- Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics
- Hardcover: 344 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (August 4, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1558606696
- ISBN-13: 978-1558606692
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,926,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Introduction to NURBS: With Historical Perspective (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) 1st Edition
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Curve and surface computer modeling is far more complex than what you see on screen. It is quite a feat to convert a data set into a visual image, and a bigger trick to convert it into a recognizable dimensional object that you can turn as if you were holding it in your hand. The mathematical heroes who paved the road to this point are acknowledged eloquently in David Rogers's An Introduction to NURBS with Historical Perspective.
Rogers himself is a figure in computer graphics history, having penned Mathematical Elements for Computer Graphics and Procedural Elements for Computer Graphics. In An Introduction to NURBS, he takes us on a mathematical journey that introduces the concept and details of non-uniform rational B-splines, while simultaneously shedding light on the mathematical wizards that make NURBS possible.
This is a hardcover textbook (not light reading) with enough equations and pseudocode to satisfy even the hungriest of math theorists. With seven chapters, starting with "Curve and Surface Representation" through "B-Spline Curves" to "Bzier Surfaces," the book is a thorough primer for those who are working toward understanding computer graphic modeling.
What really sets this book apart from other texts, however, is the closing portion of each chapter, in which readers get a historical perspective of the current state of the art in curve and surface mathematics, in passages written by such luminaries as Robin Forrest (Bzier curves), Rich Riesenfeld (B-splines), and Lewis Knapp (rational B-splines). --Mike Caputo
From the Back Cover
The latest from a computer graphics pioneer, An Introduction to NURBS is the ideal resource for anyone seeking a theoretical and practical understanding of these very important curves and surfaces. Beginning with Bézier curves, the book develops a lucid explanation of NURBS curves, then does the same for surfaces, consistently stressing important shape design properties and the capabilities of each curve and surface type. Throughout, it relies heavily on illustrations and fully worked examples that will help you grasp key NURBS concepts and deftly apply them in your work. Supplementing the lucid, point-by-point instructions are illuminating accounts of the history of NURBS, written by some of its most prominent figures.
Whether you write your own code or simply want deeper insight into how your computer graphics application works, An Introduction to NURBS will enhance and extend your knowledge to a degree unmatched by any other resource.
*Presents vital information with applications in many different areas: CAD, scientific visualization, animation, computer games, and more
*Facilitates accessiblity to anyone with a knowledge of first-year undergraduate mathematics
*Details specific NURBS-based techniques, including making cusps with B-spline curves and conic sections with rational B-spline curves
*Presents all important algorithms in easy-to-read pseudocode―useful for both implementing them and understanding how they work
*Includes complete references to additional NURBS resources
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The author is more than qualified to write an historical perspective: He's been a leading authority on the subject of computer graphics and CAD programming for more than a quarter of a century. He's been a personal acquaintance of many of the principal characters in the unfolding of this exciting and still young branch of mathematics. Characters such as Pierre Bezier, Steven Coons, and Carl de Boor. I should emphasize that the historic perspective doesn't interfere with the flow and development of the text from a purely mathematical point of view. You could read the text and skip the history, but that'd be a shame because the historical accounts and biographies are what set this text apart. In some sense you feel like you're experiencing the thrill of discovery in the same way that the theory developed - only in fast forward.
For these reasons, this book will also be of interest to anyone who enjoyed James Gleick's Chaos. But unlike Gleick's Chaos, you'll really get to understand the mathematics behind the story - the story of the development of NURBS. It reads like a novel with twists, coincidences and subplots. The men behind NURBS have had a profound influence on the last part of the 20th century and their methods will literally shape the future as the graphic tools of tomorrow's designers. I wish all textbooks could be written in this style. That would also mean all textbooks would have to be written by the founders of their respective fields and that wouldn't be a bad thing.
If you're a blue-collar Microsoft junkie looking for some sort of certification to let you pretend to be a programmer, perhaps your appetite will be better served by more specific texts. But for anyone who appreciates the art of programming, this book is for you - even if you don't ever touch graphics, it's just a fun book.