3D Programming for Windows® (Pro - Developer) Paperback – 3 Aug 2007
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About the Author
Charles Petzold has been writing about Windows programming for 25 years. A Windows Pioneer Award winner, Petzold is author of the classic Programming Windows, the widely acclaimed Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Programming Windows Phone 7, and more than a dozen other books.
Top Customer Reviews
Petzold has covered the subject in tremendous detail and with a thouroughness I really didn't expect, uncovering mathematical topics I haven't even thought about since I left University. For example, three of the chapters are called "Algorithmic Mesh Geometries", "Matrix Transforms" and "Quaternions" - 3D programming isn't for the mathematically impaired.
As a reference, this book is a *must have* for anyone working with, or about to work with 3D in WPF. On the other hand, if you're looking for a quick overview of the 'art of the possible' with WPF 3D then this probably isn't the book for you. Indeed I think it might have benefited from a longer, gentler introduction to ease you into the subject matter; a 10,000 feet view, if you will.
The prose of the book is very dry making it an almost impossible casual read but, given the subject matter, it would be hard to avoid this problem. So in summary: an OK read for the curious, a great reference and good book overall.
Like many WPF resources, it's frustrating in having so much material only in XAML and so little in C# - a problem if you need to write an application that's highly dynamic and interactive rather than just using WPF to make an interface look attractive and show ready-made images/meshes. There is a chapter on algorithms to make meshes but that doesn't compensate for the lack of programming-language examples elsewhere. There's rather too much glossing over tricky details and non-obvious syntax where the textbook could really add value, and too much reliance on library functions which are available to download but never explained in the text. There's a lot of basic material on vectors and transformations which you don't need if you do Maths/Physics/Engineering but which might be useful for Computer Scientists or those with a non-technical background. Has a large section on quaternions which is more likely to be useful since this is a more specialised topic.
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