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OpenGL Development Cookbook Paperback – June 25, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Muhammad Mobeen Movania

Muhammad Mobeen Movania received his PhD degree in Advanced Computer Graphics and Visualization from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He complete his Bachelor of Science Honors (BCS(H)) in Computer Sciences from Iqra University, Karachi. Before joining NTU, he was a junior graphics programmer at Data Communication and Control (DCC) Pvt. Ltd. Karachi, Pakistan. He was working on DirectX and OpenGL API for producing real-time interactive tactical simulators and dynamic integrated training simulators. His research interests include volumetric rendering, GPU technologies, real-time shadows, digital geometry processing, and hierarchical geometric data structures. He is also the author of an OpenCloth project (http://code.google.com/p/opencloth ) which implements various cloth simulation algorithms in OpenGL. His blog (http://mmmovania.blogspot.com) lists a lot of useful graphics tips and tricks. When not involved with computer graphics, he composes music and is an avid squash player. He is currently working at a research institute in Singapore.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849695040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849695046
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,718,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I had great expectations when I first opened this book. In fact, I feel there is a big void right in the middle of published books about OpenGL.

At one side of the void there are either technical references or introductory texts, which explain the reader how to properly use the library but don't show practical applications: at the end of those books people know how to texture lookup from a vertex shader, not how to render realistic terrain from a height map.

At the other side there are collections of articles about very advanced rendering techniques, intended for people already well versed in graphics programming and hardly of any use for the everyday developer (think about the ShaderX or the GPU Pro series).

The premise of this book is to be the gap filler, which tells you about all the cool things you can do with OpenGL (in addition to rendering teapots) in a wide range of topics, while remaining practical enough for the average OpenGL developer.

While it's a good shot in that direction, it doesn't live up to this ambitious premise.

Let's start with what's good: recipes cover a vast range of applications, including mirrors, object picking, particle systems, GPU physics simulations, ray tracing, volume rendering and more.

OpenGL version of choice is 3.3 core profile, so all the recipes are implemented using modern OpenGL while still being compatible with most GPU hardware out there. Every recipe comes with a self-contained and working code example that you can run and tweak. All examples share coding style and conventions, which is great added value.

The toolchain of choice is Visual Studio for Windows, but the examples also build unmodified on Linux installations. Despite Mac OS X only supporting up to OpenGL 3.
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Format: Paperback
This book magically appeared about the time I began contemplating if and how I will update my older OpenGL 2.x code to the modern OpenGL "Core" API, introduced with OpenGL 3.0. The Core API removes all support for the older fixed-function pipeline that I have been using for 20+ years, and replaces it with an entirely shader-based model with basic support for buffer-based geometry descriptions in lieu of immediate mode.

I was hoping for an introductory chapter on techniques for migrating legacy immediate-mode code to the Core API, but the book assumes you'll be starting with at least OpenGL 3.3 and dives head-first into the first recipes within a few pages. The author is clearly writing for people with previous experience with OpenGL; don't consider this an introduction to OpenGL 3.x. In fact, the book's subtitle, "Over 40 recipes to help you learn, understand, and implement modern OpenGL in your applications", is about as perfect a description of the book as one could get.

The book gets off the ground quickly with a brief section on getting the development environment up and running with the demo programs. They are built for Visual Studio 2010 on Windows but can easily be built to run on other platforms, as they use the excellent and ubiquitous freeglut and GLEW libraries. Then a C++ shader class is introduced. It will be used throughout the rest of the book to streamline access to the various shaders required by all OpenGL 3.x programs.

The recipes start simply, with a filled triangle using trivial vertex and fragment shaders, followed by more complex recipes that build on previous concepts such as vertex manipulations with the vertex shader and geometry generation using the geometry shader.
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Format: Paperback
What I like:

The structure of the book makes it pretty easy to follow. In the beginning, it is good to read the introduction and familiarize with the application framework. After that, a reader can read in whatever order he/she likes. Each of the items is written in a similar way. Topics are of course done by a single person, so there is no need to switch between writing styles.

Vast majority of items are very well done and explained. I liked chapter about Order Independent Transparency in particular. You have there very good explanation, pictures, code (with additional comments) and a comparison of techniques at the end.

Another great item relates to Volume rendering (3D Textures, ray casting, splatting). Before reading the chapter I thought that such topic is quite hard to implement. Now, it looks simpler and clearer. There is a detailed discussion about final quality of the output. More the slices (or texture samples) the better the result, but performance drops.

Technology chosen is, in my opinion, very suitable. We have Visual C++ 2010, freeGLUT, Glm and SOIL.Those additional libraries are small and very simple to understand (not to mention their popularity). There is no additional need to learn some complicated framework/engine.

What I dislike:

The level of topics is sometimes strange. We have a nice and easy item that describes basic lighting, or item about simple particle systems. Next to it we have advanced elements like OOIT using dual depth peeling or even more like Ray Tracing. I would prefer to have items that are more or less at the same level. Or at least change the "distance" between extremes.

Some more description would be nice. I know that it is hard to compress all that knowledge in only 300 pages.
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