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Jim Blinn's Corner: A Trip Down the Graphics Pipeline (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558603875
ISBN-10: 1558603875
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jim Blinn presents an eclectic collection of 20 articles he originally wrote for Computer Graphics and Applications, an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) magazine aimed at graphics professionals. It's unapologetic about being a programmer's book, and it won't make much sense if you're not one (even less if you've forgotten your algebra). But if the shoe fits, and if you're going to be writing your own graphics routines, you stand to learn a lot from an acknowledged master.

Topics include a tour through the author's collection of circle-drawing algorithms, an introduction to animation concepts through a character called Blobby Man, musings on rendering platonic solids, detailed discussions of shadows, clipping and viewports, and investigations into the nature of pixel space. Many algorithms are presented in a generalized pseudo-code that could be easily translated into other languages. In addition to learning practical techniques, you'll also benefit from seeing Blinn's intelligent and offbeat approach to solving problems.

From the Back Cover

"[one of] the world's most renowned 3-D graphics pioneers...Blinn is a fascinating character"―Wired
Learn from the master
For almost three decades eminent computer graphicist Jim Blinn has coupled his scientific knowledge and artistic abilities to foster the growth of the computer graphics field. His many contributions include the Voyager Fly-by animations of space missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus; The Mechanical Universe, a 52-part telecourse of animated physics; and the computer animation of Carl Sagan's PBS series Cosmos. In addition, Blinn, the recipient of the first SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, has developed many widely used graphics techniques, including bump mapping, environment mapping, and blobby modeling.
Blinn shares his insight and experience in "Jim Blinn's Corner," an award-winning column in the technical magazine IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications in which he unveils his most useful graphics methods and observations. This book, a compendium of 20 of the column's articles, leads you through the "graphics pipeline" offering a wealth of tips and tricks. It explores common graphics problems, many of which have never before been addressed.
An invaluable resource for any graphics professional
In his entertaining and inspirational style, Blinn examines a variety of topics to help computer graphics software and application developers recognize and solve graphics programming problems. Focusing on geometry and the graphics pipeline, he shares:
  • easy to understand explanations of difficult concepts gleaned from years of teaching
  • interesting examples of tricky special cases that cause conventional algorithms to fail
  • highly refined algorithms for clipping, viewing, lighting, and rendering
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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics
  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (July 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558603875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558603875
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,347,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a graphics book addict, but few produce changes in my code. I passed his clipping method around to the team and we are starting to change our pipeline. We were clipping to polys in a portal engine. The new idea is to clip to a bounding rectangle FAST and let the new hardware zbuff the rough edges.
His books have these sort of 'GEMS' that you might use the week you get it.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains a wealth of information on the construction of a 3D pipeline, including all the geometry handling and also texture mapping. However being presented as it is, a collection of articles, makes a logical progression from start to finish a difficult task. There also seem to be gaps in some of the explanations, which is a shame as they are mostly complete and written in an easy to digest and lighthearted style. All in all, the book is packed with useful stuff, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I teach graphics and have been doing graphics for 15 years, and this book still taught me a lot. And it is a good book for a novice as well. I know that sounds implausible, but it really is true! Blinn just states things SO clearly. I was driven to write this review today after reading his discussion of perspective-correct rasterization: what a masterpiece! The rest of the book is just as good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of articles written from the late 80's through the mid 90's about various computer graphics topics. Even though the book doesn't look serious, it does a very good job of explaining several rather complex computer graphics topics better than many other much more expensive textbooks on the subject. Mathematics is clearly explained when needed, and there is some pseudocode included. Since each chapter is an article totally independent of all others, I shall review each article/chapter separately:
1. How Many Ways Can You Draw a Circle?
For people who can program and who can draw points and lines on some system this is a splendid introduction to the way math is used in computer graphics. The "exercises" range from easy to medium hard.
2. What, Teapots Again?
Martin Newell's Teapot is the trademark of computer graphics. The GLUT library for OpenGL has a pre-computed object called the teapotahedron, right along with the dodecahedron and the icosahedron. Here are the coordinates if you want a teapotahedron of your very own in whatever graphics system you want.
3. Nested Transformations and Blobby Man
This is a classic exercise in how matrix algebra makes articulation trees easy to program. It basically uses a set of scaled and translated geometric primitives such as spheres to "build up" the crude figure of a man. This chapter might be useful to robotics students looking for a project.
4. Platonic Solids
The platonic solids are widely used as sample objects. They are the tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, and dodecahedron. Blinn intends this to be a "hip pocket" program for the five platonic solids, something you can tuck away in your memory.
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