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The Inventor Mentor: Programming Object-Oriented 3D Graphics with Open Inventor, Release 2 Paperback – March 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 078-5342624953 ISBN-10: 0201624958 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Silicon Graphics, Inc., has developed two important software standards for graphics programmers. OpenGL is a powerful software interface for graphics hardware that allows graphics programmers to produce high-quality color images of 3D objects. The functions in the OpenGL library enable programmers to build geometric models, view models interactively in 3D space, control color and lighting, manipulate pixels, and perform such tasks as alpha blending, anti-aliasing, creating atmospheric effects, and texture mapping.

Open Inventor is an object-oriented 3D toolkit built on OpenGL that provides a 3D scene database, a built-in event model for user interaction, and the ability to print objects and exchange data with other graphics formats.

The OpenGL Technical Library provides tutorial and reference books for OpenGL and Open Inventor. The library enables programmers to gain a practical understanding of these important software standards and shows how to unlock their full potential.

0201624958B04062001

About the Author

Josie Wernecke, also a member of the Silicon Graphics staff, is the author of The Inventor Mentor and The Inventor Toolmaker and has written extensively about Open Inventor™ and other 3D graphics products.

0201624958AB04062001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201624958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201624953
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,228,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book gives a good overview of how to use Open Inventor to depict three-dimensional objects and scenes. To my knowledge, this is the only introductory book on Open Inventor. Since there are no tutorial books on Open Inventor, this is where many people start when they want to use the language.
This book describes the capabilities and features of Open Inventor and gives brief examples, often with code. By the end of the book, you have a good idea of what Open Inventor can do and what parts of the language you would use for each feature. Unfortunately, many of the descriptions leave much to be desired. The book does not go into detail on how to use any feature. Many descriptions are given a light, cursory treatment.
If your goal is to start programming in Open Inventor, you will find many omissions. You will need to compensate for this by writing test cases and experimental code. You will also need to purchase The Open Inventor C++ Reference Manual, which will fill in many of the gaps in this book.
If, however, your goal is to get an understanding of what Open Inventor is, this book is perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gk on November 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I find that the general concepts presented in this book are still valid, even several years after its publication. Most of the commercial graphics software out there follows similar programming architectures and this book covers these fairly well.
However, you need to read the Open Inventor Toolmaker book to extend your Open Inventor Library distribution by adding more nodes/actions/engines, it also gives a much more in depth understanding. The real power of this library is that you can extend it fairly easily.
For the reference manual book for detailed specs about functions or callback methods, they are all available in the online manual pages now which are distributed freely by SGI since August of 2000.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
I teach a five week course using this book. Students praise the material as being comprehensible, easy to understand, and creative. After each chapter the student should be able to perform certain open inventor tasks. I assign daily programming variations drived from the book. The accumulative effect is to have a student capable of maintain or developing applications in Open Inventor. The logical extension of the programming language is to develop using SGI tools or TGS tools. I think the Inventor Mentor book is one of the most prized Open Inventor books on the market. I adhere to the book when teaching Open Inventor exclusively. The Open Inventor book sheds a new light on the next five weeks which moves into VRML and Java. Interestingly, the mechanizms for controling nodes in the scene graph using Java are very similar to Open Inventor Node manipulation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Wikman VINE VOICE on April 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Open Inventor is a C++ object oriented 3D graphics API that allows high level programming for OpenGL. It integrates into Visual Studio. Even though Open Inventor is an old product it is still widely used in various visualization systems around the world. Hollywood, advanced engineering systems, and scientific projects that require superior 3D visualization are still using this product. The Inventor Mentor book allows you to quickly get familiar with Open Inventor.

With Open inventor you do not need to worry about rendering or drawing, all you do is define 3D objects and their surface properties (color, texture, ambient light, transparancy, reflective properties, etc.). You define object position/motion and interconnectedness via a scene graph. It is like building with lego.

In 1996 I created a product prototype for an industrial robot visualization system. A ported ABB robot controller directly controlled the motion in the 3D simulation. A simulated Arc-Welding robot was created by converting the corresponding CAD drawings for the robots components into VRML. I used kinematic transforms (Sheith-Uicker) to connect the robot links together in the scene graph framework provided by Open Inventor. The result was a very realistic robot simulation that was nicer looking than anything you have seen on XBOX 360. The OS window seemed like a window in a wall through which you could see into a shop floor with a robot in action.

With the help of the Inventor Mentor I was able to get a working prototype ready in three weeks. I did not need the Open Inventor C++ Reference Manual or the Open Inventor Toolmaker during these three first weeks (but I used them later).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trygvi T. Lauritsen on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was surprised when I received the package, because the packing was so poor. The book was actually posted in a plastic bag as the only packing, which is not protecting the book sufficiently.
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