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Direct3D Shaderx: Vertex and Pixel Shader Tips and Tricks (Wordware Game Developer's Library) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Wolfgang F. Engel

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Juli 2002 Wordware Game Developer's Library
Focusing on Direct3D 8.x, this book shows a wide array of specialized vertex and pixel shader programming tricks from industry experts.


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Vertex and pixel shader programming allows graphics and game developers to create photorealistic graphics on the personal computer for the first time. And with DirectX, programmers have access to an assembly language interface to the transformation and lighting hardware (vertex shaders) and the pixel pipeline (pixel shaders). This book begins with an introduction to vertex and pixel shader programming and moves on to a wide array of specialised shader tricks contributed by 27 experts in game and graphics programming. These range from character animation and lighting to photorealistic faces and non-photorealistic rendering. Special effects shaders are also presented, including those for such effects as bubbles, rippling water, animated grass, and particle flows. Book and CD.

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This introduction covers the fundamentals of vertex shader and pixel shader programming. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  9 Rezensionen
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Shader at its Best 8. September 2002
Von Thomas Jörg - Veröffentlicht auf
I read most of the chapters of this book so far and I must say this is the best book I have ever seen on effects programming. It was much easier for me to understand specific techniques by reading a real text instead of flipping through numerous power point slides.
Although I have done some work with shaders before, I found Wolfgang's introduction at the beginning of the book very useful.
One of my favourite chapters is Dean Calver's chapter "Vertex Decompression in a Shader". Using this technique is a must to save valuable memory bandwidth. I think this chapter alone is worth the money to buy the book. I can't name all the excellent articles here, but I want to highlight a few:
Per-Pixel lighting for a skinned mesh is not trivial. You can find a great explanation of this in "Character Animation with Direct3D Vertex Shader" by David Gosselin. Additionally this article shows you how to combine keyframe animation with a skeleton based animation, which might be useful to combine an animated face (keyframe animation) with a skeleton based animation of the body (this seems to be used in a few upcoming games).
Kim Pallister explains optimization techniques, that helps you to optimize your shaders so that they run on older hardware. This techiques are also useful on the newest hardware.
Jason L. Mitchells chapter on Image processing gives you a lot of ground to think about post-processing shaders, which are useful to get a look like a 50's TV set or to get a heat signature. He shows numerous ways to influence the overall look and feel of your game by using filter, egde detection and mathematical morphollogy.
One of the very handy tips is written by Steffen Bendel. He shows how to smooth fonts in a very simple and efficient way on pixel shader hardware. This is very useful for displaying fonts. You can implement this feature in minutes in your engine. Steffen's chapter "Smooth Lighting with ps.1.4" shows one of the most interesting ways to improve lighting quality in a game engine.
Kenneth Hurley's chapter "Photorealistic Faces with Vertex and Pixel Shaders" shows step-by-step, how to prepare art in a way, that the result looks photorealistic and it explains each line in the source code needed to produce photo realistic faces with the help of vertex and pixel shaders in real-time. The article comes with the source of the necessary tools (diffuse cube map generator, a texture mapping cylindrical wrapper (MAX Plugin)) and an example program. Kenneth shows how to achieve this effect in 2 passes on multitexturing capable hardware by using sphere maps.
Getting into the field of "Non-Photorealistic Rendering with Vertex and Pixel Shaders" is not trivial. Blockbusters like MotoGP, Wreckless, Cel Damage, Jet Set Radio Future show how non-photorealistic rendering can influence the atmosphere in a game. Jason L. Mitchell and Drew Card gives you a detailed explanation on how to do these kind of techniques in real-time.
A collection of very useful "Texture Perturbation Effects" is shown by John Isidoro, Guennadi Riguer, and Chris Brennan from ATI. They show how to produce clouds, fire, and glass in a very efficient way in the pixel shader.
The chapters on "Rendering Ocean Water", "Rippling Reflective and Refractive Water", "Chrystal/Candy Shader" and "Bubble Shader" show some of the neat tricks used in the ATI nature demo. The example programs didn't make it into the book, but you can get them with source now from the ATI web-site.
Another one of my favourite articles is the one written by Philippe Beaudoin and Juan Guardado "A Non-Integer Power Function on the Pixel Shader". This article deals with the lack of color precision on first generation shader hardware. It shows a way how to overcome this problem by using a cool algorithm.
Ádám Moravánszky shows how to use bump maps together with BRDF rendering. If you ever thought about implementing this technique, you can see why Ádám is one of the shader wizards.
Using 3D textures to store data for games is a technique that is getting more and more common with newer hardware. Evan Hart shows how to use 3D textures in an efficient way in games.
Martin Kraus is a member of the Visualization and Interactive Systems Group at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. This group developed a bunch of new techniques in volume graphics. He shows some very nice examples on what you can do with 3D textures on current hardware. It is interesting to read about their advanded techniques to use 3D textures very efficiently.
It is not a trivial task to design an efficient graphics engine, that uses shaders to show breath-taking visuals. Ingo Frick the technical director of Massive Development explains in "Visualization with the Krass Engine", how they designed the Krass engine to get an efficient shader implementation. This engine is used in several upcoming european game titles (Aquanox Revelation, Spellforce et all.).
The last chapter by Bart Sekura shows, how to build up a complete shader driven graphics engine, that is capable to read in Quake 3 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein levels and to display them. You can find the full source with a thorough explanation in this book.
I would like to recommend this book to everyone, who is interested in real-time graphics programming...
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book is great for starters and pros! 3. April 2003
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Shaders are the direction of real time graphics programming for games and other applications. They were introduced in their first versions with DX8 hardware like the GeForce3 and the Radeon 8500 and are continouisly extended in further version of hardware and software like in the new DX9 class of hardware.
It is industry wide consensus that shaders are the way to get cool graphics in realtime games. But there has always been a lack of good documentation about what shaders are and their possibilities. This book was made to address it. It is designed to handle the DX8 API way of shaders together with lots of DX8 samples but the principles apply to OpenGL shader programming also.

The book is splittet into two parts.

The first part is a thorough introduction about vertex and pixel shaders written by editor Wolfgang Engel. It explains the reasoning behind the shaders, the definitions of the virtual machines, and all assembler commands available. For each type of shaders there is also an introductionary example section for getting first successful shader programs running. It is well written with lots of information.

The second part is a collection of shader gems - short articles by differenct authors. Among the authors are people from developer relations from nVidia, Matrox and ATI as well as graphics programmers from inside the gaming industry. These authors have lots of experience programming shaders and they show in short sections what's possible and how to get there.

This book is standing in my bookshelf and in the bookshelves of a lot of professional developers worldwide.

I highly recommend buying it.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Direct3D ShaderX FOR RADEON 8500 !! 7. August 2002
Von Sebb - Veröffentlicht auf
I am french and I could not find Direct3D ShaderX on, so I went on and I was very excited to receive my Direct3D ShaderX book ! I received it yesterday and began to read it. It is a pretty good book even if all chapters have not the same quality and number of explainations. But there is something that is upsetting me: this book is essentially for ATI RADEON 8500 developpers ! Because near all pixel shaders are written for ps1.4, only supported by the ATI card !... and I have a GeForce 3 ti so, even if several articles give me some idea, I cannot use the code because my card does not support ps1.4...
For vertex shader, no problem because everbody support vs1.0.
So, for a ATI Radeon 8500 user, I would rate this book 5 stars ! But for a nVidia GeForce 3/4 user, I would rate this book only 3 stars...
I would like a book like this one written by nVidia engineers and updated to Cg langage, it would be great !! (:D)
Sorry for my poor english.
8 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I wish this was out a year ago! 11. Juli 2002
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
I have read just about every presentation, white paper, and web page there is on vertex and pixel shaders. Now I am kicking myself for having not just waited for this book to come out. It fills in all the gaps, and is full of tricks I never would have thought of on my own.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen old but still relevant 12. Mai 2007
Von Manchor Ko - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The best part of the book is the article by Dean Calver on vertex compression. Most of the other material are good practial tricks on shaders plus tutorials. Dean's article not only gives a clever way to compress and decompress vertex position - by concating the model view matrix with his decompression matrix. His use of eigen vectors to find the principal axis is refreshing. He also showed us how to extend the method to handle geometry that are larger and cannot be handled within the precision of the basic method.
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