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Shader X - is this book any good?

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Shader X4 by Wolfgang Engel - is it any good? Amazon link Has anyone read it? If so, here are some questions I have: - Is it good for a newbie at shaders? I have a few tutorials about how to set up a basic vertex and pixel shader but nothing more than that as previous knowledge - Apart from showing special new effects unique to shaders, does the book cover making ALL the fixed-function pipeline effects with shaders? - Does it cover much, or will I need to read plenty of other books to learn the ins and outs of shaders? - I'm mainly using DirectX at the moment. Does the book cover DirectX well or is it more centered on OpenGL? If it covers DirectX well, does it use assembler shaders or HLSL? I'm mainly interested in HLSL. - The lighting ideas covered in the book, do they include the high-quality shadowing methods used in the cutting-edge games today? Or at the very least, does it teach lighting a la Doom3 (with proper dynamic shadows with per-pixel exactness rather than the vertex based lighting and shadow systems of games before Doom3)?

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Original post by all_names_taken
Shader X4 by Wolfgang Engel - is it any good?

Amazon link

Has anyone read it? If so, here are some questions I have:
- Is it good for a newbie at shaders? I have a few tutorials about how to set up a basic vertex and pixel shader but nothing more than that as previous knowledge
- Apart from showing special new effects unique to shaders, does the book cover making ALL the fixed-function pipeline effects with shaders?
- Does it cover much, or will I need to read plenty of other books to learn the ins and outs of shaders?
- I'm mainly using DirectX at the moment. Does the book cover DirectX well or is it more centered on OpenGL? If it covers DirectX well, does it use assembler shaders or HLSL? I'm mainly interested in HLSL.
- The lighting ideas covered in the book, do they include the high-quality shadowing methods used in the cutting-edge games today? Or at the very least, does it teach lighting a la Doom3 (with proper dynamic shadows with per-pixel exactness rather than the vertex based lighting and shadow systems of games before Doom3)?


No.
No.
This book isn't designed as a shader tutorial, so yes you will have to read more.
Shader X3 is mainly HLSL, though the language isn't that important. Again, this book isn't a shader tutorial.
Well, yes.

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Quote:
Original post by all_names_taken
Shader X4 by Wolfgang Engel - is it any good?
Yes.

Quote:
Has anyone read it?
Yes.
Quote:
- Is it good for a newbie at shaders?
No. Not at all. It's basically a cookbook of different techniques; you need to understand a lot about shaders before you'll be able to use any of them.

Quote:

- Apart from showing special new effects unique to shaders, does the book cover making ALL the fixed-function pipeline effects with shaders?
No. You're expected to know that kind of thing.

Quote:

- Does it cover much, or will I need to read plenty of other books to learn the ins and outs of shaders?
It does cover a lot, but it's not an overview of shader tech. Get something else if you want to learn the "ins and outs" of shaders.

Quote:

- I'm mainly using DirectX at the moment. Does the book cover DirectX well or is it more centered on OpenGL? If it covers DirectX well, does it use assembler shaders or HLSL? I'm mainly interested in HLSL.
It's mainly DirectX and HLSL. I think there are a few GLSL ones in there too.

Quote:
- The lighting ideas covered in the book, do they include the high-quality shadowing methods used in the cutting-edge games today?
Yes.

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Ok thanks a lot for the help. Apart from sticking to Microsoft's MSDN tutorials on HLSL, is there any other book/source that could be recommended for a newbie at shaders?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yeah I'd agree with whats been mentioned, ShaderX is definately a "cookbook of different techniques" as Superpig said. I'm afraid I brought it and as a learner it has been next to useless for me! Theres a book by Frank Luna coming out soon, next release date is due to be in July, (its already been put back a few times, -and might be again?), thats the one I've been waiting for, (this isn't his old one, its the 2nd edition "a shader based approach" one).

For right now, I'm not sure if the gpu gems books have anything, I think I remember reading at amazon that they use the nvidia language, I'd prefer mostly hlsl myself.

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