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GPU Gems: Programming Techniques, Tips and Tricks for Real-Time Graphics Hardcover – April 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This collection of articles is particularly impressive for its depth and breadth. The book includes product-oriented case studies, previously unpublished state-of-the-art research, comprehensive tutorials, and extensive code samples and demos throughout."
--Eric Haines, Author of Real-Time Rendering"GPU Gems is a cool toolbox of advanced graphics techniques. Novice programmers and graphics gurus alike will find the Gems practical, intriguing and useful."
--Tim Sweeney, Lead Programmer of Unreal at Epic Games

GPU Gems is a compilation of articles covering practical real-time graphics techniques arising from the research and practice of cutting edge developers. It focuses on the programmable graphics pipeline available in today's graphics processing units (GPUs) and highlights quick and dirty tricks used by leading developers, as well as fundamental, performance-conscious techniques for creating advanced visual effects. The contributors and editors, collectively, bring countless years of experience to enlighten and propel the reader into the fascinating world of programmable real-time graphics.

Major topics covered include:

  • Natural effects
  • Lighting and shadows
  • Materials
  • Image processing
  • Performance and practicalities
  • Beyond triangles
  • Contributors are from the following universities and corporations:

  • Alias Systems
  • Brown University
  • Croteam
  • Cyan Worlds
  • Hochschule Bremen
  • Industrial Light & Magic
  • Monolith Productions
  • New York University
  • Novarama
  • Paralelo Computacao
  • Piranha Bytes
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Siemens Medical Solutions
  • Softimage Co.
  • Softlab-NSK
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • Stanford University
  • UC Davis
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • University of Utah
  • University of Waterloo
  • The accompanying CD-ROM includes complimentary examples and sample programs.

    About the Author

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


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    Product Details

    • Hardcover: 816 pages
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; First Edition edition (April 1, 2004)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0321228324
    • ISBN-13: 978-0321228321
    • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    Important Information

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    More About the Author

    Morgan McGuire is an associate professor of Computer Science at Williams College.

    He's contributed to products including the Skylanders, Call of Duty, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and Titan Quest series of video games series, the E Ink display used in the Amazon Kindle, the PeakStream GPU computing architecture acquired by Google, and NVIDIA GPUs. Morgan has published papers on high-performance rendering and computational photography in SIGGRAPH, High Performance Graphics, the Eurographics Symposium on Rendering, Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, and Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering. He is a Visiting Professor at NVIDIA Research, the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques, the project manager for the G3D Innovation Engine. He previously chaired the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games and the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering. He is the author or coauthor of Computer Graphics: Principles & Practice 3rd Edition, The Graphics Codex, Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology, and chapters of several GPU Gems, ShaderX and GPU Pro volumes.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Jessup on May 17, 2004
    Format: Hardcover
    "GPU Gems" edited by Randima Fernando (Addison-Wesley, 2004, ISBN 0-321-22832-4) is a collection of white papers describing techniques and practical applications useful in today's programmable graphical processing units. The full color hardcover text is 816 pages and includes a CD-ROM that includes working demos and source for most of the articles presented in the book. The text retails for $59.99.
    The text is divided into six major parts: natural effects, lighting and shadows, materials, image progressing, performance and practicalities, and beyond triangles. Each part has anywhere between 5 to 9 chapters (for an overall total of 42 chapters). The chapters are separate white papers related to the overall part's major topic. For example, the natural effects part contains chapters on water caustics, Perlin noise, creating realistic fire, and diffraction just to name a few.
    Generally, each chapter has an introduction, a background with some mathematics, an implementation occasionally with some partial source code, a conclusion, and key references. While a different author writes each chapter, the overall feel of the book is consistent and smooth. The chapters read very similar to a SIGGRAPH paper without as much math or specific detail.
    Take for example, the chapter on stereograms - a process by which a 2D image encodes stereo information that when viewed correctly reveals a 3D scene. The chapter has brief background section that includes several helpful color examples. The author discusses how to create such an image using the fragment program capabilities of a GPU using the z-buffer as a depth map and provides a demo program on the CD.
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    26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dave Astle VINE VOICE on April 6, 2004
    Format: Hardcover
    I can't think of a topic that is more well-suited to a gems-style book than shaders, and given how important shaders have become in graphics and game development, I've been looking forward to this book since it was first announced.
    The book consists of 42 articles covering techniques available on modern programmable GPUs. The articles were written by the most impressive collection of authors I've seen. Many of them are from NVIDIA, with the rest being from game development studios and other leaders in the graphics industry, both in academia and commercial development. Each chapter is approximately 15-20 pages long, which allows for greater depth than most gems-style books.
    The topics covered include lighting, shadows, materials, image processing, performance tuning, water, fire, grass, skin (from the Dawn demo), and nontraditional uses of the GPU. The examples use either HLSL or Cg (and thankfully not assembly level shaders). Unfortunately, the OpenGL Shading Language was not complete at the time of the book's writing, but the examples should port easily.
    As should be obvious from the NVIDIA logo on the cover, ATI wasn't involved with this book. Not surprisingly then, many of the demo programs included on the CD won't work on ATI hardware. This is unfortunate, since ATI hardware seems to be more popular at the high end right now, so many readers won't be able to run a lot of the demos. However, the techniques themselves should be readily portable.
    As a nice bonus, the book is printed in full-color, which is definitely a welcome change as it makes it easier to visualize the results.
    This is one of the most timely and relevant books currently available for graphics and game development. I highly recommend it to anyone involved with either.
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    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By William G. Ryan VINE VOICE on April 11, 2004
    Format: Hardcover
    Hard core graphics programming is definitely an area that separates the men from the boys. If your idea of graphics programming is making a ball bounce across the screen in Flash or Powerpoint, avoid this book. If you are a die hard programmer with a strong mathematical background looking to create some really kick a33 effects, this book is made for you.
    The background stuff: There are just under 50 authors that have collaborated to create this book. Just about all of them have a Ph.D from big name schools and I believe every one of them has at least a Master's degree. Most, but not all are folks from NVIDIA. The whole book is about 800 pages including intro/indexes et al.
    I really liked the book, but there's two things wrong with it. 1) If you don't have a VERY strong background in Graphics programming, you will be utterly clueless what's going on. There's No middle ground. 2) You need a pretty powerful graphics card to work through the examples, which, considering the target audience isn't unfair for them to assume. I have a fairly powerful card on my desktops, but my laptop just doesn't cut it and that's kind of a pain if you read on the run like I do.
    As far as negative comments go, that's it.
    So what's cool about it? The EFFECTS! Like I mentioned, if there's a cool special effect in a video game or movie, this book shows you how to do it. To summarize a few:
    1) Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. If you are familiar with the game and the large bodies of water that are employed, Chapter 1 explains it in depth. There's a good discussion of Gerstner waves , vertex shading and overall simulation models.
    2) Fire in the Vulcan.
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