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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars useful
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...
Published on 5 Feb 2004

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lamothe is a 2nd rate programmer
if you want to get confused by a trillion optimizations in the parts where understanding is the most important, by all means get this book.
Lamothe is still stuck in the mid-70's C days. He claims C++ is "hard to teach in" because it is confusing. I think it is more confusing to him than to any modern programmer. Old C is by far more confusing in my opinion...
Published on 2 Jan 2004 by Rasputin


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars useful, 5 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The learning experience of the century, 13 Aug 2003
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely money well spent, 6 Mar 2006
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (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. The second thing I found was that the code wouldn't compile cleanly by default using Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 (it was written using Visual C++ version 6 I believe). I mailed him, and got a VERY quick reply offering help. By this time however, I'd pretty much figured out the problems for myself (mainly due to Microsoft changes to the compiler) and fortunately didn't have to press him for any answers.
Andre's writing style is chatty and informal, which I personally like, yet packed full of really good and useful information. Perhaps sometimes he assumes that the text is easier to follow than it is, but frankly the nature of this book is such that complexity is simply unavoidable.
If you don't like this book then in my opinion you really haven't understood what it is written for, and thus don't really qualify to judge it. It gives you in-depth knowledge about what's going on INSIDE the likes of DirectX and OpenGL, not just how to use them. This is a subtle difference to a pure API guide.
In short, thanks to Andre for writing the book, and considering the scope of the material covered and the amount of work involved I think he's done a cracking job.
These days it's all too easy to just use APIs without thinking about what's going on behind the scenes. I'd recommend it to anyone who is willing to put in the mental effort to really understand it. This is a seriously good publication.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best for 3D Game Programming, 8 Jun 2004
By 
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent learning tool, 7 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (Paperback)
I've always struggled to get into 3D coding, books on DirectX and OpenGL just end up being API references, without giving me what I really need which is a good solid foundation on 3D coding techniques from the math (which you can gloss over the fine details if you need to), coordinate systems, camera systems, rasterizing etc etc.
Yes, a lot of what is covered is done in hardware now, but I feel so much more comfortable with 3D that tackling DirectX and OpenGL doesn't scare me any more. Remember that new toys, such as PDAs and mobile phones do not have hardware acceleration yet, but they do have the speed for software renderers!
I've noticed others comments on the quality of the code and that it is in C instead of C++, and yes some of the function names are a little hard to follow and yes I would have preferred it in C++ but if you're a competent programmer you should have no problems at all. The listings in the book are there for a reason, to make you look at them and try to understand what's going on, the author summarises the code as well and it's this continuous re-iteration that I for one find to be a good learning technique.
If your looking to learn 3D from the ground up then buy this book, you won't be disappointed. You could certainly do much worse for 30.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 11 Jun 2003
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (Paperback)
This book only just arrived a week ago, but already I can see that this is a resource packed with more information on real time 3D graphics than any other book. I own a number of the more theory-heavy graphics books, and while they explain their subjects well, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to runtime performance. This book, on the other hand, wraps up detailed discussions of theory with what is by far the most sophisticated and complete tour of optimization I've ever seen in a book. The techniques added by each chapter, from rasterization to coloured lighting to transformations, start with theory and end with lightning fast code that's been fully explained. This really is a start-to-finish book, and I must honestly say I'm still feeling "giddy" at the thought of how much I'm going to know when I finish it. This is a book about KNOWING how it works, not just having an idea of how it works.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 16 Dec 2003
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (Paperback)
This is what is needed to bridge the gap between theoretical books and "hands on" API specific books.
Even if today's games do not use software rendering, you need to know it to be a good 3D programmer!
The information you'll find in here is timeless, it will never become obsolete (unlike API specifics).
Get a copy and treasure it!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3d Concepts well explained, 18 May 2004
By 
Kuldeep Mann (Reading, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (Paperback)
We all complain that there is too much maths in 3d game programming books but friends who told 3d game programming is easy? The best way to gain from this book is spend some time polishing your maths specially geometry. Trust me spending 2-3 weeks in the library will help you a lot to gain from this book. This book teaches you how 3d engines are written from scratch and full credit should go to LaMothe for explaning things in humorous way which some people may not like.You wont find any API's here - only pure C/C++, of course you need VC++ 6.0 to compile the samples.This book is intended for intermediate to advanced programmers.My only complain is that the author should have covered level designing in detail but nevertheless I have enough information as to how that can be done. I would like to say that although books are important one should remember that most people who are in game business never had any good books to refer to when they started but yet they produced games which we marvel at. As of now making game is an art rather than science.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 July 2014
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This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (Paperback)
excellent
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lamothe is a 2nd rate programmer, 2 Jan 2004
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This review is from: Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus: Advanced 3D Graphics and Rasterization (Other Sams) (Paperback)
if you want to get confused by a trillion optimizations in the parts where understanding is the most important, by all means get this book.
Lamothe is still stuck in the mid-70's C days. He claims C++ is "hard to teach in" because it is confusing. I think it is more confusing to him than to any modern programmer. Old C is by far more confusing in my opinion.
This book is 1700 pages long - a big chunk of it is almost pure code dump, that could easily fit on a CD (and does). The old-fashioned programming style, combined with his optimizations down to the assembler level makes the code hard to understand. I believe it is time for Lamothe to enter the 21st century with his programming style, and get out of the 70's.
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