- Paperback: 504 pages
- Publisher: friends of ED; 1st ed. edition (December 6, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1430236655
- ISBN-13: 978-1430236658
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The author (Billy Lamberta) has the most pleasant teaching style imaginable. Not once did I think a new concept was taught out of order. Not once did I feel that a lesson wasn't covered well enough for implementing it in the succeeding lessons. The book is so well written that to me it almost felt like floating down a quiet stream in the summertime - you barely notice the movement, but suddenly you look up and you're 10 miles downstream building all manner of real-world physics models and animations.
My favorite thing about this book is that the author teaches the underlying mathematics and drawing principles in such a way that they'll apply to any drawing platform out there. He specifically uses the canvas API for this book, but once you know how to do the mathematics, you can apply it to any platform. Another thing I loved was that Billy always shows you the easy way and the more advanced way of doing something when there's different ways of implementing it. For instance, you can do the more advanced (and processor-intensive) calculations to determine the real-world forces of friction, or you can simply multiply the current velocity by say .9 and it has the exact same effect. Your choice. If you have the processing power and need the simulation to be true-to-life, you know how. If you're looking for a more frugal use of resources and it needs to simply appear life-like, you also know how.
The fact that he teaches the fundamentals of the underlying mathematics and drawing principles means that the information will never become out of date by a platform change or underlying technology change.
Who should avoid this book: People looking for the "quick and easy" method of building simple animations or games. If you love to use software that does the job for you and boasts features like "Learn to build games without having to write code" - this book is absolutely not for you - run away - run far, far away. I personally love to learn things from the bottom up. I want the nitty-gritty details and deep understanding of the underlying concepts so that I can apply them to my own unique projects. Memorizing a few formulas or using "quick and dirty" software will never allow you to truly build the amazing, unique graphics or physics simulations that you are imagining. The more unique and challenging your projects, the deeper your understanding needs to be of the fundamentals. The mathematics and drawing principles covered in this book surely will allow you to be as creative as you're capable of being, without pigeon-holing you into a certain platform or method of doing things.
This is by far the best book for leaning how to program realistic physics-based motion. It's amazing how it breaks down all the fundamental concepts of movement into easy bits of math! Mr Lamberta also explains concepts such as gravity, collision detection, matrices, even 3D!!! There are examples of how to code for each concept and clear explanations on how they work (physics). There is even some touch based code so you can apply the examples to devices other than the desktop I keep my copy of this book as close as possible and constantly refer to it!!!!!!!
Highly recommended, Highly recommended especially if you are interested in programing HTML5 games
Books constantly strikes a perfect balance between background concepts and applications.
For some reason, we don't learn until well into the book that all of the code examples are available on the publisher's web site. Maybe in a future edition or printing the publisher could add that fact on the cover or end sheets.
I'm voting with my feet; I never write reviews, but I believe this book deserves everyone of the 5 stars I gave it.