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Boltimus

Direct3D books

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Hello all, I''m trying to decide what book on direct3D to get and I must say it is a difficult task, as I read the reviews of the books. I need your input as to what YOUR recommendations are. Should I wait until more books come out this year on Direct3D? (I heard that Microsoft is in the works of publishing a book on Direct3d) or should I forge ahead and get a book anyway? The reviews only give a few points of view and before I spend my hard earned money, I wanted to know what worked for you. I am a beginner in 3D (programming and in everything that''s 3d..hehe) Thanks for your time! ~ Boltimus ~

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Hi

It`s not an easy task nowadays.
I have two books on DirectX at home :

1. Beginning Direct3D programming by Wolfgang F.Engel
2. Special Effects game programming with DirectX 8.0 by Mason McCuskey

First book is absolutely horrible. If i hadn`t any previous knowledge about 3d programming from OpenGL, i think i would be lost. His way of writing is unclear. He jumps from one topic to another, here and there, while the topic itself can be explained without messing with another topic. So you have to browse the book here and there and what you have is just chaos.
You can learn from this book, but expect to browse more through DirectX SDK docs, and I guarantee you that sometimes you`ll understand much more from those docs than from his book, because at those docs, the subject is at least seperated from everything else.
Also the readibility is bad, because they were obviously saving the paper. The text is in big font but condensed too much. You don`t know what page are you at, until you start reading - bad thing if you are trying to find something.
If you expect to learn something from code on the CD, that`s the only way. But be prepared that some examples cannot be compiled and shall give you error. Another example may crash immediately - here i cannot but cite the author : "simplest program i can think of " - and it crashes immediately.
I can`t but compare it to book OpenGL Game programming by Hawkins,Astle. When you read the chapter, you definitely knew and understood the concept after first reading. These men know how to write.


I would definitely recommend the second book. It is very readable and comprehensive. Here you can read and understand the concept in first reading without much chaos from jumping here and there.
Go to The Premier Press page, they have complete list of chapters there. Also their CD is fantastic. You can run all examples from the CD without hassle of compiling and can see what are you going to do in this chapter.

So definitely go for second book. you can`t go wrong with it.

Edited by - VladR on February 3, 2002 8:16:49 AM

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I will _not_ recommend Zen of Direct3D Programming. It gets the job done, but there are other books that get the job done much better. Zen of Direct3D Programming only teaches the mere basics of Direct3D - covering as much scope as the tutorials in the Microsoft SDK! The only reason to get the book is that it is much more friendly than the SDK tutorials...you can check out the reviews on this book.

And don''t get Beginning Games Programming with DirectX 8.0 - it uses DirectX 7.0 technology.

I wish to recommend Programming RPG with DirectX 8.0, which is written by the moderator, but it is not out yet - the scope looks good so far.

Hope I have helped.

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Special Effects game programming with DirectX 8.0 is a really good book but if your totally new to this D3D stuff and your planning any 2D stuff make sure you grab some of the tut''s from the articles section first. The book does cover it but it goes over it quite fast.

zipless

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The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming may only be teaching the basics, but if you are just beginning to learn D3D, that''s exactly what you need.

Beginning Direct3D programming by Wolfgang F.Engel is only good if you plan on using the Common files as the base for your engine\game.

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I know its not about DX8, but i found the book called Advanced 3-D game programming using DX7.0 in the library and its EXTREMELLY well written, gives some good explanations of the linear algebra needed to understand 3d(but some math experience is still needed to make the most of it). And it also covers BSP theory and many other more "advanced" subjects.(ie the ones you actually need to learn before making anything worthwhile : for example fog, bezier curves, meshes). Currently im ive just used it to read some of the 3d theory and Ddraw/dsound/dinput chapters it has(pretty short, but seems to be mandatory for these books).

If this book was available in a DX8 version, and i was trying to learn 3d game prog.(right now im focusing on 2d) id rush out and buy it on the spot, but it doesnt seem to be the case.
edited: I just found out this book actually is available in a newer version, same writer, so that would probably be a good buy.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/155622513X/ref=pd_sim_books/002-1086453-8760839

Edited by - ziphnor on February 4, 2002 5:48:31 AM

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quote:
Original post by Kagemusha
The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming may only be teaching the basics, but if you are just beginning to learn D3D, that''s exactly what you need.

Unfortunately it shows you bad (in my opinion) ways to do a lot of those basic things. I''d recommend passing on Zen.



Stay Casual,

Ken
Drunken Hyena

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Advanced 3D Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 Book/CD Package
ISBN: 155622513X
Cheapest I''ve seen is £50.38 inc p+p
Same publisher (wordware) as for v7.0 but differnt author (P. Walsh)

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