GPU Gems 2: Programming Techniques for High-Performance Graphics and General-Purpose Computation First Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0321335593
ISBN-10: 0321335597
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

GPU Gems 2isn’t meant to simply adorn your bookshelf—it’s required reading for anyone trying to keep pace with the rapid evolution of programmable graphics. If you’re serious about graphics, this book will take you to the edge of what the GPU can do.”

—Remi Arnaud, Graphics Architect at Sony Computer Entertainment
“The topics covered inGPU Gems 2are critical to the next generation of game engines.”

—Gary McTaggart, Software Engineer at Valve, Creators ofHalf-LifeandCounter-Strike

This sequel to the best-selling, first volume ofGPU Gemsdetails the latest programming techniques for today’s graphics processing units (GPUs). As GPUs find their way into mobile phones, handheld gaming devices, and consoles, GPU expertise is even more critical in today’s competitive environment. Real-time graphics programmers will discover the latest algorithms for creating advanced visual effects, strategies for managing complex scenes, and advanced image processing techniques. Readers will also learn new methods for using the substantial processing power of the GPU in other computationally intensive applications, such as scientific computing and finance. Twenty of the book’s forty-eight chapters are devoted to GPGPU programming, from basic concepts to advanced techniques. Written by experts in cutting-edge GPU programming, this book offers readers practical means to harness the enormous capabilities of GPUs.

Major topics covered include:

  • Geometric Complexity
  • Shading, Lighting, and Shadows
  • High-Quality Rendering
  • General-Purpose Computation on GPUs: A Primer
  • Image-Oriented Computing
  • Simulation and Numerical Algorithms

Contributors are from the following corporations and universities:

1C: Maddox Games
Apple Computer
Armstrong State University
Climax Entertainment
ETH Zurich
GSC Game World
Lionhead Studios
Lund University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
mental images
Microsoft Research
NVIDIA Corporation
Piranha Bytes
Siemens Corporate Research
Siemens Medical Solutions
Simutronics Corporation
Sony Pictures Imageworks
Stanford University
Stony Brook University
Technische Universität München
University of California, Davis
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Potsdam
University of Tokyo
University of Toronto
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Waterloo
Vienna University of Technology
VRVis Research Center

Section editors include NVIDIA engineers: Kevin Bjorke, Cem Cebenoyan, Simon Green, Mark Harris, Craig Kolb, and Matthias Wloka

The accompanying CD-ROM includes complementary examples and sample programs.

About the Author

Matt Pharr is a software engineer at NVIDIA. Matt is also the coauthor of the book Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation (Morgan Kaufmann, 2004).

Randima (Randy) Fernando is Manager of Developer Education at NVIDIA.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 814 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; First Edition edition (March 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321335597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321335593
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Pharr is a Principal Engineer at Intel and the lead graphics architect in the Advanced Rendering Technology group, which researches new interactive graphics algorithms and programming models. He previously co-founded Neoptica, which developed new programming models for graphics on heterogeneous CPU+GPU systems; Neoptica was acquired by Intel.

Before Neoptica, Matt was in the Software Architecture group at NVIDIA, co-founded Exluna (acquired by NVIDIA), worked in Pixar's Rendering R&D group, and received his PhD from the Stanford Graphics Lab.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Jessup on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"GPU Gems 2" edited by Matt Pharr (Addison-Wesley, 2005, ISBN 0-321-33559-7) is a collection of forty-eight white papers that detail cutting edge techniques based on today's latest graphical processing units (GPU). The full color hardcover text is 784 pages and includes a CD-ROM with working demos and source for some of the articles presented in the book. The text retails for $59.99.

The book is divided into six parts: geometric complexity, shading, high-quality rendering, general purpose computation on the GPU, image oriented computing, and numerical algorithms. A part has anywhere from five to twelve chapters. Each chapter is written by a different author but the format and style is consistent. The chapters have an introduction, discussion of the problem or technique, conclusion, and references. The material is presented with color illustrations and occasionally some pseudo-code or code fragments. Generally, the material is extremely current and very approachable to read.

As a sequel to its well received predecessor, the text focuses on taking advantage of the computational power and features of today's high-powered GPU boards. The first part of the book, geometric complexity, emphasizes this with chapters dedicated to batch rendering, using multi-streaming, hardware occlusion, and displacement pixel-shaders. Each chapter illustrates how operations traditionally performed on the CPU can be moved into the GPU for efficiency and greater effect.

The subsequent two parts on shading and rendering continue along the same theme: improved performance by using hardware functionality found on the GPU.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin Ecker on December 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is the second installment of the GPU Gems book series by NVIDIA. Just like the first book, GPU Gems 2 is a collection of articles by various authors from game development companies, academia, and tool developers on advanced techniques for programming graphics processing units (or GPUs for short). It is aimed at intermediate to advanced graphics developers that are familiar with the most common graphics APIs. The reader should also be proficient in C++. As with the first GPU Gems book, GPU Gems 2 is not for beginners. For professional graphics and game developers, however, it is an excellent collection of interesting techniques, tips, and tricks.

The book is divided into six parts, each dealing with a different aspect of GPU programming. Compared to the first book, more emphasis is put on the quickly evolving area of general-purpose computation on GPUs (also called GPGPU). In particular, the last three of the six parts of the book are about GPGPU and its applications. The first three parts, however, are about real-time computer graphics.

The first part of the book contains 8 chapters on photo-realistic rendering that mostly deal with how to efficiently render a large number of objects in a scene, which is a necessity for rendering convincing natural effects, such as grass or trees. Two chapters in this part of the book discuss geometry instancing and segment buffering, and another chapter focuses on using occlusion queries to implement coherent hierarchical occlusion culling.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Truly Matt Pharr and NVIDIA are at the top of their game, and his "GPU Gems" series is certainly the only one of its kind for graphics professionals that are familiar with GPU's and shading languages already, and want to exploit them for the maximum speed and effect achievable using today's technology. It is not a "how-to" book on shading or GPUs or even advanced graphics. There are equations and code interspersed throughout the book, with bits of wisdom that are very instructive for the initiated. However, if you are a home-grown graphics programmer who knows C, or C++, or Java, and even some assembly language, plus you are familiar with image processing and computer graphics techniques, that will probably not be enough to get you through this book. I would say that this is a five star book for high-level professional graphics programmers who work with GPU specifics and shaders daily, and I would say it is a two or three star book for everyone else.
The one section of the book that is pretty accessible to anyone with knowledge of computer architecture and computer graphics would be section 4 of the book, which is about general purpose computation on GPU's themselves. That section has a series of articles that comprise an excellent tutorial on GPU's, what they are, and what they can do. It is the best material in print I have seen on the subject.
If you want a good introduction into the concept of writing shaders plus practice with an actual shading language, try "OpenGL Shading Language, 2nd Edition" by Rost, assuming you already know OpenGL. For a great on-line resource for modeling and graphics that will get you going in the right direction of knowing what the authors of these articles know, type "Elias Hugo" into Google and check out the first address shown.
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