A.K. Peters books at SIGGRAPH and beyond

OK, so I like the publisher A.K. Peters, for obvious reasons. They’re also kind/smart enough to send me review copies of upcoming graphics-related books. I’ve received two recently, with one of particular interest:

Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11, by Jason Zink, Matt Pettineo, and Jack Hoxley

This one’s very nicely produced (especially for the price): hardcover, color throughout, with paper a bit better than the GPU Gems volumes; basically, that level of quality. More important, it covers a topic that is not very well covered at all (from what I’ve seen), neither by Microsoft’s scattershot documentation nor other sources. Well, in fairness there’s Beginning DirectX 11 Game Programming, but that’s indeed for beginners. I don’t see anything about compute shaders, tessellation, or even stream output in the table of contents. These topics and many more are covered in the new book.

Skimming through it, it looks quite good, a book that I want to spend some serious time reading. You might recognize Zink and Hoxley’s names from the free book that never quite made it to publication, Programming Vertex, Geometry, and Pixel Shaders, coauthored by Wolfgang Engel (of ShaderX and GPU Pro fame), Ralf Kommann, and Niko Suni.

The other book I received was:

Visual Perception from a Computer Graphics Perspective, by William Thompson, Roland Fleming, Sarah Creem-Regehr, and Jeanine Kelly Stefanucci

This book is a survey of visual perception research and how it relates to computer graphics. If you’re a researcher and expect to delve into the field of visual perception, this looks like the place to start. With 68 pages of references, it clearly attempts to give you relevant research in a huge variety of areas. To be honest, I’m not all that interested in reading a whole book on the topic. I picked one topic, motion blur, as a quick test of the book’s usefulness to me. There’s just a brief mention of motion blur on one page, and the computer graphics papers referenced are from the 1980′s (fine papers, but ancient). I tried another: Fresnel – no index entry, half a page, no references. Depth of field: a page and a half, a fair number of references (newest being 2005), none about interactive graphics. So, it’s an extensive survey of the visual perception literature, but don’t expect much depth nor any serious coverage of the area of interactive computer graphics.

Two other books I expect to see at SIGGRAPH are Real-Time Shadows and 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development, 2nd Edition. I got a peek at the latter and it looks to be quite in-depth (and still approachable and informal) – I’m not sure how it differs from the first edition at this point. A micro-review on this blog of the first edition is here, at the end.

There are a lot of other upcoming computer graphics books from A.K. Peters that sound intriguing, e.g. Shadow Algorithms Data Miner – two great tastes now together. Check out the list here or ask at the booth at SIGGRAPH.

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  1. Mauricio’s avatar

    On a somewhat related note, I picked up an AK Peters book called “The Golden Age of Video Games” at SIGGRAPH, and I already read it. See my review at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1439873232.

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