- Hardcover: 648 pages
- Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 1 edition (July 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568817207
- ISBN-13: 978-1568817200
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.8 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 1st Edition
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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 packs in documentation and in-depth coverage of basic and high-level concepts related to using Direct 3D 11 and is a top pick for any serious programming collection. … perfect for a wide range of users. Any interested in computation and multicore models will find this packed with examples and technical applications.
―Midwest Book Review, October 2011
The authors have generously provided us with an optimal blend of concepts and philosophy, illustrative figures to clarify the more difficult points, and source code fragments to make the ideas concrete. Of particular interest is the chapter on multithreaded rendering, a topic that is essential in a multicore world. Later chapters include many examples such as skinning and displacement, dynamic tessellation, image processing (to illustrate DirectCompute), deferred rendering, physics simulations, and multithreaded paraboloid mapping. As if all this is not enough, the authors have made available their source code, called Hieroglyph 3. Books do not get any better than this!
―David Eberly, Geometric Tools
Top customer reviews
1) horrendous quality
By print quality this is the worst book I ever purchased in the last years. And I have bought a ton of books.
Mine seems to have print mistakes on the cover and the pages that would make sense to have colored syntax are barely readable because they chose to do greyscale prints.
some goodies here and there and it has a good introduction, but also quite missing a thread or consistent through all the chapters. It feels like chapters stitched together and none of the authors had a holistic vision about this book. There is also quite some repetition and a lot of almost copied content from the official documentation / reference.
It is not worth the steep price. Sadly it is still one of the better D3D books out there :(
This is in stark contrast to the last DirectX 11 book I read by Frank Luna. Luna’s text was great, don’t get me wrong. But it was very focused on producing functional demos to showcase certain effects (like shadow mapping or ambient occlusion). Instead Zink chooses to go totally knee-deep into the API itself and, as a reader, I came away much more confident that I understood the material. Just as an example, early on in the book there is a 100 page chapter just on resources. Most other tutorials would briefly show how to create a buffer, and then move on other stuff. Not here. In fact, the next 200 pages of the book is just about how the pipeline works. It’s really great, and rare to find such insight.
Don’t be fooled, there is certainly code in these pages, and there are a few examples. The book covers some topics like deferred rendering, multi-threaded graphics, dynamic tessellation, and physics. What I liked about the examples is that only the bare minimum amount of code was shown. Just enough to understand the key concepts without getting bogged down with boiler-plate code. It also made reading along much nicer, without having to feel like you need to get up every 5 minutes and type something in on a PC. Plus, the source code for the examples, and the author’s engine, are available for free online. So no need to type either way.
One thing I really enjoyed was the discussion on DirectCompute and on compute shaders. There are hardly any books covering DirectCompute, so it’s great to see so much space dedicated to the API. I am very interested in using this in my own engine, though it’s difficult to find information on the topic. Practical Rendering and Computation includes several chapters using compute shaders, for example to do image processing (blur). There was also a good amount of space given for tessellation. So if you are at all interested in these specific topics, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to get this book.
One other thing. Mad props to Jason Zink for being available to the community. You’ll find him on the gamedev.net forums, even helping out newbies with their 3D questions. Much respect.
All-in-all, this was quite an eye-opening read. I mean, after reading the Luna book and doing some online tutorials, I thought I knew about DirectX 11. Well, I knew something. But this book went much further than what I had previously seen on the topic. I would even recommend reading this *before* Frank Luna’s book, as I think that would flow a little better. Get the foundation solid, and then start learning how to code specific effects. Anyway, this book comes highly recommended by me if you are attempting to learn Direct3D.
Practical rendering is by no means a poor book. It authors are Microsoft DirectX Most Valuable Professionals. This means the material presented is accurate and well written, but it fails on too many fronts to be considered great. The first half of the book is dedicated to explaining the Direct3D 11 Pipeline or at least it tries to. What you get is ultimately a regurgitation of the freely available DX documentation. The authors do little to actually explain the behind the scenes workings and I have a feeling if it is your first foray into DX you will be quickly lost. The one bit of explanation they routinely throw at you is through the use of images to explain concepts. This sounds excellent until you realize what it really means. You get images like a cube with six exploded sides demonstrating a cube map (which is sadly one of the better images) and my personal favorite, an image of a sphere in three different positions to demonstrate translations. This examples may sound petty, but if you read this book you will constantly roll your eyes at the ridiculousness of these listings. Code listings for the book's first half are no better. They are literally ripped from Microsoft's documentation and dumped on the page in an unremarkable matter.
The book improves in it's second half with more concrete examples of the concepts. They are actually interesting reads and very well explained compared to the first half. Unfortunately, here is where the book's biggest problem comes in. The authors have elected to use Jason Zink's Hieroglyph 3 engine as the basis for all of their examples. While I'm certain Mr. Zink's engine is of a high quality, it is a huge mistake. The justification for it's use is so we as readers are not bogged down in minutia when it comes to initializing Direct3D and Win32. In practice, it fails to allow us experience in initializing Direct3D. This is a fairly important component of using the API and it's dismissal is absurd. You will be forced to return to the documentation of the DXSDK in order to find anything of use, unless you want to be locked into the Hieroglyph engine. The biggest problem with authors using their own engines is in the changes that occur over time. Including raw DX and Win32 code allows future use even through subsequent DXSDK changes with a minimal of rewriting. The Hieroglyph engine is already changing from the version when the book was published just a few short months ago. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the books appendix stating that the Boost libraries are required for building the engine. On the engines homepage, this dependency has already been removed. This isn't a big deal for now, but does speak to the rate at which libraries tend to change overtime. It is entirely possible in the future the engine will have changed so much it's usefulness will suffer. Because of the use of the Hieroglpyh engine, all of the examples focus on shader code and leave everything else up to the engine itself. This is not particularly useful when you want to learn how to code in D3D11 from the ground up.
While the authors have presented a few useful chapters, the book fails to deliver consistently. If you are looking for anything other than a few shader code examples of trendy topics, you will have to look elsewhere. I recommend picking up Frank D. Luna's Direct3D 10 book to learn the fundamentals of DX programming. Afterward the Direct3D 11 documentation will be more than sufficient at highlighting the differences in the older and newer APIs. If you want the examples this book offers, I would suggest a GPU pro or ShaderX book as they are considerably heavier on content and will provide many more examples than this book provides. Again, it is not a bad book and if I were looking for strict documentation this would be high on my list. It's weakness however is in striking a balance between documentation like theory and cohesive examples of implementation.
Most recent customer reviews
It can not be used as tutorial, so if you want to program Direct3D 11.Read more
Recommended for experienced users.Read more
My problem with buying this book is trying to learn a technology like Direct3D11 but using someone's "engine" for...Read more