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Do I need to understand all the math involved to be a good Graphics Programmer?

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My question is pretty straight to the point. I'm reading Real-Time Rendering right now, and while at the start I've done great understanding all the topics, I'm having a hard time once I entered rotations and stuff. I.e. the 4.2.2 chapter, where the function to extract parameters from an Euler Transform is presented, I've felt like the author just pulled a rabbit from a hat.
I know that most mathematicians could just derive those equations by themselves, but I absolutely can't do it right now.

 

So the question is: should I keep reading and I will eventually understand those things or should I stop and "start easier"?

I'm a little bit worried that I would not be able to follow along and waste my time, but then this could be only because I hate to not grasp the full concept right away and have a 'semi-knowledge' on something. Maybe I don't need to understand everything the first time?

 

I should mention that I'm a programmer and I know some decent linear algebra. I'm also planning to go hard on math on the next semesters.

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It's really up to you how to partition your study time. Don't be worried if things don't click from one form of learning, keep living and keep learning. You can already make a great game with the basic math and programming you already know.  Try to get a feeling for intuitively what kinds of math should be used when. Think of them like tools in your toolbox. Once you get comfortable with one basic and repeated application of say vector dot product, then you stand a chance of using the same math in a clever and very personal way in your own projects. It doesn't hurt to be able to mechanically repeat the processes in which a 3D-projection matrix is constructed for example, but it doesn't come up as often as just using the pre-canned algorithm for constructing one.

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My few cents; "all" might be a bit overkill, but as Steve mentioned, the most important thing I believe, is that you feel confident in applying the math you need to achieve your goals. Copy/pasting can only bring so much, thinking about changing things in the future. It also depends on what your goal is, if the goal is to create your own (rendering) engine, more math knowledge is useful, if the goal is to create a game (using an existing engine), it could differ.

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Thanks to both!

While I'm generally able to understand the definition of the functions (like dot or cross product), I've a hard time with the proofs and how I could derive them myself should I need.

I know is pretty easy to look the algorithm, but as you guys mentioned, I like to have a good grasp to use these concepts in my favor. I would definitely keep learning deep math topics, and meanwhile try to not worry too much about the proofs.

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I recall that most '3d math' basics for me, came from one of the main chapters in Luna's D3D books (in my case D3D11). Which was a good refresher, after initially doing vector/matrix stuff a long time a go.

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