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OpenGL SuperBible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference (5th Edition) Paperback – August 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0321712615 ISBN-10: 0321712617 Edition: 5th

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OpenGL SuperBible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference (5th Edition) + OpenGL Shading Language (3rd Edition) + OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 4.3 (8th Edition)
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Product Details

  • Series: OpenGL
  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 5 edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321712617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321712615
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard S. Wright, Jr., is a Senior Software Engineer for Software Bisque, where he develops multimedia astronomy and planetarium software using OpenGL. A former Real 3D representative to the OpenGL ARB, he has written many OpenGL-based games, scientific and medical applications, database visualization tools, and educational programs.

Nicholas Haemel has led 3D graphics hardware/software architecture design and development for eight years at ATI and AMD, and contributed to OpenGL standards 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3.

Graham Sellers is a manager in the OpenGL group at AMD and leads a team of OpenGL software developers working on AMD’s OpenGL drivers. He represents AMD at the ARB, has authored many OpenGL extensions, and contributed to the OpenGL 3.2, 3.3, and 4.0 specifications.

Benjamin Lipchak, Software Engineering Manager at Apple, leads a team working on graphics developer technologies and benchmarks, and is responsible for OpenGL ES conformance of iPhone and iPod touch. He formerly managed an OpenGL ES driver team at AMD and led the Khronos OpenGL ecosystem group, where he established the OpenGL SDK and OpenGL Pipeline newsletter.


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Customer Reviews

I was expecting way more from this book.
Guillermo Amaral
This book is very informative and thorough in its coverage.
Preet Kukreti
Code samples starting with chapter 9 do not work.
Alan Tatourian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Zenja Solaja on February 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've learned OpenGL thanks to Richards books (the 2nd and 4th editions of the SuperBible), and today work as a professional 3D game engine programmer. Those books are very educational, and allow a newcomer to learn OpenGL faster than any other OpenGL programming book I've found. The 5th edition focuses on the new "core" OpenGL profile, which has deprecated the legacy "fixed function" API. The authors admit that they had a difficult task when rewriting the SuperBible - how do they lower the barrier of entry to a new API which is not beginner friendly? Their solution was to create a new OpenGL toolkit which simplifies access to core OpenGL. And this is the biggest issue with the 5th edition of the SuperBible - the book explains their custom toolkit, and not OpenGL itself. What a disappointment for someone wanting to learn modern OpenGL.

My recommendation for new comers to OpenGL and 3D programming: get the 4th edition of the SuperBible, and then grab the OpenGL ES 2.0 Programming Guide to learn about the "core" OpenGL profile. With OpenGL ES 2.0 (embedded systems), the Khronnos group have removed all the legacy accessors from OpenGL, and left only the bare minimal needed to create 3D applications using programmable shaders. The Khronnos group did such a good job with ES 2.0, that they decided to remove all legacy code from core OpenGL as well, and today (with the exception of geometry shaders), OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenGL 4.1 are essentially the same API. The ES2.0 programming guide also explains modern 3D graphics hardware design better than any other book I've discovered, and more importantly, it not only explains how to access the hardware using the new API, it explains WHY the API evolved to what it is today. Why is there a limit to number of attributes?
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Firas Assaad on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For years, books in the OpenGL SuperBible series were recommended for anyone looking for an excellent tutorial and thorough coverage of OpenGL features. But up to OpenGL 2.0, programming in OpenGL was done through the fixed function pipeline, and the OpenGL SuperBible books were the best place to start learning that. With GLSL introduced in OpenGL 2.0, OpenGL supported both the traditional fixed function pipeline and a new programmable pipeline where you can write your own shader programs and have much more control over the graphic card. OpenGL 2.0 tried to have the best of both worlds: if you liked the old OpenGL then you can use it, and if you wanted to experiment with modern OpenGL you can use that as well. That resulted in a huge API with conflicting design goals. This conflict can be seen in the OpenGL(R) SuperBible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference (4th Edition), reflecting the version of OpenGL it covered. The tutorial part focused exclusively on fixed-function OpenGL. That part was excellent and I still use it as a reference when I'm programming for old mobile devices that supported only OpenGL ES 1.0. The book also introduced shaders among other advanced topics in the second part. This introduction didn't really follow from what you learned in the tutorial part. It was a group of separate articles that were written in a different style and tone. I don't doubt you can easily pick it up and learn writing shaders from these chapters, but they didn't really go about teaching you how to write shaders, instead focusing more on showing you cool examples of stuff you can do with shaders.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Shaw on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The superbible lays out the OpenGL 3 core profile in a brief but thorough enough manner. This is currently the only book on the market that doesn't resort to the now deprecated immediate mode for OpenGL. It gives good coverage of all the basic and more advanced techniques of rendering, and successfully walks the fine line of keeping you motivated (through rewarding examples) and giving you a thorough enough education such that you aren't going to be completely stumped when you step off the beaten path.

The examples bundled with the book are however quite patchy, many fail to run successfully on Vista with a Nvidia GTX 280 (an OpenGL 3 capable card).

I'd change my review to a 5 once the issues with the samples get sorted out, as this book is a delight to read and Wright's teaching experience rings through in the pacing of the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Preet Kukreti on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is very informative and thorough in its coverage. Before reading this book I knew some 3d math, and a rough idea of some 3D rendering topics, but had no experience with any graphics APIs. After having just completed this book, I can definitely say I have a clear idea of how openGL pipeline works, as well as various techniques for creating different effects, and for improving performance. Overall I am quite happy with this book.

However this book is not without its flaws. There are a few major ones that jump out straight away:

1) The examples use a custom library written by the author called GLTools, which encapsulates most of the math, and geometry submission. I can see the motivation behind this, as it lets you quickly dive into running the examples without the 'boilerplate hump'. However the primary problem with GLTools is that is a major dependency of the entire book, and while it doesn't do anything too complex, much of it is not explained until the vey end of the book (and some of it is not explained at all). At least the source for GLTools is available. This was annoying for me because I wanted to start a mini-project after learning the basics to "cement" my knowledge before continuing with the advanced sections. However I needed to rely on GLTools, because it was intrinsic to the examples (geometry submission - which is not covered until chapter 12, the last chapter), and although the examples were running, I felt like I still didnt really know everything that was happening until I reached the end of the book. If you are new to OpenGL, you cant break off halfway through the book to make a simple app (without depending on GLTools), you must see it through to the end.
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