More OpenGL Game Programming Paperback – Nov 1 2005
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About the Author
Dave Astle received his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah, where he specialized in graphics, artificial intelligence, networking, and compiler theory and design. He has been programming games professionally for several years, and is currently a senior engineer in the Gaming and Graphics group at QUALCOMM Inc. He is the cofounder and Executive Producer of GameDev.net, the leading online community for game developers. He is the co-author of OpenGL Game Programming, has contributed to several other game development books, and has spoken at industry conferences, including the Game Developers Conference. When not absorbing radiation from his monitor, Dave enjoys music, reading, skating, collecting rhinos (not real ones¿ yet), and playing with his five kids. He lives in San Diego, California.
Top Customer Reviews
I think there are a ton of great ideas that were helpful for me, I used this book more of a reference, like articles on topics not a book that one just reads through as some chapters have nothing to do with the other. I liked this as each topic was covered specifically.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
On the plus side, portions of the book are well written and informative. It is, in spite of it's shortcomings, one of the better books I've found for explaining a variety of GL techniques commonly used in games. It's a shame it doesn't live up to it's promise; if the authors had been a little more diligent in completing the project before publishing it, it could have been a world-beater. Instead it's just another slightly below average disappointment.
I also have a real problem with the fact that the author is writing reviews (typically 4 star ratings) for books that his own organisation is involved in publishing. If that isn't a conflict of interest I don't know what is. I feel Amazon compromises their credibility by allowing clearly non-objective 'reviews' to be listed with the books. If the author wants to write a little blurb, thats fine, but don't let them rate products they have a financial interest in.
The book is structured as a series of articles of varying lengths addressing a large number of advanced topics in graphics. It starts with giving better methods to store and pass data around than in the previous volume, which can be applied to all of the techniques thereafter. A few small articles about mildly interesting topics serve as appetizers to the main course: shaders. The author clearly recognizes the importance of shaders and spends a fitting amount of time discussing them. The examples start out simple and demonstrate practical uses of shaders, making sure the reader comes out of these large chapters with a working knowledge of what shaders are for and how to use them.
With shaders mastered, the rest of the book dives into a feast of useful graphics techniques and tricks. It effectively covers the various solutions available to common graphical goals and effectively conveys when they can and can't be used, their costs and benefits, and other important information that not only helps implement but also helps the reader decide when to use each technique for the best effect.
Don't underestimate this book; it is massive as well as meaty. If you are passionate about computer graphics you won't be able to skip a page. If you're a professional, this book is full of valuable reference material and details about implementing the latest innovations in graphics. This book doesn't have a place on my bookshelf; it has a place on my desk.
That said, the only thing that is badly lacking is the source code. The book does not come with a CD, but rather allows the reader to download source code from the author's website. The included examples are fairly well-constructed, but the code base is incomplete. Most depressingly, the source code for the shader wrapper - which the author uses in most of the code examples for shaders - is not available currently. While having the interface design is nice, it does require that the reader implement it in order to directly copy the code examples from the book, which might feel tedious when one is anxious to actually start messing around with shaders. However don't think that the source code is totally useless; there's a good deal of useful source on the web site to sift through.
The complaints out of the way I must reiterate that this is the best graphics book I have seen available and was worth not only every penny but more. I strongly recommend "More OpenGL Game Programming" to to student who's looking to take amateur graphics programming to the professional level or the professional looking for a good resource for the latest graphics techniques used in games today.
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