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3.2 out of 5 stars
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3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 3 November 2013
This pleasantly thin book covers the basics of building a scene using both traditional and modern OpenGL. The distinction between the two is clearly drawn, and there's a welcome bias towards the new methods. GLSL is well covered at the language level, although functions are briefly introduced on an as-needed basis. Texures and lighting get a lot of attention, with brief forays into environment mapping, reflections, collision detection, fonts, and model loading: everything a budding OpenGL programmer needs. There's even a chapter on the specific hassles associated with developing on Microsoft Windows.

Throughout it all, the writing style is clear and fluid, without undue repetition or obssessively covering everything that a particular section of OpenGL has to offer (I'm looking at you, 8th edition Red Book).

For all this, though, there's very little about *games*. This is, after all, a book on OpenGL game programming, and that coverage is surprisingly lightweight.

However, even with that criticism, the sheer quality and pacing of the book, combined with complete examples on the accompanying CD, make this a superb tutorial for experienced programmers new to graphics programming, or even just people looking for an update from OpenGL 2.1. The succinctness is also very welcome: I'm too used to graphics books that use the word 'graphics' as an excuse to produce yet another back-breaking tome, so squeezing so much into 350 pages is an acheivement.
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on 28 December 2009
I recently got this book for Christmas, and it is very good. It seems to cover the basics of OpenGL well, and is very professional as well as being easy to read.
It comes with source code, but it isn't great. I found I had to go into the src folder and add the existing items to a new project to get it to run.
Otherwise, a good book. Recommended.
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on 9 May 2013
My main criticism of this book could easily be directed at any number of programming-related guides these days and is simply this... 3rd party code libraries. This book should be called 'Beginning OpenGL Game Programming using SDL, freeType, Code::Blocks etc...' as even the first example (rendering a triangle and a pentagon) has 40+ SDL headers in the source directory. I remember a time when OpenGL and GLUT could've drawn that in about 20 lines of code.

You can't really call it 'Beginning OpenGL...' if knowledge of this extra stuff is assumed. I realise that OpenGL is where it is today because of ongoing ad-hoc extensions to its core functionality but, when I buy a book like this, I want to learn about OpenGL without feeling that I need to buy another book to explain the things that aren't OpenGL.

As for the OpenGL stuff in here, there are some useful explanations at an accessible level but, of the 13 chapters, 1 to 5 deal with functions which the authors know are already deprecated making the first 120 pages feel somewhat redundant thus leaving only 160 with any useful content. I wish they had used those 120 pages to ease the transition and fill in some gaps. For example, the first 3 chapters have basic examples of rendering triangles etc. but then chapter 4 suddenly introduces an animated robot and chapter 5 shows a 3D landscape without adequate explanation of what a height map is.

If you're going to aim a book at beginners please remember that beginners don't know things and they buy a book because they don't want to trawl through source code trying to work it out for themselves.
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on 5 December 2009
Easy to follow, well laid out, and with good examples. Also, unlike with a lot of books, the author has taken the trouble to update the samples at the book's web site.
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on 30 April 2013
I found this took to be a mixed blessing. I have no previous experience with OpenGL and found this book to be a great help to get my hands dirty quickly and render primitives on the screen and build from there. The source provided is a good stepping stone as you do not have to worry about setting up your window (at least in the beginning) and only have to worry about the OpenGL code you have to write.

However, as you move on and explore the book you find that the explanation becomes more high level and the authors refer more and more to the source if you want to find out how things work. I did not find that a huge issue. However, some of the source code is -- as other reviewers have noticed -- a little iffy. For example, the source for cube mapping left me bewildered for a while. Another gripe I have with the book is that it focusses too much on the fixed pipeline functions which are now deprecated. Maybe it was a necessary evil in order to get readers quickly up to speed, but the book keeps on using these deprecated functions throughout and never makes the step to OpenGL 3.0 without needing backward compatibility.

In summary, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. I definitely helped me understand OpenGL. The iffiness in the code in later chapters and the sparse explanation of the methods used became more of a challenge which helped me to get a better understanding of OpenGL. It is a book you work though once and probably never pick up again. It does not contain enough information and explanation to function as a reference book.
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on 11 November 2013
I have a quite a bit of programming experience. What I want from a beginning book though is to be led through to your first hello world OpenGl program without having to install many third party (license-able) programs. It assumes a level of prior programming experience and windows programming knowledge but it has a first chapter telling you what a game is. Once you (no help from the book) get the compiler to find the thousand third party headers (SDL) you find that the code doesn't compile. You cannot pass a char array into something that wants an LPSTR.

Please also don't use CMake or at least indicate that it is needed. I shouldn't have to agree to half the worlds T&C's to learn about something.

I am one to try and get something to work so I persevered but once you get it to work the explanations are short and terrible assuming you know it all before.

Really quite disappointed.
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on 9 May 2013
The book is great, but the source code is a complete mess. It's necessary to create a new project from example files, to make them work; also, the multi-texturing example is bugged, and all the examples that include multi-texturing do not work.
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on 9 September 2014
After debugging this for ages and having to guess parts of code that are missing, I managed to make the program compile, but no triangle. After having a better knowledge of OpenGL (not from this book) I now know that this book could have done a better job. They should show just the most basic parts of OpenGL, and gradually add features so you can see what the new features do.

It does a fairly good job at explaining the objective (well it does it too much) and it is very bad at explaining the actual code. It will show like 20 lines of code then explain what that does. That's simply not good enough, a good explanation of each line is needed. Not providing this means that it's extremely hard to debug.

Avoid this book.

Where did I learn openGL? Youtube, search: "Jamie King 3D Computer Graphics Using OpenGL" That's a lot better, but remember, youtube has a x2 speed option in settings.
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on 7 May 2013
Codes on the cd dont work anymore and there is no supporting website or whatever.
Also he jumps from 1 point to another without really explaining thinks work.

I would not have bought it if i knew this
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on 2 March 2012
I started reading this book to fill the gaps left by another one about a similar topic (see my other reviews if you are curious) and, despite the fact that I did enjoy it (and found it useful), I'm still perplexed about what it aimed to achieve.

Despite the title (and as the shrewd reader would have already inferred by its size in pages), this book cannot possibly cover all aspects of graphic engine developing for game programming, neither can provide a complete introduction to OpenGL.

It is instead a gentle introduction to OpenGL with special care to techniques which might be particularly valuabe for game developing (like text rendering), covering topics that range from the setup of a context in Windows (the code for Linux is provided in the attached CD) to the basics of GLSL and Phong lighting, enriched with review questions and exercises.

Although the code in this book might look sparse and the explanations a way too brief for the sheer number and complexity of topics it deals with, it is worth noting that the author writes under the assumption that the keen reader will study and eviscerate the code in the enclosed CD (I didn't) and explains just the minimum, confident that you will do your homework and fill in the gaps.

Due to the year of publication, the OpenGL version used as a reference is the rather old 3.0, but the author makes a very good job in using the deprecated features to smooth the learning curve, while also carefully marking each one as such, so it's probably for the best. Also a welcome side effect is that you will pick some of the old OpenGL API on the way, which are both still used and nice to know.

All in one a good introductory text that, employing a very pragmatic approach, mixes the OpenGL API and some useful graphic techniques.
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