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WebGL Programming Guide: Interactive 3D Graphics Programming with WebGL (OpenGL) Paperback – 31 Jul 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • WebGL Programming Guide: Interactive 3D Graphics Programming with WebGL (OpenGL)
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  • Programming 3D Applications with HTML5 and WebGL: 3D Animation and Visualization for Web Pages
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Product details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; Pap/Psc edition (31 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321902920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321902924
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 3.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 451,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Kouichi Matsuda has a broad background in user interface and user experience design and its application to novel multimedia products. His work has taken him from product development, through research, and back to development, having spent time at NEC, Sony Corporate Research, and Sony Computer Science Laboratories. He is currently a chief distinguished researcher focused on user experience and human computer interaction across a range of consumer electronics. He was the designer of the social 3D virtual world called “PAW” (personal agent-oriented virtual world), was involved in the development of the VRML97 (ISO/IEC 14772-1:1997) standard from the start, and has remained active in both VRML and X3D communities (precursors to WebGL). He has written 15 books on computer technologies and translated a further 25 into Japanese. His expertise covers user experiences, user interface, human computer interaction, natural language understanding, entertainment-oriented network services, and interface agent systems. Always on the lookout for new and exciting possibilities in the technology space, he combines his professional life with a love of hot springs, sea in summer, wines, and MANGA (at which he dabbles in drawing and illustrations). He received his Ph.D. (Engineering) from the Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo.

Dr. Rodger Lea is an adjunct professor with the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre at the University of British Columbia, with an interest in systems aspects of multimedia and distributed computing. With more than 20 years of experience leading research groups in both academic and industrial settings, he has worked on early versions of shared 3D worlds, helped define VRML97, developed multimedia operating systems, prototyped interactive digital TV, and led developments on multimedia home networking standards. He has published more than 60 research papers and three books, and he holds 12 patents. His current research explores the growing "Internet of Things," but he retains a passion for all things media and graphics.

 


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On page 5, the authors state that "learning and using webgl is easy", sadly an assertion I find disingenuous. That said the authors then proceed to do their level best to prove they're right, but I think that the almost immediate use of helper libraries gives some indication of just how difficult using "raw" WebGL can be.

The book is part of the Addison Wesley OpenGL Technical Library and I found it far more readable and engaging than the other OpenGL books in the series. It provides a well paced step-by-step introduction to WebGL leading to more advanced topics, with plenty of relevant explanatory diagrams and well explained code samples.

WebGL is a mix of OpenGL, JavaScript (JS), HTML5 and (the C-like) OpenGL ES Shading Language (GLSL ES), with loosely typed JS and strongly typed GLES making particularly strange bedfellows. The book covers all these areas and clearly highlights and handles the marked differences between JS and GLSL ES.

I felt the only shortcomings were the lack of a fuller description of Built-In Special Variables and Constants (e.g. gl_Position) and, given the prevalence of mobile devices that can support WebGL, not covering android touch events seems a strange oversight. But these are very minor points and do not detract from the book.

While clearly "only" an introduction (and an excellent one at that) it's impressive just how much is covered. WebGL is a huge topic and it would be impossible to cover everything but it does a sterling job of covering the essentials. The topics covered are well judged and practical. I certainly found it to be more than adequate as a reference for the workshop I'm putting together and I'm looking forward to delving into it more deeply.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book WebGL is described in details so much that someone can think it is detailed too much. But I think it is good. Mostly for people who do not have experience in graphics. It uses same custom libraries made for this book, but you can use this libraries as additional source of learning and book says it will explain this libraries at the end of book. I have not finished reading it yet. But I like it already.
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Format: Paperback
I bought the WebGL Programming Guide after previously reading the excellent OpenGL Programming Guide (the iconic "Red Book") from the same series. The WebGL Programming Guide is a good introduction to WebGL, covering many fundamental 3D graphics topics. There are a few notable topics missing though, including calculation of surface normals using the cross product (although this is briefly mentioned in a footnote in chapter ten), specular reflection and cube map textures.

As other reviewers have commented, the authors have chosen to abstract out utility functions and matrix operations into helper libraries in the sample programs. Whilst I understand the reasons for this, I think the explanations of these libraries could have been more comprehensive. For example, the utility function for getting the WebGL context calls other functions in the Google webgl-utils library and Khronos webgl-debug library (the only reason that these libraries are imported by the sample programs), but this isn't explained in the book. In addition, the utility function for initialising shaders is not explained until chapter nine, despite being used in every example program in the book from chapter two onwards. The book also treats the methods in the matrix library inconsistently, both in terms of the level of mathematical explanation, and the formatting of method descriptions in different chapters.

Despite the minor criticisms above, I would still give the WebGL Programming Guide four stars. It covers everything needed to start developing interactive 3D graphics in WebGL.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book to get an overview of WebGL - comprehensive and easy to follow for anyone who have or have not worked with OpenGL.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Code in the book uses helper libraries written in japanese. Avoid this book if you want to learn to write your own code.
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