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ShaderX, a damn good book

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I''m in no way affiliated with this book and this thread may seem kind of funny since it''s more of a review, but I just wanted to let people know that if they are at all wanting to learn anything about DirectX Vertex or Pixel Shaders that this book is a must buy. I just got it in the mail about a week ago and I can''t put it down. It tells you everything you need to know plus more. If you have the money, definetly check it out (I believe Barnes and Nobles might have it cheap still, despite how much their survice sucks). The only complaint I have is the demo''s. Like 60% of the demo''s won''t run on my beautiful new Geforce 4 4200. Makes me feel like I wasted $200. The more advanced shader demo''s make use of the Pixel Shader 1.4 standard which Geforces don''t support yet (nVidia, whats up man?). Also even some of the demo''s that are supposed to work I was having trouble with. Ah well, the reading is whats important, and you definetly get the fundamentals and advanced principals down (the free shaders help too). I give it a 9 out of 10 definetly, pick it up if you have the means and need to know anything and everything about shaders! "Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." - Shakespeare Dirge - Aurelio Reis www.CodeFortress.com Current Causes: Nissan sues Nissan

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Half of the demos and code that use ps1.4 don''t actually NEED ps1.4 ... that''s the problem with a book that uses mostly ATI samples.

I like the book and all, don''t get me wrong. But I was kinda disappointed that they used ps1.4 where it wasn''t needed (it''s easy to translate the CODE so it works), that the only demos of some effects are actually demos of a bunch of stuff (and they''re for ATI''s card so I can''t use them), and that they didn''t even DISCUSS alternative methods for some of the effects when using ps1.1.

But it''s a good reference anyway

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Drilian,
if you send me translated versions of your shaders, I will put the online on an additional page with your name under it.

- Wolf

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Can someone explain the differences between the different versions please? All I found was a table suggesting that ps1.4 just stopped you being able to write to lots of things - a disadvantage you''d think. Are there new instructions or what & where can I find tables of the ops etc for each ps version?
Cheers.



Read about my game, project #1
NEW (13th August): A new screenshot is up, plus diaries for week #3


John 3:16

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These postings give me a mixed feeling.First I was dreaming about the book, but I start to ask why Would I buy a book with samples that only work on a specific card. I only have GeForce 2, and the samples do not even work on GeForce 4.

But I am also encouraged because I see the author welling to post a code that works in other cards.

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OB1st:
GeForce 2''s can''t run shaders on the card anyways, so it''s no big deal. Simply set your DirectX into REF mode, and watch the demos fly by at a whopping 4fps.

Dirge:
I saw this book before, and simply could not immagine how one could possibly turn an aprox. 20pg DX 8.1 reference on shaders into a full fledged book. Could you please enlighten me as to what is inside this book which is such a great read?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Could be worse, the book could''ve been written for the pixel shaders 2.0. The radeon which comes out next monday has it, and the geforce 5 will too, however that''s a few months off.

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Wow, I''m surprised this thread is still alive. Ok, so a few of you think that this is just a compilation of DX Docs put into a book. Well, I strongly have to disagree. The manor in which the material was put together is simply excellent. If you want to learn just how to color a vertex, or texture or multi-texture it, the DX Docs were adequete, but like usual they never ever go into the detail that certain subjects truly deserver (even the new DX 9 ones, which still are vastly incomplete even though it''s beta).

Also, I realize as well the there is a new Radeon card coming out, as well as a new un-named (geforce 5?) nVidia card. If this book only supported ps1.1-1.3, which was actually my only gripe (that it didn''t), the book probably would not have been worth it. But luckily (well, not too much for me), it supports the newer standard which is going to remain pretty much the same.

I''m going to make it a learning excercise to convert some of the ps1.4 to 1.3 (if possible), so it''s not like I feel cheated for that or anything (so wolf, if Drilian won''t do it I certainly will try).

All the instructions and ops where in this book in easy to read charts btw. Oh, and Geforce 2 doesn''t support Pixel Shaders, but it does support Vertex Shaders in software optimized by your respective CPU maker.

hello2k1: Like I said, it''s definetly not just the DX docs, it WAY more. I won''t go into every thing it covers but it starts out pretty basic then dives into really advanced uses for shaders (character animation, rippling refractive water and realistic sky rendering, image processing, particles).

I stick by my reccomendation, but only if you can get the book for less than $60 (I got mine for 40).

"Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." - Shakespeare

Dirge - Aurelio Reis
www.CodeFortress.com
Current Causes:
Nissan sues Nissan

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Well, this book may be good and all. But I must say I was disapointed when I saw that the first 170 pages are exactly like "Shader programming" series, hosted here in GameDev.

[edited by - Frikkasoft on August 13, 2002 12:49:46 PM]

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Frikkasoft, That wasn''t dissapointing if you take the time and look you will notice the Wolf put it up to give a sample of the book... and I agree with the recomendation and about the Lyaout, this book is easy to read through and a great ref on some of the more "standard" uses of Vert/pixel shaders

~GIBbie

~GIBbie
~Writing code for no reason and loving it~

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