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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better DX9 books I've seen
I like the way this book is written. It is a good introduction for people who know how to program, but have not done any Direct3D development before. The book is written in a very straightforward and almost scientific manner. This book does not assume the reader to be a complete beginner when it comes to many programming topics like so many other DX9 books do (even though...
Published on March 6, 2004 by Markus Egger

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, But NOT for beginners
This is an excellent book; I really liked the in-depth coverage throughout the book. However, I bought this book with very little C++ experience and was left in the dust with advanced C++ techniques immediately following the first chapter. This is probably the best DirectX 9.0 book on the market, however, don't buy it unless you are advanced in C++ and know matrix math...
Published on December 9, 2003 by David L Waters


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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better DX9 books I've seen, March 6, 2004
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This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
I like the way this book is written. It is a good introduction for people who know how to program, but have not done any Direct3D development before. The book is written in a very straightforward and almost scientific manner. This book does not assume the reader to be a complete beginner when it comes to many programming topics like so many other DX9 books do (even though they often claim they don't).
This book simply covers the fundamental Direct3D topics as well as a bit of math, and it does so from the ground up as far as the DX API goes. Most of the samples are done soup to nuts, rather than using helper methods and API sample code that simplifies things a lot, but keeps too many details from the reader (once again: like so many other DX9 books seem to do).
I like the focus of the book: It simply only describes Direct 3D graphics programming. Other DirectX topics, such as DirectPlay or DirectInput are NOT covered. Also, if you do not know what a game-loop is, then you won't learn it here. I think this is one of the things I like most about this book: It focuses on one topic, and it does a great job at that!
But a small warning is in order as well: If you are not an experienced programmer and just want to get started with game development, then this book is NOT for you! Quite simply, many aspects of 3d graphics development are not for the faint of heart! Don't expect this book to read like a novel either. It is very much a DX9 text book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good balance between text, maths and code, December 4, 2003
By 
John Harpur (Trim, Meath, IRELAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
This is a hard to fault book. My only criticism is that is wasn't longer. The presentation style is excellent. Readers will need a grasp of programming in C/C++ and an understanding of the MS environment to get the full learning value from the text. Concepts are explained clearly with supporting relevant code examples. The book should stand as a model of best practice in the area. Hopefully the author will produce another volume on dynamics in DirectX some time in the future.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book to Start with Direct3D, June 6, 2004
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TotalMonkey "totalmonkey" (DC Metro, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
This book is a great start for people wanting to learn Direct3D and a great reference for Direct3D programmers. Frank Luna's book covers several important topics for getting started with 3D graphics using DirectX 9.0, and refrains from any off-topic discussions or biased rants.
The book includes a section on basic math concepts for 3d programming. Also includes sections on Direct3D fundamentals (which explains D3D9 initialization, the Direct3D rendering pipeline, and drawing in Direct3D with vertex/index buffers, color, lighting, textures, blending and stenciling) and applied Direct3D concepts (fonts, meshes, .x files, cameras, basic terrain rendering, particle systems, and "picking"). The author devotes the final section to vertex and pixel shaders and effects using HLSL (high-level shading language). He also includes a quick introduction to setting up a skeleton windows application as an appendix (where it should be located in a book on DirectX).
One final thing to note about this book is that it only covers the Direct3D portion of DirectX 9.0, so you'll need to go elsewhere for coverage of DirectPlay, DirectInput, DirectSound, etc. Howver, the fundamentals of Direct3D are covered with the depth necessary to give a completely understanding of how to begin coding 3D graphics with DirectX 9. After reading several books on DirectX and game programming, this is the book I wish had picked to read first.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intro D3D book written by developers, not dev wannabees, November 1, 2005
By 
Yoshiro Aoki (Vancouver, BC / Osaka-Kobe, JP) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
This is a solid book covering the basics of Direct 3D (and only Direct 3D...no Direct Input, Sound, etc). BTW there is no CD, but the web site has all the code as promised (and unlike other intro D3D books the samples actually compile and run). And unlike other intro books I've seen the code is clear & crisp and a joy to work with.

You will learn techniques in this book that you can use in real games. Sure, you will get the boring intro stuff like color and texturing but the coverage is more developer-oriented with detailed coverage of the API and an extensible code framework in real rather than butchered C++. And then its off to surfaces (terrain rendering) and a first-person camera to go along with it. In an intro book. Now, that just simply kicks butt. Not to mention an excellent particle class, and on to HLSL (even experienced DX folk can have an interesting lunch with this book).

About the only thing I didn't agree with was the use of frustum diagrams in diagrams describing world-to-view space transformations. The frustum just goes along for the ride. The more important thing to show are the orthogonal axes in the transformation, and these were absent in some diagrams.

I was going to give this book 4 stars...but its more deserving with its excellent development of simpler concepts into more advanced constructs with major payoffs for your first games as to tilt the balance.

I can't think of a better book for a developer with their act together about to rock with D3D.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE beginner's Direc3D API book, September 9, 2004
This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
If you're going to learn Direct3D, GET THIS BOOK.

I have other books (Beginning Direct3D Game Programming by Engel), and they don't hold a candle to this book.

Not only does he explain everything you NEED to know, he tells you to look up whatever he doesn't explain within DX's SDK.

Everything he does in this book has a plan. The organization is top notch, with the starting point being a primer on how to set up visual studio to compile and run directx programs. The next step is a math primer which should be mandatory for any book that is about 3D graphics, but apparently other authors would rather spend their time talking about higher level stuff in a beginner's book.

I have to say that without this book, I would have had a lot tougher time learning Direct3D.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction., September 30, 2004
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This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
Firstly, let me say that this is a beginner book and even though it says "Game Programming" in the title it doesn't have much to do with game programming. That said, it still gives you a better head start in game programming than most books that actually do cover game programming (if that makes any sense).

What I like about the book is that it has almost no coverage of Win32 and COM (there is a good appendix if needed, but you really should get books dedicated to the subject). The math overview is particulary good simply because the author relates it to Direct3D all the way, so you aren't left to figure out how to implement the theory through the DirectX API.

The other topics are all solid introductions to the various parts of Direct3D (setting up, lighting, meshes (very good), vertex/index buffers, v/p shaders etc) and a very usable camera class and a nice simple introduction to terrains.

You certainly aren't going to be able to write an AA title after reading this book but it gives a solid introduction that you can work from, which is sadly lacking in most other books.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!, September 18, 2003
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This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
Very nice book for a 3D beginner!! I thought everything (including the example code) was explained pretty clearly. Some things take awhile to digest of course. I think as long as you are buying this book to learn how to use Direct3D and do not already know it, that you will learn from it. A good number of topics were covered.
So you know what's in the book, here's the chapter contents (taken from the book's website):
Introduction
Part I Mathematical Prerequisites
Vectors in 3-Space
Matrices
Basic Transformations
Planes (Optional)
Rays (Optional)
Summary
Part II Direct3D Fundamentals
Chapter 1 Direct3D Initialization
1.1 Direct3D Overview
1.2 COM
1.3 Some Preliminaries
1.4 Initializing Direct3D
1.5 Sample Application: Initializing Direct3D
1.6 Summary
Chapter 2 The Rendering Pipeline
2.1 Model Representation
2.2 The Virtual Camera
2.3 The Rendering Pipeline
2.4 Summary
Chapter 3 Drawing in Direct3D
3.1 Vertex/Index Buffers
3.2 Render States
3.3 Drawing Preparations
3.4 Drawing with Vertex/Index Buffers
3.5 D3DX Geometric Objects
3.6 Sample Applications: Triangle, Cube, Teapot, D3DXCreate*
3.7 Summary
Chapter 4 Color
4.1 Color Representation
4.2 Vertex Colors
4.3 Shading
4.4 Sample Application: Colored Triangle
4.5 Summary
Chapter 5 Lighting
5.1 Light Components
5.2 Materials
5.3 Vertex Normals
5.4 Light Sources
5.5 Sample Application: Lighting
5.6 Additional Samples
5.7 Summary
Chapter 6 Texturing
6.1 Texture Coordinates
6.2 Creating and Enabling a Texture
6.3 Filters
6.4 Mipmaps
6.5 Address Modes
6.6 Sample Application: Textured Quad
6.7 Summary
Chapter 7 Blending
7.1 The Blending Equation
7.2 Blend Factors
7.3 Transparency
7.4 Creating an Alpha Channel Using the DX Tex Tool
7.5 Sample Application: Transparency
7.6 Summary
Chapter 8 Stenciling
8.1 Using the Stencil Buffer
8.2 Sample Application: Mirrors
8.3 Sample Application: Planar Shadows
8.4 Summary
Part III Applied Direct3D
Chapter 9 Fonts
9.1 ID3DXFont
9.2 CD3DFont
9.3 D3DXCreateText
9.4 Summary
Chapter 10 Meshes Part I
10.1 Geometry Info
10.2 Subsets and the Attribute Buffer
10.3 Drawing
10.4 Optimizing
10.5 The Attribute Table
10.6 Adjacency Info
10.7 Cloning
10.8 Creating a Mesh (D3DXCreateMeshFVF)
10.9 Sample Application: Creating and Rendering a Mesh
10.10 Summary
Chapter 11 Meshes Part II
11.1 ID3DXBuffer
11.2 XFiles
11.3 Progressive Meshes
11.4 Bounding Volumes
11.5 Summary
Chapter 12 Building a Flexible Camera Class
12.1 Camera Design
12.2 Implementation Details
12.3 Camera Sample
12.4 Summary
Chapter 13 Basic Terrain Rendering
13.1 Heightmaps
13.2 Generating the Terrain Geometry
13.3 Texturing
13.4 Lighting
13.5 "Walking" on the Terrain
13.6 Terrain Sample
13.7 Some Improvements
13.8 Summary
Chapter 14 Particle Systems
14.1 Particles and Point Sprites
14.2 Particle System Components
14.3 Concrete Particle Systems: Snow, Firework, Particle Gun
14.4 Summary
Chapter 15 Picking
15.1 Screen to Projection Window Transformation
15.2 Computing the Picking Ray
15.3 Transforming Rays
15.4 Ray-Object Intersections
15.5 Picking Sample
15.6 Summary
Part IV Shaders and Effects
Chapter 16 Introduction to the High Level Shading Language
16.1 Writing a HLSL Shader
16.2 Compiling a HLSL Shader
16.3 Variable Types
16.4 Keywords, Statements, and Casting
16.5 Operators
16.6 User Defined Functions
16.7 Built in Functions
16.8 Summary
Chapter 17 Introduction to Vertex Shaders
17.1 Vertex Declarations
17.2 Vertex Data Usages
17.3 Steps to Using a Vertex Shader
17.4 Sample 1: Diffuse Lighting
17.5 Sample 2: Cartoon Rendering
17.6 Summary
Chapter 18 Introduction to Pixel Shaders
18.1 Multitexturing Overview
18.2 Pixel Shader Inputs and Outputs
18.3 Steps to Using a Pixel Shader
18.4 HLSL Sampler Objects
18.5 Sample Application: Multitexturing in a Pixel Shader
18.6 Summary
Chapter 19 The Effects Framework
19.1 Techniques and Passes
19.2 More HLSL Intrinsic Objects
19.3 Device States in an Effect File
19.4 Creating an Effect
19.5 Setting Constants
19.6 Using an Effect
19.7 Sample 1: Lighting and Texturing in an Effect
19.8 Sample 2: Fog Effect
19.9 Sample 3: Cartoon Effect
19.10 EffectEdit
19.11 Summary
Appendices
Appendix A An Introduction To Windows Programming
A.1 Overview
A.2 Hello World Windows Application
A.3 Explaining Hello World
A.4 A Better Message Loop
A.5 Summary
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just a taste..., January 7, 2005
This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
I am an applications programmer who was interested in learning graphics API. I was interested in learning something I could use for 3D game development that skipped over the 2D garbage I endure with Javascript. After quite a bit of research on my part I discovered this book. And I enjoyed every page. Very professional for a programming book and very to the point, the author takes on a romp through basic techniques used in DirectX. Granted he stays completely in Direct3D and does not discuss DirectPlay or DirectSound, but this is a beginning DirectX book. He gets you to understand the meat of the subject, 3D. This book covers the essential math you'll need to understand the following chapters. The chapters after that cover vertex buffering, programmable pipeline, vertex shaders, effects framework, transformations, ect. The only thing that wasn't covered, that I was expecting, were the animation functions and charector animations. Other than that it was a fine text. All in all it took me one week to read this book, dedicating about an hour a night. Subsequently I followed up by reading through it again and taking notes. A follow-up book will be required to begin making games of any great substance. This title was a perfect INTRO to the topic of Direct3D.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teach yourself Direct3D, January 6, 2004
This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
This book explains the concepts of Direct3D in a clear, concise manner and will get you going on your way towards professional level 3D programming. The book has some typos and and an annoying problem where nearly all the underscores in the code examples were omitted. It has a very nice support web page, though, at [...] . Here the author will take you by the hand if you are stuck, as well as post useful articles and links and corrections to the book. I reccomend buying this if you are good at C++, math, and abstract thinking.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class, January 9, 2005
This review is from: Introduction To 3D Game Programming With Directx 9.0 (Wordware Game and Graphics Library) (Paperback)
Well i recived this book as a gift. When i started to reading it i didnt know anythig abaut directx. I must say its a exelent book, it explains everything u need to know abaut d3d. its a great introduction to begginers but is also great for advanced users. It has a part on win programming so u dont need to also know theat before buying, but u need to know c++.
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