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Computer Graphics from Scratch: A Programmer's Introduction to 3D Rendering

Computer Graphics from Scratch: A Programmer's Introduction to 3D Rendering

Current price: $49.99
Publication Date: May 13th, 2021
No Starch Press
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Dec 8 10:45am
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Computer Graphics from Scratch demystifies the algorithms used in modern graphics software and guides beginners through building photorealistic 3D renders.

Computer graphics programming books are often math-heavy and intimidating for newcomers. Not this one. Computer Graphics from Scratch takes a simpler approach by keeping the math to a minimum and focusing on only one aspect of computer graphics, 3D rendering.
You’ll build two complete, fully functional renderers: a raytracer, which simulates rays of light as they bounce off objects, and a rasterizer, which converts 3D models into 2D pixels. As you progress you’ll learn how to create realistic reflections and shadows, and how to render a scene from any point of view.
Pseudocode examples throughout make it easy to write your renderers in any language, and links to live JavaScript demos of each algorithm invite you to explore further on your own.
Learn how to:

  • Use perspective projection to draw 3D objects on a 2D plane
  • Simulate the way rays of light interact with surfaces
  • Add mirror-like reflections and cast shadows to objects
  • Render a scene from any camera position using clipping planes
  • Use flat, Gouraud, and Phong shading to mimic real surface lighting
  • Paint texture details onto basic shapes to create realistic-looking objects
    Whether you’re an aspiring graphics engineer or a novice programmer curious about how graphics algorithms work, Gabriel Gambetta’s simple, clear explanations will quickly put computer graphics concepts and rendering techniques within your reach. All you need is basic coding knowledge and high school math. Computer Graphics from Scratch will cover the rest.

    About the Author

    Gabriel Gambetta started coding games around the age of 5 on a ZX Spectrum. After studying Computer Science and working at a respectable local company in his native Uruguay, he started a game development company and ran it for 10 years while teaching Computer Graphics at his alma mater. More recently, Gambetta has been working at Google Zürich, where he's been since 2011 except for a stint as an early engineer in the London-based multiplayer game tech unicorn Improbable.

    Praise for Computer Graphics from Scratch: A Programmer's Introduction to 3D Rendering

    "If you've ever wanted to peek behind the curtain and understand how [computer graphics] work, here you've got it in a step-by-step process. . . . A nice resource to have to learn about the basics of computer graphics. . . . If you want to jump in and learn about computer graphics or get an understanding of how ray tracing works, this is a good choice."
    —Game From Scratch

    "There's enough information in his book for a university course. In fact, the book is based on the course Gambetta taught before he became a senior engineer at Google."
    —Joy Schwabach, Arkansas Democrat Gazette's On Computers

    "One of the best textbooks I have ever seen! . . . I am in awe of the simplicity of the math and science involved. It feels a lot like I am wielding magical powers that I've always thought were beyond my reach. [Gabriel Gambetta has] absolutely managed to demystify the process. I guess it's a sort of 'the power was within you the whole time' kind of moment." 
    —/u/Grakkam, Reddit

    "I love it. I love fundamental and foundational books like this. It's not tied to language or platform so doesn't get dated. I learned SO MUCH going through this book. . . . I definitely recommend this book if learning computer graphics fundamentals is something you're curious about."
    —Dylan Bennett, Curator of PiGameDev

    "Computer Graphics from Scratch is a great jumping-off point for those who want to learn more about raytracing and rasterization."
    —Julia Roth, Geek Girl Authority

    "An ideal textbook on DIY computer graphic creation, Computer Graphics from Scratch: A Programmer's Introduction to 3D Rendering is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, school, college, and university library Computer Programming collections and supplemental studies curriculums."
    —James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

    "If you want to understand how shaders are programmed, something important not just to game developers or animators but to anyone who needs to understand what's happening with the graphics library that they are using that isn't working right, this book is for you. The math is just algebra with linear algebra included, and Gambetta builds up his renderers from scratch in a manner that appears logical and easy to follow."
    —Rik Farrow, USENIX