3D Computer Graphics [With CDROM] Hardcover – Dec 6 1999
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The third edition of Alan Watt's 3D Computer Graphics, a bible of computer graphics, includes a CD-ROM full of examples and updated information on graphics and rendering algorithms. The book discusses many of the techniques that have evolved in the seven years since the previous edition was published.
3D Computer Graphics is a textbook, and it's designed for serious programmers creating graphics applications (not end users). Over the course of 16 sections, Watt introduces the concepts and implementation of computer imaging, from "Mathematical Fundamentals of Computer Graphics" to "Representation and Rendering" and ending with "Image-Based Rendering and Photo-Modeling." The last section, devoted to computer animation, includes methods for linked structures, collision detection, and particle animation (to name a few).
Although the topics are sometimes hard to grasp, Mr. Watt writes clearly and concisely, making generous use of diagrams to help convey the principles described in the text.
The accompanying CD-ROM includes over a dozen studies of computer graphics techniques and rendering algorithms. Presented in HTML, the exhaustive studies, each with a matrix of thumbnails, demonstrates the varied achievable results. One minor complaint here: although the thumbnails can be clicked to view a much larger image, the larger versions come in .tif format, which few (if any) Web browsers can view. Users will need another application to view them. Having the large image in .jpg format would have enabled the reader to view it in the already-open Web browser.
3D Computer Graphics is ideally suited to graphics programmers and researchers working to create new medical imaging devices; geological research systems; virtual structural testing systems for aircraft, cars, and spacecraft; or effects and photorealistic Hollywood animation. --Mike Caputo
From the Back Cover
* NEW! Chapter on Advanced Radiosity
* NEW! Chapter on Animation
* NEW! Chapter on Precalculation Techniques
* NEW! Material about real-time applications for high complexity, such as progressive mesh optimization, BSP tree, precalculation techniques, and photo-modeling techniques
* Enhanced coverage of advances in rendering
* Complete revision of material on animation
* Includes a CD-ROM with a 400 image study and several computer graphics programs
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
It's generally very easy to read and very informative. It has a good progression of topics that introduce the reader to graphics programming concepts.
The thing I most like about this is that it covers much of the foley and van dam book, but avoids the many irrelevant sections and is a little more to the point. It's like a more concise reference to that book, which is also one that I would recommend.
The only thing I don't like about the updated version is the new layout, typeface and style. The old version just seems so much more appealing to me.
If you program game or computer graphics, then this is a reliable book to have in your collection.
Unfortunately, for the beginner it's too overwhelming. There is relatively little coverage of linear algebra and the other mathematical basics needed for understanding much of what Watt is talking about. Often times, the author will mention a technique or subject of some sort about which a novice to the field will have no idea whatsoever. It gets confusing at times.
The chapters themselves are also organized in an "unusual" fashion- for instance, spline curves are introduced right at the beginning with an in-depth coverage sure to scare off anyone new to the field. More basic ideas- such as how 3d transformations actually work- are deferred until later chapters.
And while some chapters are quite well-written, the more advanced subjects (ray-tracing and radiosity) are often plunged into in-depth without enough preparation, leaving most readers scratching their heads as to what in the world is going on.
With all that said, Watt's book should prove useful to anyone reasonably familiar with 3D graphics who might be looking to understand more advanced concepts. It's a well-written book (aside from a few typos), just not one for the uninitiated.
Most recent customer reviews
This is no doubt a very good book, but as a professor who wants to use it as a textbook, I can't make a powerpoint lecture notes from this book for my class presentation. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2003
This is an excellent book for all those who want to delve into the theory and process of computer graphics. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2001
The other reviews are right that this is not a beginner's book. However, it is a terrific book for those that are familiar with the basics of graphics and want to learn a very... Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2000 by Peter S. Shirley