TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 02 Book Review

Volume Number: 18 (2002)
Issue Number: 04
Column Tag: Review

Book Review: 3D Game Engine Design

by Ron Davis

There are a lot of game programming books out there. They use many different methodologies to teach you something about game programming. 3D Game Engine Design by David H. Eberly is a specialize graphic algorithm book. As the author says in his introduction, most graphic algorithm books either show you code to implement games, or they give you in-depth discussion of 3D algorithms that aren't really useful for the game programmer. This book is in the middle. It is a deep reference of 3D programming, but it focuses on the things you need for the real time graphics of games.

I have to confess much of the math in this book was over my head. It isn't for those of us who didn't pay enough attention to those calculus classes. If this sentence from the introduction of the book scares you, the book isn't for you: "It is assumed that the reader's background includes a basic understanding of vector and matrix algebra, linear algebra, multivariate calculus and data structures."

Even given that caveat I delved on into the book. It is first and foremost a reference. Each aspect of 3D engine development is covered, with no one part being dependent on another. If you do this kind of development, you need this book on your book shelf. There is also a CD that comes with the book that includes a full 3D graphic engine, but, alas, it is not very Mac friendly.

The first chapter is an introduction to the book and how it is organized. The second chapter discusses geometrical methods used to map three dimensional objects onto a two dimensional screen, including transformations, coordinate systems, quaternions, Euler angles and distance methods. There is also a discussion of common shapes like spheres, capsules, cylinders etc.

Chapter 3 discusses the graphic pipeline, which is how a 3D game works, including perspective projection, camera models, culling and clipping. There is also a discussion of surface and vertex attributes including textures, lighting, transparency and fog. According to the summary at the end of the chapter, all of this information is not needed if you are using a 3D API like OpenGL.

No matter what you use for a render, you will have to organize the scene you are going to feed the renderer. The book begins a discussion of these issues with Chapter 4, Hierarchical Scene Representations. It discusses means of organizing objects so they are grouped allowing for easier transformation, collision detection, rendering and persistence.

Picking is the subject of Chapter 5, which is the means of translating a click on the screen to a 3D object in the scene. The author takes a more generalized approach and handles collision detection from any 2D point for a ray into the 3D world. This allows for determining if things like laser beams hit 3D objects.

Chapter 6 covers collision detection. The author notes this can be a very complex problem and that much of the code a game can be taken up with it. He notes at the beginning of the chapter that this needs to be taken into account at design time. The rest of the chapter is dedicated to collisions of various types of objects.

Chapter 7 covers curves which may not at first be obviously used in games, but which the author discusses anyway. This leads to surfaces in Chapter 8, which are a growing part of 3D game engines. The chapter covers different kinds of curves and how to subdivide them.

Chapter 9 is a short chapter on animation covering key frame animation, inverse kinematics and skinning. The author discusses how to create different levels of detail in a 3D scene on demand in chapter 10.

One of the cooler things in 3D to me is terrain generation and that is topic of chapter 11. He discusses an algorithm used to minimize the amount of data and calculations needed to render landscapes.

The last two chapters of the book cover spatial sorting techniques and special effects. The book concludes with an appendix on object oriented infrastructure and numerical methods as wells as a complete glossary.


Ron Davis is a long time Macintosh Software Engineer, having worked for companies like Apple, and Metrowerks on a variety of products from development tools to anti-virus software.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

calibre 2.17 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.1.2 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniGraffle 6.1.2 - Create diagrams, flo...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
RoboForm 2.0.2 - Password manager; syncs...
RoboForm is a password manager that offers one-click login, mobile syncing, easy form filling, and reliable security. Password Manager. RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don't have to! Just... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.1 - Live performance t...
Love the sound you got on your recording? MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring all the same instruments and effects to the stage. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.2 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.44 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
Stacks 2.6.9 - New way to create pages i...
Stacks is a new way to create pages in RapidWeaver. It's a plugin designed to combine drag-and-drop simplicity with the power of fluid layout. Features: Fluid Layout: Stacks lets you build pages... Read more
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Ea...
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a... Read more
Logic Pro X 10.1 - Music creation and au...
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that's designed to get... Read more

Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one... | Read more »
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a...
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a Place for Fans to Take Disney Quizzes Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Hands-On With Cut the Rope Developer Zep...
Marking quite a departure from ZeptoLab’s past successes, namely the Cut The Rope series, King of Thieves is shaping up to be quite promising. Due for release in February, we were lucky enough to have some time with a preview build to see exactly... | Read more »
Fast Fishing Review
Fast Fishing Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVES UP TO ITS NAMEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fishing is far from relaxing in Fast Fishing, but it is fun.   | Read more »
Head Back to Dark World of Arnashia in B...
Head Back to Dark World of Arnashia in Blood Brothers 2 Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Saved Review
Saved Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE BUDGETINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Saved is a convenient and speedy way of adding expenses and keeping track of your... | Read more »
Wooga Announces Agent Alice, a New Hidde...
Wooga Announces Agent Alice, a New Hidden Object Game Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Wooga, makers of | Read more »
One Tap Desert Hero Review
One Tap Desert Hero Review By Campbell Bird on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: DRY GAMEPLAYiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad This one-touch arcade game uses random elements and unlocks to try to keep... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

College Student Deals are back, additional $5...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through April 11, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus GIve Apple Half Of US Mob...
Chicago-based Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) have released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone manufacturers for the calendar quarter that ended December 31,... Read more
Save $100 on MacBook Airs with 256GB of stora...
B&H Photo has 256GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook... Read more
21-inch 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179, save $...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
iPhone Usage Rates by State Correlate With Ed...
Chitika Insights notes that despite iPhones being the largest source of smartphone Internet traffic in North America, their latest study finds a relatively high degree of variation of iPhone usage... Read more
ProGearX Extendable Pole “Pov/Selfie Stick” M...
There’s something inescapably narcissistic about the concept of selfies as they’ve developed as a smartphone-driven social (particularly social media) phenomenon that rubs me the wrong way. However,... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP, 2...
 Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for the next two days. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished MacBook Pros and...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Sale! 13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro for $...
 B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Next OS X/iOS Version Upgrades Should Concent...
On stage at Apple’s World Wide Developers’ Conference in June 2009, Bertrand Serlet, the company’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering at the time, announced that the forthcoming OS X... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Acura/Subaru Service Technicians - A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
Business Development Manager - *Apple* Pay...
**Job Summary** Apple Pay is seeking an experienced business development manager to support the identification, recruitment, negotiation and ongoing management of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Lead Operator, GSOC - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking an exceptional, customer service oriented and experienced persons to fulfill the role of Apple Lead Operator (ALO) as part of the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.