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GPU Gems 3 Hardcover – Sep 12 2007


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About the Author

Hubert Nguyen, Manager of Developer Education at NVIDIA, is a graphics engineer who worked in the NVIDIA Demo Team before moving to his current position. His work is featured on the covers of GPU Gems (Addison-Wesley, 2004) and GPU Gems 2 (Addison-Wesley, 2006).

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It has been only three years since the first GPU Gems book was introduced, and some areas of real-time graphics have truly become ultrarealistic. Chapter 14, “Advanced Techniques for Realistic Real-Time Skin Rendering,” illustrates this evolution beautifully, describing a skin rendering technique that works so well that the data acquisition and animation will become the most challenging problem in rendering human characters for the next couple of years.

All this progress has been fueled by a sustained rhythm of GPU innovation. These processing units continue to become faster and more flexible in their use. Today’s GPUs can process enormous amounts of data and are used not only for rendering 3D scenes, but also for processing images or performing massively parallel computing, such as financial statistics or terrain analysis for finding new oil fields.

Whether they are used for computing or graphics, GPUs need a software interface to drive them, and we are in the midst of an important transition. The new generation of APIs brings additional orthogonality and exposes new capabilities such as generating geometry programmatically. On the computing side, the CUDA architecture lets developers use a C-like language to perform computing tasks rather than forcing the programmer to use the graphics pipeline. This architecture will allow developers without a graphics background to tap into the immense potential of the GPU.

More than 200 chapters were submitted by the GPU programming community, covering a large spectrum of GPU usage ranging from pure 3D rendering to nongraphics applications. Each of them went through a rigorous review process conducted both by NVIDIA’s engineers and by external reviewers.

We were able to include 41 chapters, each of which went through another review, during which feedback from the editors and peer reviewers often significantly improved the content. Unfortunately, we could not include some excellent chapters, simply due to the space restriction of the book. It was difficult to establish the final table of contents, but we would like to thank everyone who sent a submission.

Intended Audience

For the graphics-related chapters, we expect the reader to be familiar with the fundamentals of computer graphics including graphics APIs such as DirectX and OpenGL, as well as their associated high-level programming languages, namely HLSL, GLSL, or Cg. Anyone working with interactive 3D applications will find in this book a wealth of applicable techniques for today’s and tomorrow’s GPUs.

Readers interested in computing and CUDA will find it best to know parallel computing concepts. C programming knowledge is also expected.

Trying the Code Samples

GPU Gems 3 comes with a disc that includes samples, movies, and other demonstrations of the techniques described in this book. You can also go to the book’s Web page to find the latest updates and supplemental materials: developer.nvidia.com/gpugems3.


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Procedural terrains have traditionally been limited to height fields that are generated by the CPU and rendered by the GPU. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A five star book for advanced graphics programmers only Aug. 24 2007
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It seems to me that this edition of GPU Gems is a step up from Volume 2. The articles are much better illustrated with more pseudocode and with the background mathematics better explained than in the previous edition. Like the other books in the series, there is not enough complete information to write an application from start to finish, but if you have a background in computer graphics it should be enough to get you started. However, the entire book assumes that you are already a professional graphics programmer well-versed in some higher-level language that also has a good grasp of advanced mathematics and even some physics. For example, a knowledge of partial differential equations is required to completely understand the chapter on real-time simulation and rendering of 3D fluids. Other chapters require a background in digital signal processing. It is also assumed that the reader is famililar with graphics API such as DirectX or OpenGL and their associated high-level programming languages - HLSL,GLSL, or Cg. Therefore it will probably be the rare individual that will be able to fully comprehend and utilize the entire book. I would recommend this book for the professional graphics programmer to add to their reference library. The following is the detailed table of contents and the contributors in each case:

Part I - GEOMETRY
Chapter 1: Generating Complex Procedural Terrains Using the GPU
Ryan Geiss, NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 2: Animated Crowd Rendering
Bryan Dudash, NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 3: DirectX 10 Blend Shapes: Breaking the Limits
Tristan Lorach, NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 4: Next-Generation SpeedTree Rendering
Alexander Kharlamov, Iain Cantlay, Yury Stepanenko - NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 5: Generic Adaptive Mesh Refinement
Tamy Boubekeur, Christophe Schlick - University of Bordeaux

Chapter 6: GPU-Generated Procedural Wind Animations for Trees
Renaldas Zioma, Electronic Arts/Digital Illusions CE

Chapter 7: Point-Based Visualization of Metaballs on a GPU
Kees van Kooten, Gino van den Bergen - Playlogic Game Factory
Alex Telea, Eindhoven University of Technology

PART 2 - LIGHTS AND SHADOWS
Chapter 8: Summed-Area Variance Shadow Maps
Andrew Lauritzen, University of Waterloo

Chapter 9: Interactive Cinematic Relighting with Global Illumination
Fabio Pellacini, Dartmouth College
Milos Hasan, Kavita Bala - Cornell University

Chapter 10: Parallel-Split Shadow Maps on Programmable GPUs
Fan Zhang, Hanqiu Sun - The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Oskari Nyman, Helsinki University of Technology

Chapter 11: Efficient and Robust Shadow Volumes Using Hierarchical Occlusion Culling and Geometry Shaders
Martin Stich, mental images
Carsten Wächter, Alexander Keller - Ulm University

Chapter 12: High-Quality Ambient Occlusion
Jared Hoberock, Yuntao Jia - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chapter 13: Volumetric Light Scattering as a Post-Process
Kenny Mitchell, Electronic Arts

PART 3 - RENDERING
Chapter 14: Advanced Techniques for Realistic Real-Time Skin Rendering
Eugene d'Eon, David Luebke - NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 15: Playable Universal Capture
George Borshukov, Jefferson Montgomery, John Hable - Electronic Arts

Chapter 16: Vegetation Procedural Animation and Shading in Crysis
Tiago Sousa, Crytek

Chapter 17: Robust Multiple Specular Reflections and Refractions
Tamás Umenhoffer, BLászló Szirmay-Kalos - Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Gustavo Patow, University of Girona

Chapter 18: Relaxed Cone Stepping for Relief Mapping
Fabio Policarpo, Perpetual Entertainment
Manuel M. Oliveira, Instituto de Informática--UFRGS

Chapter 19: Deferred Shading in Tabula Rasa
Rusty Koonce, NCsoft Corporation

Chapter 20: GPU-Based Importance Sampling
Mark Colbert, University of Central Florida
Jaroslav Kr¡ivánek, Czech Technical University in Prague

PART 4 - IMAGE EFFECTS
Chapter 21: True Impostors
Eric Risser, University of Central Florida

Chapter 22: Baking Normal Maps on the GPU
Diogo Teixeira, Move Interactive

Chapter 23: High-Speed, Off-Screen Particles
Iain Cantlay, NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 24: The Importance of Being Linear
Larry Gritz, Eugene d'Eon, NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 25: Rendering Vector Art on the GPU
Charles Loop, Jim Blinn - Microsoft Research

Chapter 26: Object Detection by Color: Using the GPU for Real-Time Video Image Processing
Ralph Brunner, Frank Doepke, Bunny Laden - Apple

Chapter 27: Motion Blur as a Post-Processing Effect
Gilberto Rosado, Rainbow Studios

Chapter 28: Practical Post-Process Depth of Field
Earl Hammon, Jr., Infinity Ward

PART 5 - PHYSICS SIMULATION
Chapter 29: Real-Time Rigid Body Simulation on GPUs
Takahiro Harada, University of Tokyo

Chapter 30: Real-Time Simulation and Rendering of 3D Fluids
Keenan Crane, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ignacio Llamas, Sarah Tariq - NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 31: Fast N-Body Simulation with CUDA
Lars Nyland, Mark Harris - NVIDIA Corporation
Jan Prins, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapter 32: Broad-Phase Collision Detection with CUDA
Scott Le Grand, NVIDIA Corporation

Chapter 33: LCP Algorithms for Collision Detection Using CUDA
Peter Kipfer, Havok

Chapter 34: Signed Distance Fields Using Single-Pass GPU Scan Conversion of Tetrahedra
Kenny Erleben, University of Copenhagen
Henrik Dohlmann, 3Dfacto R&D

PART 6 - GPU COMPUTING
Chapter 35: Fast Virus Signature Matching on the GPU
Elizabeth Seamans, Juniper Networks
Thomas Alexander, Polytime

Chapter 36: AES Encryption and Decryption on the GPU
Takeshi Yamanouchi, SEGA Corporation

Chapter 37: Efficient Random Number Generation and Application Using CUDA
Lee Howes, David Thomas - Imperial College London

Chapter 38: Imaging Earth's Subsurface Using CUDA
Bernard Deschizeaux, Jean-Yves Blanc, CGGVeritas

Chapter 39: Parallel Prefix Sum (Scan) with CUDA
Mark Harris, NVIDIA Corporation
Shubhabrata Sengupta, John D. Owens - University of California, Davis

Chapter 40: Incremental Computation of the Gaussian
Ken Turkowski, Adobe Systems

Chapter 41: Using the Geometry Shader for Compact and Variable-Length GPU Feedback
Franck Diard, NVIDIA Corporatiion
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Good book, i would like to see more code Oct. 14 2007
By Stefan Pettersson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The third version of the GPU Gems serie is also the best version i think. Every topic is up-to-date and gives the reader a lot to think about. I have read the whole book (some of the chapters i just skimmed through) and i must say that this book is good! The reason i only give it 4 stars is the disc that comes with it. Not every chapter comes with example code (only executables and/or videos)! To be able to take fully advantage of the book you have to know, among other things, 3D programming using Direct3D 10 already. The "Intended audience" should know the fundamentals of DirectX or OpenGL. I think it takes some more than just the fundamentals to be able do something good other than just copy-paste the code from the disc.

It's a good thing to read this book even if you are not an excellent programmer already. You will learn things that you will find hard to learn from somewhere else. Read the book to update yourself to the new generation of rendering.

Students; If you are looking for topics for bachelor or masters thesis, then this book has a lot of good examples, in theory, of what you can do to improve the techniques.

Pros/Cons
+ Covers new and good techniques
+ Easy to read, excellent!
+ Disc has some good and useful stuff

- Some techniques will be hard to implement if you are no expert because the chapters (not all!) are too shallow (writer assume that the reader knows a lot already).
- Some chapters come without (full) source code

Maybe this was not a precise review of the book but i tried to describe my view. Buy this book, it's really good and as a serious developer you should have this book on the shelf!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Even better, than GPU Gems 1/2 Nov. 28 2007
By Petr Sikachev - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though I had no time to read most of the articles, I can say that this book is even better than GPU 1/2. It is still more narrative than educational (comparing to ShaderX series), but nevertheless I got useful material from it.
For example, the methods for ray-marching (multiple robust reflections and refractions chapter) are going to be used in our company.
I would recommend it for all professionals in 3D graphics, image/video processing and GPU (GP GPU) computing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Free Online Version June 27 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
You can read this online for free at their website, [...]
Great book, especially when you consider you can get it for free.
Where is the sample code? Dec 20 2013
By Joel P. Croteau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is awesome, but I bought the kindle edition, and I cannot find any of the sample code, which is invaluable for properly using the book. It doesn't seem to be for download from nVidia either. The link given is broken, and finding the GPU Gems online copy on their website, I can't find a working link for sample code anywhere.


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