This page is devoted
to sites and tools we use on a continuing basis. They're personal picks, and reflect our own
Special bonus site: you need to visit it only once, but Maxima
is worth listing here. It is a free version of Macsyma (which is similar to Mathematica
and Maple). If you work with equations and do not have $1500 to spare, you need
- Blogmania: Most bloggers (and non-bloggers) also have a Twitter feed - find and follow them. Try out these blogs with one of these:
Lost in the Triangles,
Diary of a Graphics Programmer,
TomF's Tech Blog,
DirectX Developer Blog,
Pete Shirley's Graphics Blog,
the ryg blog,
Not active, but still with some worthwhile posts:
I Get Your Fail (brilliant),
Mikkelsen and 3D Graphics,
The Little Grasshopper,
NVIDIA Developer Zone,
Pixel, Too Many....
You'll often find yet more blogs linked from these pages.
- NVIDIA, AMD (plus GPUOpen, and Intel
graphics developer sites - demos, code samples, white papers, etc. Other worthwhile code samples at Humus-3D.
- Ke-Sen Huang's conference pages has links for papers from all the major computer graphics conferences and workshops. The pages by Tim Rowley are not available directly, but this archive contains them.
- SIGGRAPH 2015 links, compiled by Stephen Hill. Also see link pages for SIGGRAPH 2014, SIGGRAPH 2013, SIGGRAPH 2012 and SIGGRAPH 2011.
- Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games - the course materials from SIGGRAPH 2010 on.
- The Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques - open access (free to all) and many articles include code samples.
- Developer sites and mailing lists:
GameDev.net is active,
as is OpenGL.org,
DevMaster.net less so,
GD Algorithms archives dying out but searchable (subscribe),
FlipCode (old, closed, but some good things in the archives).
- Game company publication pages: alphabetically, and a few quite dated, but here goes.
Black Rock Studio,
Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony CE Europe,
- Film company publication pages:
- Commercial research lab pages:
Microsoft Research Asia,
Microsoft Research U.S.
- Free (and good) books online
- Models: McGuire, TurboSquid, CGTrader, more.
- ACM TOG's Software Tools and Resources page has much about both graphics software and where to get 3D models, BRDF data, etc.
- Graphics and Game Gems Database lets you search the various popular interactive graphics series, browse each book's article titles, and get bibtex entries. IntroGameDev and AI Wisdom are similar sites. They leave out a few newer (and older) books, but have the advantage of being able to browse by category.
- OpenGL: SDK, Documentation, specifications, tutorials, extensions and more, GLEW, Mesa.
- DirectX: SDK, tutorials (more), debugging, version stats.
- WebGL: 2.0 Specification, browser support, usage stats, device/browser test, current browser details, debugging/profiling, x3dom, and WebGL Resources page.
- Paper Search:
- Interactive 3D Graphics is an interactive course (MOOC) using videos (with transcripts) alongside "exercises and demos (using three.js) that run in your browser. Focus is on general principles, though specifics, such as shader programming, are also covered.
- Intro to Parallel Programming uses CUDA to teach about GPU parallel programming.
- Shader School is highly recommended for learning GLSL; it has a nice way of teaching you step by step. Answers here, as (on the Mac, at least) the one flaw is that compiler errors are not shown.
- three.js is a scene graph layer and much more atop WebGL. It makes adding 3D web content pretty easy - enjoy the demos on that page, or sample the examples (and even better, commented examples here).
- Scratchapixel has a series of articles on the basics of computer graphics theory.
- Shadertoy is unlikely to help you write shaders - I just wanted to sneak it in. Rather, enjoy the extreme shaders (using procedural geometry, ray casting, etc.) that others have written, right in your browser. New shaders every day.
- Gameconfs - game-related conferences.
- Geometric Tools - there
are many different code snippets and tutorials here to do all sorts of graphics
operations, with a focus on computational geometry and intersection methods.
- Graphics Gems Repository
- contains the source code for many graphics algorithms. Search the contents
or by book.
- Journal of Graphics Tools (JGT) code repository.
- Virtual Terrain Project - a constantly-expanding repository of algorithms about and models of terrain, vegetation, natural phenomena, etc.
- Github and SourceForge are popular places to browse for free, open-source software applications.
- 3D Object Intersection Page - where to find articles and code on this topic.
- comp.graphics.algorithms FAQ - ancient, not maintained, but still full of computational goodness.
programming page - with the death of "Game Developer", no new content here, but some great old articles are available.
- Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics is an incredible (though often dense) resource for mathematical definitions.
- Steam's hardware survey tracks what is currently used by their subscribers.
- Tech Power Up has an up-to-date summary of the clock speed, memory size, and other characteristics for every major consumer PC GPU. Tech ARP has similar GPU charts for workstations, PCs, and mobile devices. Hardware Info has an amazing GPU comparison app. Notebookcheck also compares mobile GPUs, with text reviews.
- ACM TOG's Research Resources page much of the same information as here, but with a wider scope.
- GPU Review Sites - these sites often have in-depth analysis of GPU features:
- Game Related - Metacritic or GameRankings.com for meta-ratings, VG Chartz for console and handheld sales figures, gamedevmap for developer locations.
- Real Artifacts - in no way critical, but I find myself looking for this link every few months so I'm putting it here for me.
If you know a site that you're simply shocked we don't list here, please let me know.
Resources Hosted Onsite
Beyond the books list and object/object intersections page, the major resources hosted here are:
Computer Programs and Services
Here are some computer programs and services we like, in rough order of awesomeness.
- Dropbox - you should know this already, but just in case: creates a special folder that is shared by all your machines. You can also share with others privately or publicly.
- iPad: my only recommendation is GoodReader - lets you stuff and view documents onto your iPad, syncs nicely with Dropbox.
- Ninite - installing stuff on a new PC? Save yourself a few hours by just checking off the things you want and getting one program to install them all, without prompts. Also a nice site for finding programs to try out.
- WinDirStat (Disk Inventory X on the Mac) - shows where all your disk space has gone in an excellent visual fashion (with specular highlights!). Try clicking on everything you see in the display to get more info, delete, etc. Free.
- Beyond Compare - an excellent file comparison program. It even compares images, also showing their alpha layer. Shareware, but the trial gives 30 days of use. Our review here.
- cppcheck - super-easy to use and free, it will probably find some coding errors that your compiler didn't notice. More about it here.
- Visual Assist X - if you use Microsoft's Visual Studio, this add-on makes it considerably more usable. Costs money after the 30 day trial, but worth it for professionals. More info here.
- MeshLab is a free package that's good for mesh manipulation and translation. It's got rough edges all over - expect crashes and lockups on advanced functionality - but it's got a huge range of functions.
- Assimp is an open source library that reads a wide variety of 3D model file formats (and writes out a few). It also can perform some mesh clean-up functions.
- Screen capture: I've looked far and wide. FastStone Capture is shareware that costs $20, but does a lot, including annotation. Greenshot is my favorite free one.
- Image viewers: it's a matter of taste and needs. IrfanView, XnView, and FastStone Image Viewer are popular generic viewers. ddsview lets you look at mipmap levels (for DDS) and examine colors and alpha easily (plus source code is available).
- Everything finds files and folders instantly.
- Glary Utilities, free for home use, has worthwhile cleanup tools and other utilities.
- Shader-related: NShader adds syntax highlighting for shaders developed in Visual Studio, or you can get most of the way there in MSVC by "Options | Text Editor | File Extension" and setting extension .fx (.fxh, etc.), choosing Microsoft Visual C++, then clicking "Add". For OpenGL debugging, gDEBugger is currently free, more info here. Other shader-related tools described here.
- Performance: there are many tools in this area, here's a start.