Computer graphics are at work everywhere today, adding eye-popping details to video games, hyper-realistic CGI to major blockbusters, and life-like imagery to computer-animated films. This beginners book will introduce you to a core slice of this ever-expanding field, 3D rendering, with a focus on two popular algorithmic methods: raytracing and rasterization.
Written to be easily understood by high-school students but rigorous enough for professional engineers, you’ll build each of these surprisingly simple algorithms into complete, fully functional renderers as you build your knowledge base. The first half covers raytracing, which simulates rays of light as they bounce off of objects in a scene; the second half breaks down rasterization, the real-time process for converting 3D graphics into a screen-compatible array of 2D pixels. Every chapter gives you something visually new and exciting to add to your works-in-progress, from creating reflections and shadows that make objects look more realistic, to rendering a scene from any directional point of view.
You’ll learn how to:
- Represent objects in a scene, and use perspective projection to draw them in
- Compute the illumination for light sources (point, directional, and ambient)
- Render mirror-like reflections on surfaces, and cast shadows for depth
- Use clipping algorithms to render a scene from any camera position
- Implement flat shading, Gouraud shading, and Phong shading algorithms
- “Paint” textures that fake surface details and turn shapes into everyday objects
The book uses informal pseudocode throughout the text, so you can write your renderers in any language. In addition, the author provides links to live working versions of his algorithms.
Gabriel Gambetta has been coding games since the age of 5 on a ZX Spectrum. After studying CS and starting his career as a company man, he gave it all up to start a game development company, where he worked for over a decade while teaching Computer Graphics at a local university. Most recently, Gambetta has worked at Google in Zürich since 2011, except for a stint as an early engineer in London-based multiplayer game tech unicorn Improbable.