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Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0C: A Shader Approach [Paperback]

Frank Luna
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 7 2006 Wordware Game and Graphics Library
Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0c: A Shader Approach presents an introduction to programming interactive computer graphics, with an emphasis on game development, using real-time shaders with DirectX 9.0. The book is divided into three parts that explain basic mathematical and 3D concepts, show how to describe 3D worlds and implement fundamental 3D rendering techniques, and demonstrate the application of Direct3D to create a variety of special effects.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Direct3D Nov. 12 2006
"A Shader Approach" is an excellent book for the intermediate programmer who wants to learn how to do 3D graphics using direct3D V9. The book uses the new flexible "shaders" supported by Direct3D V9. This means that you must have a video card that supports Directx9. All sample code also requires MS Visual studio C++ 2005, but MS gives away the express version of Visual Studio, which will compile all the sample code.

The book is well organised, with each chapter building on the previous in a logical fashion. The book does not waste pages and pages duplicating source code, but generally shows only the key parts of the source code in the book with relevant parts highlighted. The text explains the concepts and methods clearly if a bit dryly. The samples are kept simple to make the concepts being taught clear, but the text does point out differences and additions that a real application would require.

Basic 3D math is explained first. Next how to do the basic windows and d3d initialisation is shown. A simple but effective framework is used for all the sample code. The book next explains all the key parts of how a 3D image is rendered. A logical progression of techniques is taught with more advanced techniques, such as shadows and displacement mapping covered in later chapters.

Each chapter ends with exercises that will greatly increase your understanding of the chapter's contents. Only the bare minimum of other directX libraries (sound, input, etc...) are covered. This book is strictly for learning Direct3D. Direct Input is briefly touched on, but you will have to seek other sources to learn the other libraries in directX.

This book will teach you all you need to get started creating Direct3D applications.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for anyone wanting to learn Direct X, HLSL and other game concepts Jan. 1 2007
By Jonathan Stichbury - Published on
Overall this is an exceptionally well written book. The text is easy to read, and concise, though that's not to say you understand everything the first time you read it.

The code framework is also pretty good, the naming conventions are decent and the code is clearly written. The framework is consistent throughout the book, and uses inheritance and minor polymorphism which manages to hide a lot of the Direct3D / Win32 initialization, so once you are past these chapters you needn't concern yourself with this code again, and you can intend focus on the code that Frank is trying to explain.

The design is also very modular, a good example of this is found in Chapter 21: Exercise 4 where it asks you to integrate an Environment Mapped sphere for the sky, and Normal mapped water, into a scene which shows a Castle and trees / grass. This was pretty easy, as it just required shifting a few art / source files and tying some loose ends.

The book contains many exercises, a lot of which I found very helpful in understanding the material presented in the text and code samples, they give a good sense of accomplishment and I recommend them if you want to fully understand the concepts taught, and most are generally doable with a bit of research into the DirectX SDK, and rereading the text.

The text also does an excellent job of explaining key DirectX functions, and is usually a lot more approachable than the SDK. It also explains the use of the DirectX texture tool, and Terragen ( a free terrain generator, which is very easy to use)

For anyone looking to learn DirectX 9, HLSL, and the fundamental concepts behind games, then this book will serve as a solid foundation for those willing to take the time to read and understand it.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is nicely laid out! Aug. 23 2006
By Jeffrey S. Hartman - Published on
I have been publishing 2-d and flash games for a bit, and now need to hit DirectX for 3d again (stopped at v8) and need to catch up. There were several things I needed for the new game project starting and it was easy to find all of them right off the bat. I checked first in the index. e.g. I need landscape/terrain generation, .x file loading, and concepts described in pure mathematics (not pseudo code) before showing the actual code. Don't be afraid of matrix math/calculus and get this book. It is a total re-write from the ground up of a previous book. I like this guy.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book for learning how to use DirectX9 Dec 23 2006
By Chris Long - Published on
This is a great book. Mr. Luna provides an incredible amount of information all with good detail and clear wording. He doesn't waste time by teaching you irrelevant or outdated topics that aren't used anymore like other books. The more difficult topics are explained well and example code is abundant. This book is recommended for any aspiring game programmer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best technical books I've ever read May 19 2007
By Santosh Sarillon - Published on
I'm a software developer and am going to start working in games development shortly. I needed to get up-to-speed on DirectX 9.0c for games development really fast, and I thought I would have to take an expensive course at the local university to do so. After just completing the first 4 chapters of this book, I've changed my mind. This book has everything you would want to get a solid introduction into 3D games development. If you have any ambition to enter this field, get this book, and if you're a first-time game graphics developer like me, read it from front to back. You won't reget it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for DirectX, but missing some key ingredients March 1 2008
By Jeremy Cowles - Published on
First, I would like to say that this book is very well written and extensive. It covers all the basics of rendering in 3D with DirectX, especially how to use shaders, which some other intro books gloss over. As each part of the D3D framework is presented the objects, settings and parameters are explained in great detail. As other reviewers mentioned, it also includes a rudimentary framework, however don't expect too much in that respect. The framework is not something you can run a game on, it exists only as a teaching tool (I'm referring to the simple framework that the examples are presented with, not the WorldWare engine).

Having said that, there are two down sides to this book. The first is that although D3D is explained in depth, it sometimes reads like Direct3D reference documentation - endless lists of parameter A does blah, blah blah, parameter B does blah blah blah. This is helpful, don't get me wrong - I just wish it was tucked away in an appendix. Unless the parameters do something surprising, I don't want the obvious explained to me. This may just be a personal preference, and you may actually find it helpful.

The second and bigger problem is that the book really doesn't address game state management or how to structure a *real world* game. It does tell you how to create particle systems, bone animation, texture effects, terrains, etc, but it never tells you how to put it all together, which is really not trivial. I wouldn't fault it for this if the name of the book were "Introduction to DirectX programming", but it's called "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX". In my opinion, it should cover the basics of how to structure a game, which it doesn't. You *will* be able to build a game after reading this book, but I found myself turning to online tutorials for game state management and how to organize objects, which should be the first thing you learn (in my opinion).

Overall, the book has been a very important reference to me and I highly recommend it.
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