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Math for 3D Game Programming & Computer Graphics [Hardcover]

Eric Lengyel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics
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Book Description

Nov. 17 2003 Charles River Media Game Development
This completely updated second edition illustrates the mathematical concepts that a game programmer would need to develop a professional-quality 3D engine. Although the book is geared toward applications in game development, many of the topics appeal to general interests in 3D graphics. It starts at a fairly basic level in areas such as vector geometry and linear algebra, and then progresses to more advanced topics in 3D game programming such as illumination and visibility determination. Particular attention is given to derivations of key results, ensuring that the reader is not forced to endure gaps in the theory. The book assumes a working knowledge of trigonometry and calculus, but also includes sections that review the important tools used from these disciplines, such as trigonometric identities, differential equations, and Taylor series.

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About the Author

Eric Lengyel is a veteran of the computer games industry with over 16 years of experience writing game engines. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Davis and an MS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech. Eric is the founder of Terathon Software, where he currently leads ongoing development of the C4 Engine.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference for any 3D graphics work. June 30 2004
Format:Hardcover
Finally, no more searching through all my college math textbooks for the reference I need for real-time 3D software development. The basics of vectors and matrices are of course included, but in much more depth than you got in school, more than likely - and with emphasis on how they are useful in 3D game programming. So many game developers lack an intuitive feel for such basics as transformation matrices, dot products, and cross products and are hobbled by this; just read up to chapter three and the lights will go on, so to speak. The chapter on lighting is particularly, well, enlightening - not only are the various lighting models explained in detail (including some I was unfamiliar with before), but the author provides means for accomplishing them in real-time using texture and vertex shaders.
The notation used in the book is modern and consistent, and the code samples clearly written. I believe this is the first volume to combine complete mathematical explanations of essential 3D computer graphics operations with practical advice on how to implement the sometimes complex math efficiently in real-time systems.
The chapters on picking and collision detection are also complete and include practical advice on implementation in addition to the theory behind it.
This is not a book for most high school math students - the author assumes you've at least been through some higher level math and can talk the basic language of mathematics. However, it does not presuppose that you are familiar with anything but basic calculus, and more importantly, it doesn't assume that you're familiar with some quirky notational system specific to the author. I haven't been in a math class for ten years, but I had no trouble understanding any concepts introduced in this book upon the first read.
I don't forsee this volume leaving my desk anytime soon!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! March 6 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book explain the mathematics behind a game engine, and it does it pretty well. If you are looking for code to cut and paste into your programs, then this book is not for you. But if you want to really anderstand the theory, it has, in my opinion, a very good balance between explanations, demonstrations and examples.
I got this book because my math was a little 'rusty' and it does a perfect job in bringing all this stuff back in memory, and mutch more as I discover a lot of new stuff and how it can be used in a game engine. I really enjoy this book!
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference for any 3D graphics work. June 30 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Finally, no more searching through all my college math textbooks for the reference I need for real-time 3D software development. The basics of vectors and matrices are of course included, but in much more depth than you got in school, more than likely - and with emphasis on how they are useful in 3D game programming. So many game developers lack an intuitive feel for such basics as transformation matrices, dot products, and cross products and are hobbled by this; just read up to chapter three and the lights will go on, so to speak. The chapter on lighting is particularly, well, enlightening - not only are the various lighting models explained in detail (including some I was unfamiliar with before), but the author provides means for accomplishing them in real-time using texture and vertex shaders.
The notation used in the book is modern and consistent, and the code samples clearly written. I believe this is the first volume to combine complete mathematical explanations of essential 3D computer graphics operations with practical advice on how to implement the sometimes complex math efficiently in real-time systems.
The chapters on picking and collision detection are also complete and include practical advice on implementation in addition to the theory behind it.
This is not a book for most high school math students - the author assumes you've at least been through some higher level math and can talk the basic language of mathematics. However, it does not presuppose that you are familiar with anything but basic calculus, and more importantly, it doesn't assume that you're familiar with some quirky notational system specific to the author. I haven't been in a math class for ten years, but I had no trouble understanding any concepts introduced in this book upon the first read.
I don't forsee this volume leaving my desk anytime soon!
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Math majors rejoice March 1 2007
By GameMaker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
To be honest, while I find this book to be a decent reference, I find it to be pretty inaccessible in terms of sitting down and reading through it in an attempt to learn the concepts. As a non-math major (I'm actually an engineer and software developer) these math concepts are by no means beyond me. But rather than simply being presented with equation after equation, proof after proof, what I find a lot more valuable is more discussion on the usage of these equations. Specifically I'd like to see examples, diagrams, and code, and there is precious little of any of that in this book.

In other words, this book is very much like what you expect to find in a very dry upper devision college math text for the consumption of math majors who are used to such things. But for a non math major just trying to make use of these concepts in order to get the job done and make games? eh, not so much.

Still, I do think this book is useful as a reference when I want to look up an equation as there are a ton of them crammed into this book, but for me, I just don't find this book to be very good as a learning tool.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is fantastic Aug. 3 2004
By Waylon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is great. Its material is well explained, the topics covered are complete (for the most part), and the examples make sense. It is a fantastic reference that should be on the shelf of any professional game programmer or aspiring game programmer. However, this book isn't a hand holding guide to making "cool" games, as some reviewers expected it to be. There is no single book for that. There are so many topics to cover, it would be impossible to put them all into one text. Please don't be fooled by reviews from non-professionals, as this book is a must have. For a list of beginner books to give yourself an introduction to game programming, feel free to send me an email.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! March 6 2004
By Guillaume Schmid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book explain the mathematics behind a game engine, and it does it pretty well. If you are looking for code to cut and paste into your programs, then this book is not for you. But if you want to really anderstand the theory, it has, in my opinion, a very good balance between explanations, demonstrations and examples.
I got this book because my math was a little 'rusty' and it does a perfect job in bringing all this stuff back in memory, and mutch more as I discover a lot of new stuff and how it can be used in a game engine. I really enjoy this book!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first edition Oct. 5 2004
By Dave Astle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I gave the first edition of this book a 5 star rating, so considering that the second edition provides updates to the original as well as four new chapters, it's no surprise that the second edition earns a 5 star rating as well.

The new material includes a brief but informative chapter covering graphics pipeline essentials. This should make the book somewhat more accessible for beginners - though it'll still be daunting for someone without at least high school level math. The shadow volume coverage from the first book has been broken out into its own chapter and greatly expanded. The remaining two chapters are dedicated to numerical methods and curves and surfaces.

If you already own the first edition of the book, then the updates and new chapters probably aren't worth the cost. Otherwise, considering that they retail at the same price, there's no reason not to get this edition instead of the first. It's an excellent resource for anyone who wants a deep and broad knowledge of 3D math.
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