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Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX9 [Paperback]

Greg Snook
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 30 2003 Charles River Media Game Development
With recent advancements in programmable 3D rendering hardware, game developers can create engines capable of making complete outdoor landscapes. Many of today's popular games include entire outdoor environments, but making these environments realistic and fast is a challenge for even the best programmers. Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9 is written to help make the process more efficient, and to bring new programmers into the field of 3D computer game programming. The book is dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of programming a popular 3D engine type - the "Real-Time 3D Terrain Engine." Throughout the book, the focus is on the essential topics of outdoor terrain rendering. So whether you are new to 3D engine programming or a seasoned veteran, Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9 will teach you how to use the latest advancements in hardware-accelerated rendering, and provide all of the tips, tricks, and ideas you need to build your own, complete 3D terrain engine. Skills Needed: It is assumed that you are familiar with C++, Direct X, math, and geometry and that you're ready to move into 3D engine design and real-time terrain visualization.

Product Details

Product Description


PART I: A Foundation In 3d 1 Chapter1 Getting Started With Directx 9.0 Andd3dx Chapter 2 Fundamental 3d Objects Chapter 3 The High-Level Shader Language Chapter 4 Gaia Engine Overview PART II: Introduction To Terrain Systems 97 Chapter 5 World Management Chapter 6 Basic Terrain Geometry Chapter7 The Roam Terrain System Chapter 8 Tiled Geometry Techniques Chapter 9 Texturing Techniques PART III: Extending The Engine 221 Chapter 10 Big Sky Country Chapter 11 Rendering Outdoor Scenes Chapter 12 The 3d Gardener Chapter 13 Ocean Water Appendix A Gaia Utility Classes Appendix B Floating-Point Tricks Appendix C Programming Reference Sheets Appendix D Recommended Reading Appendix E About The CD-Rom

About the Author

Greg Snook (Sammamish, WA) has been a game programmer and artist for over eight years. He has worked on a number of successful games with several game development companies. He currently works as an Xbox programmer for Bungie Studios, and has contributed to all three volumes of the Game Programming Gems series.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of money March 23 2004
By A Customer
this book doesn't give you any background or theory on how to create a terrain engine. insted it only shows you code, code and more code!
The little theory presented here seems to be the one in DirectX SDK documentation and it only uses of D3DX functions...
Well... don't buy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book from an experienced programmer. May 22 2004
The book is exactly how the title describes it. It is developing a 3d terrain engine and if that is what you are looking to do then this is well worth the 30 bucks, in my opinion. The author is an experienced programmer and it shows through the code. The design of the engine is elegant and if you learn nothing else from the book you will at least walk away with a better understanding of engine design.
The book not only shows you the theory behind terrain programming but also resource management, scene management and integrating pixel and vertex shaders. This book seems to always be laying around open on my desk.
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Basically, I'm a professional OGL/D3D programmer and rather because I don't have days to devote to discerning the differences between DX8.x's PS/VS pipeline and the DX9 pipeline, I have found this book to be a great segway into porting to DX9. You don't need any previous DX experience to get a ton out of this book; however, I would recommend some 3D experience prior to indulging in its mysteries. The author writes very practically and well, and explains the problems and solutions to large scale terrain rendering clearly and informatively.
I can't recommend this book enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars so-so book Oct. 23 2003
The author did a good job of explaining the algorithms. Publisher should've paid for someone to read the book once before printing it. There were tons of spelling errors. This book isn't for people new to DirectX. It was worth $30.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good book for game writers Sept. 13 2003
I've been working on my first game engine for a long time. This book was a big help in teaching all the missing pieces. For new game programmers, this book is really good. You need to know some C++ and Direct X, but the book is still helpful if you don't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best terrain book available Sept. 10 2003
I picked up this book along with Trent Pollack's 'focus on 3D terrain programming'. Side-by-side, I'd advise anyone to pick up Snook's book. It has more information on terrain rendering and is well written. I'm still finding useful ideas in the sample code to use in my own shareware game. Of all the terrain books I've seen, this one is the best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent terrain book Sept. 10 2003
At first I was put off by the amount of code included with this book. But the more I look through it, the happier I am to have it. The book itself is a great introduction to terrain rendering and game engine construction. The code has a wealth of additional info on things like memory and resource management, random number generation, etc. You do have to enjoy reading code, but the rewards are worth it. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, many faults. Aug. 30 2003
This is a tough book to recommend. If you need your hand held through detailed examples, this is not a good source at all, especially since the sample programs are (1) overly complex and platform-dependent and (2) slow and ugly. On the other hand, this DOES discuss texturing, quadtrees, a few CLOD algorithms, sky and water rendering, Perlin noise, and a few other things as they relate to terrain, and can be a useful source of ideas for the not-quite-novice. Yes, most of the information here can be found on the web, but that's true of practically any programming book.
By the way, a MAJOR annoyance here is the really rather astounding number of typos and basic usage errors ("discreet" vs. "discrete," etc) that somehow were not caught in editing. There seems be a trend to this effect in game programming books lately, but this one is really exceptionally error-ridden.
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