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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great for starters and pros!, April 3, 2003
This review is from: Direct3D SHADERX: Vertex & Pixel Shader Tips and Techniques (Wordware Game Developer's Library) (Paperback)
Shaders are the direction of real time graphics programming for games and other applications. They were introduced in their first versions with DX8 hardware like the GeForce3 and the Radeon 8500 and are continouisly extended in further version of hardware and software like in the new DX9 class of hardware.
It is industry wide consensus that shaders are the way to get cool graphics in realtime games. But there has always been a lack of good documentation about what shaders are and their possibilities. This book was made to address it. It is designed to handle the DX8 API way of shaders together with lots of DX8 samples but the principles apply to OpenGL shader programming also.

The book is splittet into two parts.

The first part is a thorough introduction about vertex and pixel shaders written by editor Wolfgang Engel. It explains the reasoning behind the shaders, the definitions of the virtual machines, and all assembler commands available. For each type of shaders there is also an introductionary example section for getting first successful shader programs running. It is well written with lots of information.

The second part is a collection of shader gems - short articles by differenct authors. Among the authors are people from developer relations from nVidia, Matrox and ATI as well as graphics programmers from inside the gaming industry. These authors have lots of experience programming shaders and they show in short sections what's possible and how to get there.

This book is standing in my bookshelf and in the bookshelves of a lot of professional developers worldwide.

I highly recommend buying it.
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