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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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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME! May 4 2004
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. It teaches you Managed DirectX 9.0b w/ summer update (included on CD). It assumes you already know the ins and outs of C# and would like to learn 3D and some 2D programming. (also includes some networking w/ direct Play).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A no brainier April 15 2004
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. The sidebar Shop Talk sections where very interesting with an almost behind the music quality to them. It is a great book because it isn't one of those "at the end of this book you'll have an engine" books that are typical. He's showing you the ropes so you can sort that kind of thing out for yourself. It's a no brainier that the book is good once you find out that Miller is the designer and development lead for Managed DirectX. I'd say it is the first book anyone just starting with graphics or game development should buy, assuming they are familiar with C#.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better books on managed directx April 14 2004
By Javax
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 book.
However, as the book title implies, it does not get in deep enough for you to start writing video games in 3D using MDX9 right away.
In overall, I am highly satisfied with the book but somewhat disappointed with the breadth and depth of the topics it covers.
I am very sure that the author's ready to release the next book on the advanced MDX topics and am ready to buy his next book as it comes out.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but good enough.
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. Read more
Published on March 20 2004 by Max
4.0 out of 5 stars Good "kick start," though style is a little annoying
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by Jeffrey Putz
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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