For any developer that has experienced Alias|Wavefront Maya, Bryce or Softimage and wants to take the dive into nitty gritty of rendering engines you will find no better guide. Matt and Greg comprehensively cover more than a thousand pages of content and for each topic, whether it be cylinders & spheres, the refraction of different materials or the antialiasing techniques and in each case they show - by example - how the mathematical theories are applied in practice and how to convert the models into C++ with plenty of hands on opportunities with the pbrt ray tracer. pbrt itself is fairly robust and includes a great set of plugins such as a Maya Exporter to export scenes from Maya in the pbrt format.
Also of mention - the book quality is top notch with plenty of quality full color images which do justice to the 3d shapes & scenes. The paper can be a bit thin and see-through but that is the tradeoff to make a book of this depth.
Table of contents for the second edition:
CHAPTER 01. INTRODUCTION - pbrt: System Overview
CHAPTER 02. GEOMETRY AND TRANSFORMATIONS - Coordinate Systems, Vectors, Arithmetic, Scaling, Transformations Rays...
CHAPTER 03. SHAPES - Spheres, Cylinders, Disks, Triangles and Meshes...
CHAPTER 04. PRIMITIVES AND INTERSECTION ACCELERATION - Aggregates, Grid Accelerator, Bounding Volume Hierarchies
CHAPTER 05. COLOR AND RADIOMETRY
CHAPTER 06. CAMERA MODELS
CHAPTER 07. SAMPLING AND RECONSTRUCTION
CHAPTER 08. REFLECTION MODELS
CHAPTER 09. MATERIALS - Bump Mapping...
CHAPTER 10. TEXTURE
CHAPTER 11. VOLUME SCATTERING - Volume Scattering Processes
CHAPTER 12. LIGHT SOURCES -Light Interface, Visibility Testing, Point Lights, Spotlights...
CHAPTER 13. MONTE CARLO INTEGRATION I: BASIC CONCEPTS
CHAPTER 14. MONTE CARLO INTEGRATION II: IMPROVING EFFICIENCY - Russian Roulette and Splitting
CHAPTER 15. LIGHT TRANSPORT I: SURFACE REFLECTION - Direct Lighting, Path Tracing
CHAPTER 16. LIGHT TRANSPORT II: VOLUME RENDERING - Subsurface Scattering
CHAPTER 17. LIGHT TRANSPORT III: PRECOMPUTED LIGHT TRANSPORT - Spherical Harmonics, Radiance Probes...
CHAPTER 18. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION