- File Size: 4433 KB
- Print Length: 49 pages
- Publication Date: January 26, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01B5AODD8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,170 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Ray Tracing in One Weekend (Ray Tracing Minibooks Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Programming wise, you will need nothing more than the equivalent of two college courses (intro programming, object-oriented programming) to complete this book. I would call the level of programmatic difficulty "intermediate." Math wise, you will need high school level geometry as well as some basic knowledge of vectors including especially dot products & cross products. If you have never seen geometry described using three-dimensional vectors then this book will be impossible. Most of the intended readers likely have seen that math.
So, if it's a well-written book that stays within its titular call-to-action, then what's the problem? Polish—the book lacks polish. This is the kind of problem that gives self-publishing a bad name. The source code snippets are presented in images with text so small that it is hard to read. As of the Kindle version of March 2018, there are multiple mistakes in the source code in said images (unused variables, wrong constants, actual logic errors), some of which Shirley explicitly changed in the Kindle text to point out, yet did not fix in the source code snippet images. His decision to use these convoluted source code images are explained away on his blog for expediency and in the introduction as incentive to type the code in. Yes, we should type the code in ourselves, but not at the expense of it being so small in the book that it's unreadable and hard for him to update to revise the Kindle edition.
There other polish issues too — a lack of comments in the source code, text that could've used a good copy editor, hand drawn diagrams that are not as lucid as they could be. Shirley has written a great book, but he needs to clean it up so as not to continue to give self-publishing a bad name!
There's not much theory or anything like that found in the book, just the code and some explanation of how it works. It is very pragmatic and that approach suited me very well. I've now built my first simple ray tracer (well, maybe it is more Shirley's ray tracer than mine at this point), but now I understand mostly how it works, and can extend it with my own variations.
If you've ever thought about writing a ray tracer one day, this is a really good book to start it off in just a few days. If you have some prior knowledge of how to get a compiler running, you'll probably get it done in a weekend.
The images and code didn't always come out at a nice size on my original b&w Kindle, but when I'm looking at code I prefer to have the Amazon cloud/web reader open for reference anyway and that was ideal.
No trees wasted.