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3D Game Engine Design: A Practical Approach to Real-Time Computer Graphics (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive 3d Technology) Hardcover – 10 Sep 2000

3.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 561 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (10 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558605932
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558605930
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 19.6 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,306,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

Aimed at the working C++ game developer, 3D Game Engine Design provides a tour of mathematical techniques for 3-D graphics and the source code used to implement them in state-of-the-art video game engines. If you work in the game industry (or would like to), this book will serve you well because it delivers excellent best practices for algorithms and programming techniques that will help your software keep up with the competition.

This text is a virtual encyclopaedia of expertise, based on the author's own work and research in the gaming industry. It provides the mathematical notation, algorithms, and C++ code (on the accompanying CD-ROM) needed to build fast and maintainable game engines. Early sections start with the basics, with the math used to work with common 3-D objects (like spheres and boxes). Highlights include a high-powered review of quaternion algebra, the preferred way to transform 3-D data in many cases.

The chapters on graphics pipelines explain the math behind representing and rendering a 3-D world in 2-D with intervening effects like lighting, texture mapping and the like. A variety of current algorithms are provided for representing 3-D scenes, efficient picking (which allows a programmer to determine which object in a 3-D world has been selected) and collision detection (where objects collide virtually). In the game software of today, curves--rather than individual triangles or polygons--are often used to represent 3-D objects. Algorithms that are used to turn curves into rendered surfaces are also provided.

Later sections look at current thinking about animation techniques for characters (including key frames, inverse kinematics and skinning--in which digital skin is fitted over digital bone to create more realistic-looking movement). How to represent terrain inside virtual worlds is also explained. The book closes with excellent material on cutting-edge special effects like lens flare and projected shadows, which can add an extra level of realism to a video game. An appendix examines guidelines for designing object-oriented game software in C++.

Filled with mathematical insight and expert code that puts each principle or algorithm to work, 3-D Game Engine Design provides an expert view of what goes into building a state-of-the-art game engine. --Richard Dragan


I have been baffled by the lackluster quality of past publications targeted specifically at the interactive, real-time engineer and developer, and I am confident that Dr. Eberly's magnum opus will raise the bar for everyone who follows in his footsteps. I expect his work to become to game developers what Foley, Van Dam, et al., was to the graphics community in the late 80s and early 90s: the de facto mirror of the stae of art in research and development in the field. --Andrea Pessino, Blizzard Entertainment

This is a great book for someone who is writing his or her first 3D engine and has a reasonable background in math. Even for people who have written game engines before, there is plenty of value in the alternative techniques that Eberaly presents for various parts of the 3D pipeline, which makes for a great reference text. I particularly like the presentation of various alternatives and their pros and cons. He clearly covers performance issues and includes all the important elements of a graphics game engine. He even includes a good introduction to animation techniques and collision detection. The book is not ashamed to delve deep into the technical details and the mathematics behind 3D graphics; I think this is good. 3D Game Engine Design would certainly find a prime place on my bookshelf. --Dominic Mallinson, Director of Technology, Research, and Development, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Virtually all the books on building 3D game engines cover the basics: here's a polygon, here's a transformation matrix, here's a perspective projection, and so on. The problem is that you can't make a professional quality game with just the basics. This leaves a large gap between you and your goal of creating a great game engine. With this book, Dave is launching a huge boulder into the gap, helping you scamper to your destination. Managing a generalized 3D environment in real-time is difficult, the book covers a complete set of high-end techniques to do the job. For example, if you want to find collisions between the swept volumes of two oriented bounding volumes as they fly through space go to page 194. I think most game companies would be lucky to come anywhere close to this level of sophistication. I loved Appendix A, "Object-Oriented Infrastructure." It covers many of the software-engineering issues we have had to solve over the years; things like objects with multiple references being managed by a reference count semaphore. --Eric Yiskis, Lead Programmer, Oddworld Inhabitants

[3D Game Engine Design] presents an incredible amount of difficult and complex information in a clear and understandable manner. --Ian Ashdown, University of British Columbia

Well done...definately a must-have reference for the budding 3D engine developer. --Peter Lipson, Mindscape

Before reading the chapters, [the table of contents] engaged me and I said to myself , "I'm going to learn a lot from this book." I'm inclined to recommend this to my undergraduates who want to have a reference for 3D graphics programming. --Jahn Laird, University of Michigan

This book will serve as a welcome resource for game programmers who wish to work at the cutting edge of their trade. It is a remarkably comprehensive and elegant guide to the construction of interactive 3D environments at a professional level. Drawing on the latest advances in real-time rendering and software engineering, Eberly astutely brings game engine development into the 21st century. --Sherry McKenna, CEO Oddworld Inhabitants

Dave Eberly has written the definitive book on real-time 3D game engine design. It's a must-have for anyone who writes real-time 3D code. --Franz Lanzinger, Actual Entertainment

In an industry where quality information is extremely difficult to come by, Dave Eberly has managed to compile a desperately needed perspective for those programming the most critical link in the game production process: the game engine. This book should be mandatory reading for all aspiring game engine designers. --Lorne Lanning, Cofounder and President, Oddworld Inhabitants

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