book review graphics

Book Review: Essentials of Interactive Computer Graphics

Essentials of Interactive Computer Graphics by Kevin Sung, Peter Shirley, Steven Baer is a good book for theory of how to work in and with interactive graphics. Their chapters include things like event driven programming, model view controller architecture, GUI APIs and working with the graphics APIs. I especially liked how they brought in real world examples like dealing with 3D modeling packages (Maya), abstracting behaviour of game elements and the number of examples available.

The book is a mix of Direct X and OpenGL, but there are lots of examples that make it worthwhile. This book is targetted more for a beginner to intermediate, but I especially liked the concepts of event driven programming in a book about graphics. So often, I find programmers from other disciplines and backgrounds (with the exception of real-time programmers) are not as concerned with event driven programming. Often, in application programming event driven programming may only be used for GUI elements, which in most cases is all that is needed. In a game however, there are often a lot of elements (objects colliding, proximity triggers, network sync events etc.) that cause a lot of events to be happening simultaneously, and having a good grasp on how to deal with these events and design code to work with these events becomes very important.

Good book overall, especially for those new to the concepts (and hopefully everyone has at least heard of model-view-controller).

Best of luck,
Michael Hubbard

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