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bionic_atom

Getting started with 3D

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OK, I wanna finally get started with some 3D game programming, but have no money for books, special compilers, API's, etc... So, I want to try to learn how to create a basic 3D game engine and just work my way up, any ideas on how I can begin. I tried the beginning guide on this site, but looks a little too confusing. I've worked some in C++ and will learn more if needed, but my expertise for now in programming is the Java language. Also, I don't have a very powerful computer, for I am programming on a Gateway M320 Laptop made last year with an intel Celeron processor. So, could you please help me get started programming in 3D. I want to learn the basics of either Direct X, or Open GL, for I want it to be a very long continuous project for myself when Im bored. YOu know, it's my hobby and I just got tired of programming 2d games in Java; I was like headed nowhere with it. well, i'll continue to search google until then... Take Care! c.s. finch

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If you're just starting out and learning 3D programming avoid all 3rd party graphics engines such as Ogre, Irrlicht, Torque, etc. These engines are excellent at encapsulating alot of the details that, quite frankly, you're going to want, nay, need to learn.

Having learned 3D programming just recently, I speak from experience. You don't have to build you're own fully functioning graphics library, but you should be able to build some simple terrain demos, or import models from Maya into your game, and things like that.

You'll want to use either OpenGL or DirectX. Any more down to the metal and you'll go crazy with details. If you go higher level, such as Ogre, you're going to be missing too much. If you're more comfortable with procedural programming (straight C) use OpenGL. If you're more comfortable with object oriented programming (straight C++) use DirectX. Otherwise it really doesn't matter which one you use (unless you're in Linux or on a Mac, then you have to use OpenGL).

Nehe is not the greatest source for learning OpenGL because you'll be primarily cutting and pasting code without understanding what's going on. Honestly, The OpenGL Red Book should be all you need to start learning, except it won't tell you how to set up windows and things like that. You can copy and paste that code from Nehe, or build it yourself if you know Windows programming (or whatever OS you're using).

Keep with it. Have fun. Be prepared to encounter some fairly advanced math. When you feel fairly confidant at calling yourself an intermediate, move on to the middleware engines (Ogre, Irrlicht, Torque).

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How advance in mathematics are we talking bout? Cauz I just started 3D now because of the mathematics. Im in Linear Algebra and Calculus II as we speak. I've had Calculus, Statistics(which I don't see how it could help me) and every math below Calculus I. Well, I feel fairly confident that my math education will be enough to get started in 3D, or atleast I hope!

Take Care!

c.s. finch

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You'll find especially linear algebra usefull, or actually required, for 3D programming. Vector and matrix math are very common, and quaternions might be usefull now and then for rotations and the like. But, it's a great way to polish your linear algebra skills, so don't let that stop you. :)

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If you've taken calculus and linear algebra, you should be be alright math wise. Trig is also extremely useful, but you've probably had that already if you're taking linear algebra.

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Math wise a good tutorial will teach/remind you of what you need to know. I'd suggest starting with the NeHe tutorials on OpenGL (he's got some on DirectX too, but I haven't looked at those). <flame_shield>There's nothing wrong with going with DX first (you should eventually learn both anyway). I just don't want to recommend something I haven't tried.</flame_shield>

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Quote:
Original post by Numsgil
If you're just starting out and learning 3D programming avoid all 3rd party graphics engines such as Ogre, Irrlicht, Torque, etc. These engines are excellent at encapsulating alot of the details that, quite frankly, you're going to want, nay, need to learn.


I'll disagree. He doesn't have to learn how a graphics pipeline works if he doesn't want to. If at some point he'll want something the engine doesn't have out of the box he can stop and learn about it. It's like making an amateur movie. You don't need to know how the camera works, just how to use it.

With engines like Irrlicht or Ogre it doesn't take long until you see the result of your work. It's a good and fulfilling way to lean '3D programming' =].

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check out http://www.directtutorial.com for learning directx, it's really good and teaches a lot of theory as well as code

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