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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 [Hardcover]

Jason Zink , Matt Pettineo , Jack Hoxley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Aug 2011

Direct3D 11 offers such a wealth of capabilities that users can sometimes get lost in the details of specific APIs and their implementation. While there is a great deal of low-level information available about how each API function should be used, there is little documentation that shows how best to leverage these capabilities. Written by active members of the Direct3D community, Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 provides a deep understanding of both the high and low level concepts related to using Direct3D 11.

The first part of the book presents a conceptual introduction to Direct3D 11, including an overview of the Direct3D 11 rendering and computation pipelines and how they map to the underlying hardware. It also provides a detailed look at all of the major components of the library, covering resources, pipeline details, and multithreaded rendering. Building upon this material, the second part of the text includes detailed examples of how to use Direct3D 11 in common rendering scenarios. The authors describe sample algorithms in-depth and discuss how the features of Direct3D 11 can be used to your advantage.

All of the source code from the book is accessible on an actively maintained open source rendering framework. The sample applications and the framework itself can be downloaded from http://hieroglyph3.codeplex.com

By analyzing when to use various tools and the tradeoffs between different implementations, this book helps you understand the best way to accomplish a given task and thereby fully leverage the potential capabilities of Direct3D 11.

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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 + Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Directx 11 + Beginning Directx 11 Game Programming
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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: 3.5 x 20.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,807 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
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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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, BUT... 31 Jan 2012
By Teddy
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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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not a Beginner's Book ; High Quality Reference 27 Aug 2013
By Anonymous787 - Published on Amazon.com
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!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for learning Direct3D 11 API 26 Aug 2011
By Vahid Kazemi - Published on Amazon.com
This is probably one of the books I've been waiting for, for a long time now! It starts from scratch, covers all the fundamentals of Direct3D API including Tesselation, Direct Compute, and Multi-threaded Rendering. But it doesn't stop there and goes further by giving tutorials of how to use the API to do animation and skinning, terrain rendering, image processing, deferred rendering and more. I will definitely recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best material on Direct3D 14 July 2014
By Ivan Dawni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is devoted to Direct3D and provides usable examples for using D3D in real-time rendering!
It can not be used as tutorial, so if you want to program Direct3D 11.2 use:
1. VS 2013 3D templates
2. DirectX book from Frank Luna
3. This book
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
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