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
About the Author
Alan Watt is a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Sheffield.