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Managed DirectX 9 Kick Start: Graphics and Game Programming [Paperback]

Tom Miller
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 24 2003 0672325969 978-0672325960 1

Managed DirectX was released with the latest version of the core DirectX libraries in DirectX9. It enables developers using the new .NET languages (i.e. C#, VB.NET, etc.) to develop rich multimedia applications with DirectX. Unfortunately the Managed DirectX runtime was released without adequate documentation, and developers are having a hard time figuring out the best way to write managed applications. This book covers how to use the Managed DirectX objects, how they differ from the core DirectX libraries, and how to create these rich multimedia applications in C#. It also covers in depth graphics techniques and the new high-level shader language shipping with DirectX9.

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About the Author

Tom Miller is the development lead for Managed DirectX, as well as the designer of the API. He has worked on the DirectX team for the last four years, including the SDK team writing samples, as well as the DirectX for Visual Basic team. Previously at Microsoft, he worked on the Visual Basic and Office teams.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CONCISE May 27 2004
CONCISE is one of the two words that come to mind, and naturally, KNOWLEDGEABLE is the other. The only flaw I can find is about some lack of "overview" of the process that may result from the "discovery" approach the author uses, but that, we can live with it... only if the index was not itself also too "concise". That depreciates the book "as reference" a little bit (but anyhow, the help file should be the ultimate reference).
For the very good points of the book, the book does not stay evasive and superficial, it travels over all the main various points that DirectX can deliver, in a refreshing way... with illustration of common "problem" while you proceed, which can be very useful futher on when you are alone and confronted to the same "problem pattern": hey, all my stuff is black... oh, yes, in chapter one Tom Miller also got that problem at some point... etc. And the book proceed fast, very fast. A standard book covering the same matter would probably be in three large tomes, but the style of the author delivers the juice within far less pages. That is not neccessary to say the reader can walk through all the stuff in much less time, on the other hand, since you can't read absent mindly any paragraph. Another great stuff is that the author SHARES his experience, that is something I really appreciate, since you also acquire a sense of do and avoid, much more than the traditionnal approach of doing a program, one way (without seeing the "wrong ways" you can soon or later fall upon). Sure, the code does not seem to be always optimized for execution, but that is probably wanted for a better illustrattion of concepts (simplicity over optimization).
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This book truely is what it claims to be: A kickstart! It moves fast and may give people who are not familiar with Visual Studio .NET a hard time keeping up. But this is what I really liked about this book! You want to learn how to program? Find a different book! You want to get into DirectX development? Look no further!
Just the first chapter explains more than practically any other book about Managed DirectX I have read. Sure, it doesn't have all the long and ellaborate explanations some of the other books have. But for some reason, I still felt like a had a better understanding of how to do things the 'right way' after reading this book. This may have to do with the fact that the author of the book is also the author of the API.
The book covers a lot of ground. Most of the chapters deal with Direct3D (which is what I was interested in), although the author does touch on other subjects such as DirectInput. The pace is fast and the author covers the whole range from primitive drawing techniques to using higher level concepts, such as meshes, and eve the HLSL (high level shader language), which many would consider an advanced topic. Well, I do anyway... ;-)
The book doesn't just provide shallow introductions. In fact, the author doesn't even shy away from topics such as skeletal anomation of meshes, or writing pixel and vertex shaders to create specular highlights and per-pixel lighting effects.
Well done! This book will explain a lot, and it does so quickly. However, if you have no experience with 3d graphics at all, you may want to follow up with another book, such as 'Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DX9' by Frank D.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but good enough. March 20 2004
By Max
Managed DirectX 9 Kick Start has a few problems, but the important thing to keep in mind is that it's good enough to learn the material. There writing is a little annoying (Miller says 'naturally' and 'quite simply' several times per page), and I personally do not like the programming style he used, but the listings in the book are fine and the explanations make it clear what he's doing.
The most significant issue I found was that Miller took an extremely procedural, nonfunctional approach to the code examples, which makes them much less readable. If they had been more object-oriented it would have been easier to understand and quicker to type.
Also, if you happen to use Visual Basic (I don't know why you'd do such a thing, but...), beware: the CD has VB code in it, but the book does not.
I recommend this book it to anyone who is comfortable with C# and is prepared to do a little work to figure some of the things that aren't explained in great depth, just make sure you go into it with a good grasp of the language.
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This book delivers what the title says it should, that being a good overview of how to use the DirectX classes of the .NET DirectX SDK. Some of the 3D math and terminology is a little intimidating, but having a good base in C# and casually reading about graphics hardware from time to time, it only required that I read more carefully and actually write the code samples.
I was pleased to see a complete application in one chapter that shows how to write a game. While not insanely complex, it does give you a great overview on how make 3D objects do stuff in space.
The order of topics covered is logical and fairly complete, though having some small bit of background in using .NET's network classes, I'm not entirely sure if the networking stuff is entirely necessary (though it certainly is a lot easier to follow than the normal base classes).
One annoying thing... annoying enough to make me write about it, is that the author has uses the words "quite simply," "naturally" and "easily" in every other sentence. I don't know how that got through editorial review. Of course the subject matter is all of those things to the author... he wrote the managed DirectX classes! It is only an issue of style, but it's so frequent that it's a distraction.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!
This book is amazing! If you are looking for a touch up on C#, look somewhere else, becuase this book does exactly what it states in the title. Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Brian Reinhart
5.0 out of 5 stars A no brainier
This book gives everything to you in the perfect size bites, each with its own special sauce. He explains things to you with a "watch THIS" enthusiasm. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Philip J. Ludington
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better books on managed directx
It's a pretty good introductory book on Managed Directx 9. If you have studied basic linear algebra and physics before, you wouldn't have any trouble understanding the topics in... Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by Javax
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is a great book. The author clearly knows a lot about the material, and explains it in a very concise way. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Lars Thomas Denstad
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This is an amazing book. It clearly explained how to create polygons, add lighting, etc. It may help to have a basic understanding of 3-d graphics before reading this book. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2003 by Nick
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to the DX Managed API
This book is great if you wish to get a good introduction to the Managed DirectX API itself. If you have no previous experience of 3D coding, this is not the book for you. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2003 by Jonas Risbrandt
2.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't follow the examples
When readng through this book, the later examples for the Dogder game do not work. There is errata in the book that prevents proper execution. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2003 by Gp
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book on Managed DirectX arounf
TOTALLY Complete and VERY Easy to understand; what else could I say? The book can be understood by starters (with a little effort); and go deep on most of the topics, so even the... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2003 by Alexandre Lobão
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
It's a bit difficult to compare this book with other MDX books since there are so few. Let me start with what this book does not do. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by P. H. Mason
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