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Game Physics (Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive 3D Technology)

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558607408
ISBN-10: 1558607404
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Editorial Reviews


"I keep at most a dozen reference texts within easy reach of my workstation computer. This book will replace two of them."-Ian Ashdown, President, byHeart Consultants Limited

"Implementing physical simulations for real-time games is a complex task that requires a solid understanding of a wide range of concepts from the fields of mathematics and physics. Previously, the relevant information could only be gleaned through obscure research papers. Thanks to Game Physics, all this information is now available in a single, easily accessible volume. Dave has yet again produced a must-have book for game technology programmers everywhere." -Christer Ericson, Technology Lead, Sony Computer Entertainment

"Game Physics is a comprehensive reference of physical simulation techniques relevant to games and also contains a clear presentation of the mathematical background concepts fundamental to most types of game programming. I wish I had this book years ago." -Naty Hoffman, Senior Software Engineer, Naughty Dog, Inc.

"Eppur si muove . . . and yet it moves. From Galileo to game development, this book will surely become a standard reference for modeling movement." -Ian Ashdown, President, byHeart Consultants Limited

"This is an excellent companion volume to Dave's earlier 3D Game Engine Design. It shares the approach and strengths of his previous book. He doesn't try to pare down to the minimum necessary information that would allow you to build something with no more than basic functionality. Instead, he gives you all you need to begin working on a professional-caliber system. He puts the concepts firmly in context with current, ongoing research, so you have plenty of guidance on where to go if you are inclined to add even more features on your own. This is not a cookbook-it's a concise presentation of all the basic concepts needed to understand and use physics in a modern game engine. It gives you a firm foundation you can use either to build a complete engine of your own or to understand what's going on inside the new powerful middleware physics engines available today. This book, especially when coupled with Dave's 3D Game Engine Design, provides the most complete resource of the mathematics relevant to modern 3D games that I can imagine. Along with clear descriptions of the mathematics and algorithms needed to create a powerful physics engine are sections covering pretty much all of the math you will encounter anywhere in the game-quaternions, linear algebra, and calculus." -Peter Lipson, Senior Programmer, Toys For Bob

"This comprehensive introduction to the field of game physics will be invaluable to anyone interested in the increasingly more important aspect of video game production, namely, striving to achieve realism. Drawing from areas such as robotics, dynamic simulation, mathematical modeling, and control theory, this book succeeds in presenting the material in a concise and cohesive way. As a matter of fact, it can be recommended not only to video game professionals but also to students and practitioners of the above-mentioned disciplines." -Pål-Kristian Engstad, Senior Software Engineer, Naughty Dog, Inc.

"Increases in processor power now make it feasible to run complex physical simulations in real time, which greatly increases their practical importance. Thus there is an increasing need for books like David Eberly's Game Physics that can give graphics programmers a grounding in the physical principles that underlie realistic computer animation." - W.Lewis Johnson --Physics Today

Book Description

Dave Eberly's much anticipated sequel to his international bestseller on game engines.

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Product Details

  • Series: Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive 3D Technology
  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press (December 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558607404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558607408
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,093,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I always love it when scientists and engineers, and mathematicians come along and review a game programming book. They go "oh! This is just ALL WRONG!!! AHHH!!!"

Please keep in mind this book is for physics simulations for video games. We can't yet simulate the universe on an atomic scale in a PC game and expect a frame rate of more than 1 frame per millenium at this point in time.

I own all all of Dr. Eberly's books and I find them all my most useful books. The only other graphics book I use alot is my Graphics programming by James Foley. The nice thing about Dr. Eberly's book is that the code for most of this is on his website, so if you get stuck on how to implement something looking at the source code can help you further understand the maths and equations. I recommend to buy this if you are willing to put in the effort to understand the maths, but if you have a phd already you might not need it than.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has much good information if you know exactly what you are looking for. However, its tone is very dry and academic and lacks a big picture perspective. It glosses over essential information on mechanics and in just 200 pages covers Newtonian and Lagrangian concepts. There are lots of equations, but the examples all use variables, thus making the examples no clearer than the equations they are supposed to be illustrating. There are no numerical examples at all.

Chapter 5, on physics engines, which the author himself says is the heart of the book, is woefully inadequate. He talks about the equations and features he wants to implement, and shows code snippets for the features, but there is one essential component that is missing - block diagrams and accompanying discussions that illustrate how all of these pieces fit together. A crate full of clearly labeled mechanical parts does not an automobile make.

Next we come to one of my areas of interest and one of the main reasons I bought this book in the first place - Chapter 6, "Physics and Shader Programs". The author certainly hits some fascinating topics - ocean waves, skin and bones animation, etc. However, once again the author skips what is between the basic physics equations that comprise these effects and the implementation of these equations and effects in code. The code that he does show is in NVidia's Cg language. So if you don't know Cg, the code is undecipherable. I would have preferred algorithmic pseudocode. Then I could implement the effects in the language of my choice.

The last four chapters of the book take an uptick in quality. These chapters are strictly on numerical methods, and I can't believe they are written by the same author that wrote the first six chapters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book on physics simulation, covering most of the mathematical methods and tricks. Some people would complain that's very mathematically intensive, but I don't see another way to do it without being superficial. This book, however, goes very deep in almost every aspect of rigid body simulation, and covers some aspects of non-rigid body simulation as well, which is an emerging trend.

I would suggest only one change to it: there's a chapter on shaders which is pretty much useless - it's very superficial as it doesn't teach shader writing, and doesn't teach hwo to use shaders for physics - I'd suggest that it be changed to include GPGPU methods for physics instead.

Other than that, the book is great, and the only one I've seen that actually covers heavy-duty, real-world simulation and not just silly approximations for special cases.
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Format: Hardcover
For many videogames that emulate the real world, an accurate use of physics has become essential to take advantage of players' intuition. In some ways, this is the next natural step beyond a realistic, real time rendition of images, as in Doom or Quake. Those and other games used simple optics and trigonometry to derive accurate images.
But as computers get more powerful, and players might find themselves driving cars, for example, then having these vehicles respond accurately when driven became the next logical step in simulation.
The book covers Newtonian mechanics, because that is what we are typically familiar with. If you are a physicist, you should recall that historically there were 2 great advances within this - Hamiltonian and Lagrangian methods. (Cf. Goldstein's "Classical Mechanics".) A little ironic, wouldn't you say, that now some jobs in applying these are for games?! Who would have thought it, some twenty years ago.
The book is good for helping you focus on what objects in the system you should be modelling. Part of your experience comes in deciding this level of detail. Actually, this is not restricted to games, but to any physical system that you are analysing.
The graphics in this book are really a secondary consideration. Stay focused. Model the system FIRST. Then attend to the views. Even though the views are what the player sees.
To this end, you should be pleased to know that the author sticks to graphics standards like OpenGL, which can be ported to most current computers. So you don't have to invest your time in learning some restricted graphics language.
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