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My wife bought a copy of Dave Eberly's "3D Game Engine Design, 2nd Ed." for Christmas. I am a pretty big fan of Eberly - it seems that he takes the time to explain things properly from the ground up. In fact, between the four of his books that are currently available, you can basically learn everything you need to know about computer graphics and software engineering to get your own engine put together (or you could just use the one provided with the books!)

Anyways, the book provides a cross platform engine for graphics and physics, although the focus is on the graphics system. The 2nd edition of this book weighs in at 1018 pages!! In addition, it ships with the fourth version of his engine, the Wild Magic engine.

This is the interesting part, since he has revamped the engine since its last rendition. It is now fully shader based. The new version has three renderers:

1. DX9 Renderer
2. OGL Renderer
3. Software Renderer [grin][cool]

What a great learning tool, to have a shader based software renderer with full source code. If you want to know more about a given portion of the graphic pipeline, just open the project and see how it works!

This will likely occupy much of my time for a while. I have some ideas about how to use software rendering in a modern context, of course they need to be developed a little more before I can really write about them. But soon enough...
In other news, I still haven't heard anything from NVIDIA about my article proposal. They said that the authors would be notified by email by the end of the year - so that gives them just a few more working days. If I don't hear anything, then I will likely just write up the article and release it here instead. The ideas mentioned below are somewhat tied to this, so maybe I'll put together a good long article on the subject. We'll see how time permits!
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Well, geez -- I got a bunch of gift certificates I've been meaning to spend. If Eberly is willing to go into that much effort to sell a book, then dammit, he's sold one to me. That is an outstanding amount of work.

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Yeah, its a damn good deal. I am still reading through the part on software shading and it sounds pretty interesting. He also states in the book that he is planning on making automatic translators to go from Cg to assembly for his soft shaders - which is also by itself worth the cover price. I am happy.

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