19 February 2014

Book: Direct3D Rendering Cookbook


book
Direct3D is still dominating technology on Windows Platform so it is good to know its current state. Luckily for me, I got a chance to look at the newest book from Pack Publishing about this API. Today I am going to share my thoughts about the book and I hope it will refresh my knowledge about DX.

What have we got inside?

Actually there is a lot! From Getting Started to Deferred Rendering via Hardware Tessellation and even Physics Simulations!
Direct3D Rendering Cookbook
Direct3D Rendering Cookbook
The whole book contains a lot of recipes but I do not know it this was a best solution and form. For instance the first two chapters take almost 90 pages of the book. They only introduce to the samples framework and DirectX. The recipes included in those chapters create steps in huge tutorial. I would prefer much loose style of such parts. Still the chapters have pretty good quality.
When we finish the introduction, we are able to get more interesting topics. Basically all you need to know in modern graphics programming is here! Decent number of examples, codes, pictures, diagrams is another advantage. Probably most of people should understand the content and be able to implement examples on their own.
We have topics about loading meshes (from FBX files converted to CMO). For instance, I did not know that Visual Studio is able to load and even view FBX files, it is described here on MSDN! There is also a great and very detailed chapter about skinning and mesh animations. Another worth to mention topics are about Displacement and Normal Mapping - plus Hardware Tessellation as a background topic for that.
Chapter regarding Image Processing seems to be a standard in all GFX books but this time I was happy to see all the techniques described using Compute Shaders. The chapter incorporated with lots of examples and diagrams should be easy to understand.
After reading another chapter about Physics readers will be able to implement nice looking water and use Bullet physics.
There is also an absorbing chapter about deferred context in D3D. It seems that they are powerful, but everyone expected that this technique will provide more performance improvements. As a background examples for deferred contexts there are recipes about rendering environment maps.
The last two chapters describe deferred rendering and how to connect D3D with XAML and Windows 8.1.
All in all, as you see, a lot of knowledge + interesting topics + good execution.

Sumup:

Final mark: 4/5
"Direct3D Rendering Cookbook" is a good book. I do not know if the "recipe" style was best choice for this kind of material. Still a lot of people can get a lot of important knowledge. Author has great experience in the topic and the quality of chapters is high. I would prefer maybe C++ language (not C#) and I maybe longer but calmer progression with topics.

References and links

See the author's page here - spazzarama.com

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