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Looking for books on game graphics and audio technology

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Hello there. Could anyone suggest current books that cover the technologies, techniques and terminologies for game graphics. Something that covers topics from the basics of 3D rendering to the more advanced topics including the graphics pipeline, texturing, lighting, occlusion culling, tessellation, shaders, etc. My primary interest is in what they are, how they work and how they are applied rather than the mathematics.

 

I'm also looking for an equivalent for game audio.

 

Thank you.

Edited by VoidRoamer

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Hi.
Regarding graphics, are you looking for a book that also teaches how to apply this knowledge? In that case books are often bound/linked to a specific API. Ofcourse there are other books, but it depends on what you want to get out of it.

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I suppose that was a bit general. I'm looking for a general introduction of the technologies themselves. For example with texturing: Why are textures used? What are UV coordinates? What is bump mapping, normal mapping, etc, etc. What problems do these solve?

 

I'm familiar with much of this in a general sense but something that covered them in more detail would be great. If such a text actually exists. Same with audio.

 

BTW. Orangeatang - thanks for those suggestions, I will be looking into sound creation but not at this time.

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Some of the books I know that cover a wide array of topics in Game Development: 

 

Game Engine Architecture is a broad book that covers many of the things you mentioned such as the pipeline and audio (although it's focused on the idea of making an engine rather than a game, it still talks about some core topics that you should know). This book is more theory than practice.

 

Introduction to 3D Game Programming With DirectX11 goes into how to implement most of the things you mentioned such as tessellation, lighting and texturing.

 

I heard Game Coding Complete also covers some essential topics, but I've never read it. You can check out the reviews in the link provided.

 

That's all I can think of right now. Usually books go into one specific topic, such as rendering or AI. Browsing through Amazon's Computer & Technology book section is a nice way of getting to know the different types of books available. You can try and look for introductory books, as they're the ones that usually tackle a broad range of topics. Remember though, the broader the book, the lesser the details. 

 

Click here to go straight to Amazon's Game Programming book section

 

 

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I'm familiar with much of this in a general sense but something that covered them in more detail would be great. If such a text actually exists. Same with audio.

 

Most audio concerns in computer games aren't really game-specific or even optimised for games, unlike graphics which have evolved hand-in-hand with entertainment software.

 

When it comes to game audio, there are basically 2 parts - the game-specific stuff is tied to the middleware tools, like Fmod and Wwise. That's not much use unless you're going to be using those tools yourself. And then there's the overall digital audio concept, regarding how digital samples get transformed into sound, how different effects can be applied to those samples, and there are hundreds of books and courses on that - but few that are directly game-related.

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I was just about to say Real Time Rendering. I'm reading it now. I'm not so sure it's a beginner's book although he starts out pretty much from the beginning and explains everything.

 

I just started reading it a week or so ago. In the first few chapters he's (there are actually multiple authors to this book) explaining subjects that I teach and I have no idea what he's talking about (Ok. That's a little bit of an exaggeration, but I barely understand what he's talking about on a subject I know well). It's the fact that he's explaining most things in high level mathematical equations. His intended audience is people with graduate degrees in mathematics apparently. I know how to do the math and can barely follow him(although I learned the math by doing game programming, not in school, and thus the notation is what is a hang up for me; I suppose after you've written a few thousand hyper dimensional imaginary numbers [quaternions] in school the notation comes naturally). I've written a fair amount of code that does what he's talking about, and I can barely follow him. I would just say it's not an easy read if you don't have a pretty serious mathematics background. In-spite of all that, I would still recommend it. I'm just a bit concerned that when I get to the parts of this book where he's explaining things I don't already know, it's going to be a real struggle to figure out what he's talking about since I'm struggling to understand what he's talking about in the parts of the book where he's explaining things I have extensive knowledge of. (It's kind of like someone explaining how to get to the grocery store using calculus equations.) Regardless, I'm reading it anyway because I think it's one of the most thorough works in the field covering the topic about as well as any single book out there.

 

I might also mention that this book is ancient. It was published in 2008 (third and I believe most recent edition). I have to assume there have been advancements in the field in the past decade. I'm wondering if they are going to publish a fourth edition. Still, I think this book was ahead of it's time and modern graphics may only be catching up in recent years.

 

I found "3D Graphics Programming" to be very helpful in understanding basic rendering and such. It covers a lot more than just rendering, but it doesn't go nearly as in-depth on the single subject of rendering. Still, I think what I learned from that book will give me a fairly solid foundation for trying to understand the "Advanced Shading" chapter of Real Time Rendering, which is why I'm reading Real Time Rendering right now. It is mostly about 3D graphics but includes chapters on curves and surface, animation, and physics.

 

For shaders - if you are new to the subject, I would recommend my video series on HLSL. There's a little bit of matrices and quite a bit of vectors in that series and so you may want to watch the videos on vectors and matrices first, if you are not familiar with them.

Edited by BBeck

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