Title: 3D Computer Graphics (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Used: Good
Bookseller Inventory # SONG0201398559
Synopsis: This book provides students with a knowledge of complex and emerging topics in the field of Computer Graphics, including advances in rendering and new material on animation. It will enable the reader to master the fundamentals of 3D computer graphics as well as acting as a complete resource for anyone interested in 3D modelling. It provides detailed coverage of both realistic and non-realistic images.
This is the third edition of a book which deals with the processes involved in converting a mathematical or geometric description of an object into a visualisation that simulates the appearance of a real object. Traditionally computer graphics has created pictures by starting with a very detailed geometric description, subjecting this to a series of transformations that orient a viewer and objects in 3D space, then imitating reality by making the objects look solid and real - a process known as rendering. Nowadays this is proving insufficient for the new demands of moving computer imagery and virtual reality. Much research is being carried out into how to model complex objects, where the nature and shape of the objects changes dynamically and into capturing the richness of the world without having to model every detail explicitly. This text explores and relates thee resulting in diverse synthesis and modelling methods.
Review: The third edition of Alan Watt's 3D Computer Graphics, a bible of computer graphics, includes a CD-ROM full of examples and updated information on graphics and rendering algorithms. The book discusses many of the techniques that have evolved in the seven years since the previous edition was published.
3D Computer Graphics is a textbook, and it's designed for serious programmers creating graphics applications (not end users). Over the course of 16 sections, Watt introduces the concepts and implementation of computer imaging, from "Mathematical Fundamentals of Computer Graphics" to "Representation and Rendering" and ending with "Image-Based Rendering and Photo-Modeling." The last section, devoted to computer animation, includes methods for linked structures, collision detection, and particle animation (to name a few).
Although the topics are sometimes hard to grasp, Mr. Watt writes clearly and concisely, making generous use of diagrams to help convey the principles described in the text.
The accompanying CD-ROM includes over a dozen studies of computer graphics techniques and rendering algorithms. Presented in HTML, the exhaustive studies, each with a matrix of thumbnails, demonstrates the varied achievable results. One minor complaint here: although the thumbnails can be clicked to view a much larger image, the larger versions come in .tif format, which few (if any) Web browsers can view. Users will need another application to view them. Having the large image in .jpg format would have enabled the reader to view it in the already-open Web browser.
3D Computer Graphics is ideally suited to graphics programmers and researchers working to create new medical imaging devices; geological research systems; virtual structural testing systems for aircraft, cars, and spacecraft; or effects and photorealistic Hollywood animation. --Mike Caputo
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