading Rendering:

Part2: Using Direct3D 11

Mesh Rendering : static , vertex skinning (with & w/o displacement mapping)
Dynamic Tessellation: terrain , curved/smooth surfaces)
Image Processing: Gaussian, bilateral filters -use Compute Shader
Deferred Rendering: classic , light pre-pass
Simulation: water, particle
Multi-threaded Paraboloid Rendering: dual environment mapping, multiple reflectors

Website: [...] This projects still continues. Jason Zink , initial developer for it, also is still contributing to it as recent as this month. Nice job Jason!

Errata Link: You can find mine under Anonymous777


VS 2012: On the site, there's a zipped folder you can download that contains different VS 2012 projects -book (most of them) & also others. I say most because one book project I didn't see was the Paraboloid Program. Certain Projects, if not all, have added features like LUA scripting & possibly additional keys to control the output of the program while it is running.

If you like to try them out, here's how:

1. can use the free VS 2012 express but you need the one for Windows Desktop
2. go to: [...]
click Download Tab to download the hieroglph3-.... zipped folder

3. Unzip it. Double Click following:
a. Name of Unzipped Folder
b. Trunk Folder
c. Hieroglyph3 Folder -there are 2 Hieroglyph3_Desktop files; I used VS solution one.

4. Open solution. It works out of the box ; so no modification needed.
5. Solution shows to the right a window. Inside it are Projects (book & others)& other stuff.
a. Build the solution - takes some time to complete.
b. Right click a project one & select set as Startup Project option. Then run it. Enjoy!
A good introduction to DX11 with great examples 6 Mar. 2012
By Jason M Kinzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book starts out by covering the DX11 pipeline, resources, and associated DX11-specific features like multi-threaded rendering and tesselation in a way that's easy to understand. It then provides a number of concrete examples covering various rendering topics that specifically eschew the simple. Instead, they are well-explained implementations covering areas such as deferred rendering, tesselation-based terrain rendering, vertex skinning, and GPU particles, to name a few. If you're interested in any of the advanced topics the book covers, it pays for itself here as the combination of good explanation and implementation can be hard to find.

Note the examples are implemented using the Hieroglyph3 engine available on Codeplex and I found this to work quite well. The engine structure maps closely enough to DX11 constructs that you're not fighting abstractions to see them clearly, yet streamlines them enough that you don't feel like you're missing the forest for the trees of API-related minutia. Indeed, I found the engine itself interesting enough that I would have purchased the book based soley on that criterion.

Note finally the book does not advertise "beginning" in the title, and is not the only resource you'll want for learning the fundamentals. This is a good thing however because good books along those lines already exist and the pages are best spent elsewhere. I've personally used this book in conjunction with titles like "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 10" and "Real-Time Rendering", and found them to complement each other nicely.
The Best Book Explaining the Direct3D 11 API 23 Nov. 2011
By Joshua Horns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I almost never write reviews for a book, but I had to stop reading it (3 chapters in) and write a review.

This is hands-down the most complete explanation of any version of the Direct3D API I have ever read. The authors tell you exactly what you need to know about each stage of the pipeline, and specifically how the Direct3D API can be used to utilize them.

I have some experience with computer graphics and understood the function of each stage of the pipeline before reading this book, but had been trying to patch together various pieces of information from books and internet sites in order to solve specific problems as they would come up. For example, I was trying to find out if there was a way to write geometry data back to the CPU so I could use it directly in my application. I spent a couple days, here and there, of web searching and had uncovered about 10% of the puzzle. I open this book and read for 30 minutes and I know everything there is to know about how to do it.

Bottom line - If you are an intermediate with graphics technologies but don't know Direct3D 11, or if you are a complete beginner and want to learn it, buy this book. Having a soup to nuts explanation from a single, unified, source is such a rare find.
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