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Game Physics [Hardcover]

David H. Eberly
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 8 2003 1558607404 978-1558607408 1
Game Physics is an introduction to the ideas and techniques needed to create physically realistic 3D graphic environments. As a companion volume to Dave Eberly's industry standard 3D Game Engine Design, Game Physics shares a similar practical approach and format. Dave includes simulations to introduce the key problems involved and then gradually reveals the mathematical and physical concepts needed to solve them. He then describes all the algorithmic foundations and uses code examples and working source code to show how they are implemented, culminating in a large collection of physical simulations. This book tackles the complex, challenging issues that other books avoid, including Lagrangian dynamics, rigid body dynamics, impulse methods, resting contact, linear complementarity problems, deformable bodies, mass-spring systems, friction, numerical solution of differential equations, numerical stability and its relationship to physical stability, and Verlet integration methods. Dave even describes when real physics isn't necessary—and hacked physics will do.

*CD-ROM with extensive C++ source code that supports physical simulation. Operating Systems and compilers that are supported: Windows 2000/XP (Visual C++ versions 6, 7.0, and 7.1), Linux (g++ 3.x), Macintosh OS 10.3 (Xcode, CodeWarrior 9), SGI IRIX (Mips Pro 7.x), HP-UX (aCC), and Sun Solaris (g++ 3.x). The source is compatible with many game engines—including the Wild Magic engine, for which the complete source code is included.
*Contains sample applications for shader programs (OpenGL and DirectX), including deformation by vertex displacement, skin and bones for smooth object animation, rippling ocean waves with realistic lighting, refraction effects, Fresnel reflectance, and iridescence.
*Covers special topics not found elsewhere, such as linear complementarity problems and Lagrangian dynamics.
*Includes exercises for instructional use and a review of essential mathematics.

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"I keep at most a dozen reference texts within easy reach of my workstation computer. This book will replace two of them"—Ian Ashdown, President, byHeart Consultants Limited

Book Description

Dave Eberly's much anticipated sequel to his international bestseller on game engines.

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The first real experience I had with a "computing device" was in the early 1970s when I attended my first undergraduate college, Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, as a premedical student. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls short of its title March 16 2004
My interest is physics and physics simulations, not gaming per se...so my observations should be viewed in that light.

The main problem with this book is the treatment is incomplete, superficial, or just wrong (from a physics/math point of view), and the typical programmer/computer scientist is not likely to know it. I am reminded of the great fluid dynamicist von Karmen's definition of an engineer as that person who perpetuates the mistakes made by the previous generation. The REASON a game programmer can get away with this is that he is not testing his results by real experiment...his world is a computer generated simulation with arbitrary approximations to physical laws that the programmer deems to impose.

The other problem is that there are usually a multitude of techniques that one can pick to solve a given mechanics problem...and what would have been really valuable is if the author had shown why a particular method is better (for example, Newton's Laws vs. Lagrange's Equations) when the time comes to code the algorithm. We are not looking for Eberly primarily to teach us physics (but if he makes the attempt, it should be correct!)-that is always going to be the job of physics courses. Instead, he needs to tell us which method is useful for coding and why-this, sadly, he has not done.

As an illustration of what I mean...look at how Petzold in 'Programming Windows with C#' discuss the elementary process of using GDI+ to draw a curve. There are two approaches, using rectangular coordinates, or using parametric equations (polar coordinates). Petzold explains WHY the parametric approach is superior from a programming point of view.

Any advanced sophomore or junior physics student will know most of the physics presented here (classical mechanics)...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps Physicists Busy Jan. 3 2004
For many videogames that emulate the real world, an accurate use of physics has become essential to take advantage of players' intuition. In some ways, this is the next natural step beyond a realistic, real time rendition of images, as in Doom or Quake. Those and other games used simple optics and trigonometry to derive accurate images.
But as computers get more powerful, and players might find themselves driving cars, for example, then having these vehicles respond accurately when driven became the next logical step in simulation.
The book covers Newtonian mechanics, because that is what we are typically familiar with. If you are a physicist, you should recall that historically there were 2 great advances within this - Hamiltonian and Lagrangian methods. (Cf. Goldstein's "Classical Mechanics".) A little ironic, wouldn't you say, that now some jobs in applying these are for games?! Who would have thought it, some twenty years ago.
The book is good for helping you focus on what objects in the system you should be modelling. Part of your experience comes in deciding this level of detail. Actually, this is not restricted to games, but to any physical system that you are analysing.
The graphics in this book are really a secondary consideration. Stay focused. Model the system FIRST. Then attend to the views. Even though the views are what the player sees.
To this end, you should be pleased to know that the author sticks to graphics standards like OpenGL, which can be ported to most current computers. So you don't have to invest your time in learning some restricted graphics language.
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Undoubtedly this is a must-have for people who are serious about developing real-time computer graphics simulations with physically based modeling.
This book can be compared with Coutinho's "Dynamic Simulations of Multibody Systems". I believe the latter covers more materials, but Eberly's is easier to read. The book would be almost sufficient if you also have his previous book "3D Game Engine Design".
I am not sure why the author wrote chapter 4 and 6. I suppose these can be left out. It would have been more compact.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much Math, not enough Comp Sci Feb. 4 2011
By Ray
This book might as well just be a physics book for mathematicians, rather than calling itself "Game Physics". The one chapter in the whole book that actually sounded most likely to talk more about algorithms and code organization actually just turned out to be more math (for calculating object deflections). If you aren't a highly math inclined person, you would be better off to just look up these formulas online and implement them yourself...or do you really want to pay all this money and still do all the algorithm writing yourself?

5 stars for math but forget buying this book to implement games. Putting the word "game" in the title is just a way to attract buyers.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not for beginners Feb. 28 2004
By A Customer
Escrito para prefesores !
No es un libro que explique las cosas "con manzanitas".
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