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3D Math Primer For Graphics And Game Development (Wordware Game Math Library) 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1556229114
ISBN-10: 1556229119
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fletcher Dunn is the principal programmer at Terminal Reality, where he has worked on Nocturne and 4x4 Evolution and is currently lead programmer for BloodRayne. He has developed games for Windows, Mac, Dreamcast, Playstation II, Xbox, and GameCube.

Ian Parberry is a professor of computer science at the University of North Texas and is internationally recognized as one of the top academics teaching computer game programming with DirectX. He is also the author of Learn Computer Game Programming with DirectX 7.0 and Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wordware Game Math Library
  • Paperback: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 1 edition (June 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556229119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556229114
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought Mathematics for 3D Game Programming & Computer Graphics and this book hoping to learn the basics of 3D for game development. I wanted a book to really help me to understand -not only know- the principles behind 3D development.
I found that Mathematics for 3D Game Programming & Computer Graphics was a "copy and paste" of parts of a linear algebra textbook. It had the interesting parts for graphics developers, but it did nothing in terms of reaching / teaching the reader, explaining things and helping to smooth the learning curve. It was pure math.
Well, 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development it's just the opposite. It's clear, concise and mathematical rigorous, but at the same time it tries to reach the reader, explains the math of 3D graphics AND the reasons behind that math. Whenever possible it always gives you a graphic interpretation of what you are reading and if that's not possible, it gives you extra explanations. The authors know where the hard parts are and excel at helping you to understand them. Where most books give you a theorem and left you in your own (face it: most books) this one tries to help you to get a step beyond and understand the math and the workings of it.
There is a clear feeling in all the book: usefulness.
This book -in terms of smoothing the learning curve- is to current basic 3D math what Realtime Rendering is to current 3D algorithms and techniques.
The bad:
1. It's very basic. Don't expect to go from 0 to 100 with this book. It will give you the basics, but you will need to continue.
2. It's not mean to give you full working code. The code examples are to illustrate how the concepts can be implemented in software, not to provide a full working library.
To sum it up: a book to understand, not just "know" the math behind 3D math written in a clear and non-pretentious way.
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Format: Paperback
The authors state early on that this book is intended as the first book an aspiring game programmer should read, and I would agree that for the most part it lives up to that goal. Many 3D game programming books include math primers covering a chapter or two, but really, 3D math is a huge topic deserving an entire volume. This book provides a great service, then, in that it thoroughly covers most of the basic topics that graphics programmers need to know, in a tutorial style that should be accessible to all beginners. Hopefully, we'll start to see more game programming books that focus on their core material and defer coverage of 3D math to books like this one rather than trying to pack unavoidably incomplete coverage into a few dozen pages.
So, what exactly does it cover? It starts off with a couple of chapters on coordinate systems, and then spends three chapters on vectors, followed by another three chapters on matrices and transformations. It then covers orientation, comparing matrix, Euler angle, and quaternion representations (including one of most clear explanations of quaternions that I've encountered), before diving into several chapters covering geometric primitives, including detailed coverage of working with triangle meshes.
The book closes with a chapter applying 3D math to graphics in areas such as lighting, fog, coordinates spaces, LOD, culling and clipping, and so on, and another chapter on visibility determination, touching on things like quad- and octrees, BSP trees, PVS, and portal techniques. The explanations in these chapters are much less complete, taking more of an overview approach. Others have criticized the book for this, but I feel that an overview is appropriate, since it then sets the stage for these topics to be covered in detail in other game programming books.
I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone just getting started with game and graphics programming.
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Format: Paperback
Well I must say that the book was very well written overall. I'll get to the reasons why I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 shortly.
First, it is my opinion that you need to know the following before you even get started with this book to get the most out of it. You should know at least algebra level math, preferrably at a college level. While the book states you don't need to know trig, I believe it will help you if you do know at least some trig. Finally you should obviously know C++ fairly well, the book heavily leans towards C++, but if you understand the material in the book well enough you shouldn't have too much problems porting it to another language.
Some of the major topics covered in the book from beginning to end are the cartesian coordinate system, vectors, matrices, euler angles, quaterions, geometric primitives, geometrics tests (i.e. intersection tests), triangle meshes, lighting equations and visibility determination. Plus an appendix that covers some trigonometry.
Ok, the good news. I believe about first 3/4's of the book are top notch. The authors went to extreme lengths to cover the material with very clear and concise explanations of the math topics that are covered and have plenty of pictures to help you understand it. The chapters that cover vectors and matrices made it very clear to me why and how this stuff is used in 3d graphics. The authors also consider the pros and cons of using matrixes, euler angles and quaterions in depth. And at the end most of the chapters are some exercises that help reinforce the material. It's just great stuff!
Now the bad news. I feel the last quater of the book had a very rushed feel to it. The topics in those sections just don't meet up to the level of first 3/4's of the book.
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