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Customer Review

on 13 August 2003
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!
10 people found this helpful
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3.5 out of 5 stars