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Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) Paperback – 2 Jun 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1728 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 1 edition (2 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672318350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672318351
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 6.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 511,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus helps its readers make great progress in creating 3D worlds and the action that goes on in them. To be an ordinary programmer is one thing: you need only learn how to interact with the computer on its own terms, creating buttons and combo boxes that have no significance away from the screen. To be a game programmer--particularly one that writes games with environments that appear three-dimensional to their players--is something else entirely. Such work requires that the flat screen simulates the real world, complete with light, shading, texture, gravity and momentum.

That this large, dense book manages to explain how to design and implement a 3-D game while neither glossing over too many details nor swamping the reader with trivia is a credit to author André LaMothe. He opens by showing (and explaining) the C++ source code of a simple but full-fledged 3-D spaceflight shooter game--a real boost to the reader's confidence. From there, he explains the complicated geometric concepts and mathematics that underlie realistic games (always with an eye toward software algorithms) and shows how to use the many APIs and libraries (including Microsoft DirectX 9.0) that make the world-builder's job easier. Make no mistake: designing and building convincing games with 3-D visuals and behaviours that convincingly approximate real-world physics is hard work. In this book, LaMothe helps you get it done and enjoy the process. --David Wall

Topics covered: how to design and build 3-D worlds and the goings-on within them. Aside from mathematics and geometry, this book focuses on wireframe models, shading, rendering and animation. Microsoft DirectX 9.0 gets special attention. --Robert Lawton, Amazon.com

About the Author

André LaMothe has been involved in the computing industry and technology for more than a quarter century. He holds degrees in mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering, and is one of the rare individuals that actually did work at NASA at the age of 20 doing research. His early teens and twenties were filled with consulting for numerous Silicon Valley companies, where he learned the realities of running a business and worked on his multidisciplinary background in fields such as telecommunications, virtual reality, robotics, compiler design, 3D engines, artificial intelligence, and other areas of computing and engineering.

His company Xtreme Games LLC was one of the first and last true "indie" publishers with a soul. Later he founded the Xtreme Games Developer Conference (XGDC) to give game developers a low-cost alternative to the GDC. Lately he has been working on a number of projects, including eGamezone Networks, an online distribution system for games that's fair, fun, and has zero ads. Last but not least, he founded a new company, Nurve Networks LLC, to create handheld video game systems for value-minded consumers and hobbyists alike. Finally, he is the series editor for the world's largest game development series.

On a personal level, he likes everything extreme, from weightlifting, motorcycles, jet skis, and hotrods to "railing" on his blades. He has even trained extensively with the Shamrock Submission Fighting Team under the tutelage of Crazy Bob Cook, Frank Shamrock, and Javier Mendez. You probably don't want to get in an argument with him over DirectX or OpenGL - right or wrong, he will probably make you say uncle!


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eddy Deegan on 6 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm not going to spend a lot of time identifying and classifying each part of the book, because that's been done by others and doesn't really reflect the book as a whole.
I have a "good working knowledge" of C and studied 3D graphics at a basic level at University in the '80s. I'm a good scripter, was once a pretty good assembly language programmer, and a C hacker.
The first thing that sruck me about the book was the size - there is a lot of content. Granted, a lot of it is code but by no means all of it and for a subject of this nature code is really one of the best ways to force someone to read and take note of a particular section. All the code is backed up with good textual walkthrough's in any case.
I completely disagree with a previous reviewer who said that the CD was only worth 5 minutes. If you want a short-cut API-specific manual and take an 'I wanna make shiny things' attitude, you probably won't get a lot out of this book. Don't buy a tin of pears and then review them in 'Apples weekly'!
If you want to *really understand* the inner workings of 3D chipsets, APIs such as DirectX and OpenGL then this book is certainly for you.
I personally only had two small problems - neither of which can be described as shortcomings on Andre's part. The first is that my basic mathematical ability isn't really up to following the detail of the chapter on mathematics. Andre is obviously well versed in math and uses it freely in this chapter. That said, he does recommend people get supplementary books (and lists a couple) if they have trouble following the math.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
If you wanna make your own 3D engine and have absolutely no idea how to start, then get this book !
This will give you a much better understanding of how 3D graphics work than any book on OpenGL or DirectX. The book teaches you to build a software-renderer in C from start to finish, including texturing, lighting, animation, scripting, ... , processor optimizations. The lay out is very logical, and all the techniques and concepts are illustrated and explained very well.
The code does look ugly at times, but if you follow it from the start, you won't be lost or confused.
It would have been better if his code was written in C++ and not C, but that's only a minor issue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. K. Muyobo on 8 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a must have for anyone wanting to learn 3D Game Programming with DirectX. However, as with all great books you need to do some work - and I would advise that you read the first "Tricks..." book first. When I started using this book it was hard going - I have no experience in Game Programming - but when I went through the first book and followed each example at a steady pace, including trying out the code I found the second book became easier when I returned to it.
This book is well written, and LaMothe clearly wants you to learn the inner concepts of Game Programming rather than just giving you a 3D engine. He clearly enjoys the subject - sometimes going over the top - but once you learn to find the important bits, you will be surprised how much you have learn't from him.
In many cases he gives you 2 or more ways of doing things - for example using 8 or 16 bit, manual or matrix calculations and Euler or UVN Camera. My advice is stick to one method to the end of the book and then come back and update with the alternative.
A great book...After reading it you can probably develop the next Quake or Half-Life engine easily...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "wibble82" on 13 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book doesn't really touch on DirectX or proper games programming, but thats a good thing! Instead the whole book really does take you through the steps of creating your own software rasterizer - learning how something like DX or OpenGL works on the inside. If you want to be amazing at DX then this is information you need - u cant properly use the tool without knowing how it works. Writing style is great, and the author really is creating the engine as he is writing the book, instead of creating the engine and then writing the book! This makes it a lot easier to see what has been going on in the authors head, but can cause some confusion when he changes his mind about something half way through.
Although it covers cameras and 3d math, this info can be found in many other books. However the important bits were as follows:
-rasterizing triangles, i.e. projecting the 3d world onto the 2d screen
-all kinds of interpolation techniques - gouraud shading, perspective texture mapping, z buffering
-a very in depth part about clipping which is a BIG topic
-strong focus on optimisation with lots of little tips to make things faster
-quake II .md2 model format loading/display
Don't get me wrong - there is LOADS of other info in this book on just about every 3d graphics topic, but above is things that I couldn't find anywhere else. It doesn't just tell you HOW to do them, it tells u how they actually work.
My only problem was that he does refer back to his previous book, The Zen of 3D Game Programming, occasionally which I haven't read, but you can easily get by without it.
So, to sum up, dont buy this book expecting to come out the other end with a working game engine or in depth knowledge of a particular 3d accelerator - it is a book about the theory and math of 3d graphics. Buy it because it is the best source of information that you NEED to learn to become an expert, and it is well written, well structured and generally... GREAT!
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