OpenGL and GLSL Book Reviews

In this episode of book reviews we look at five books: “OpenGL Programming Guide”, “OpenGL Shading Language”, “More OpenGL Game Programming”, “Focus On 3D Terrain Programming” and “OpenGL Game Programming”.

OpenGL Programming Guide

OpenGL Programming Guide
Great book for learning OpenGL from begin to end!

The book is well structured and is easy to follow.
The book also contains a lot of examples that are well explained.

After learning OpenGL you will pick this book up many times to take another look at the examples.
(This book is an excellent reference guide.)

OpenGL Programming Guide is a book you must have when working on OpenGL programs.
Note: Make sure you buy the lastest version / edition.

Topics/Chapters: Introduction to OpenGL, State management, Drawing geometric objects,
Viewing, Color, Lighting, Blending, Antialising, Fog, Display list, Texture mapping,
Framebuffer, NURBS, Quadrics, Glut and much more.

| Author(s):D.Shreiner | Language:English | ISBN:0321335732 | Publisher:Addison-Wesley |

OpenGL Shading Language

OpenGL Shading Language
This book describes the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) very well.

It's easy to read and it has some solid (source code) examples.

On today's hardware you need to make use of a shading language. Make a choice, which shading language you want to use.
If you choose GLSL then this is the book to buy.

This book is an essential addition to everyone that uses GLSL.
(Note: make sure you buy the second edition).

Topics/Chapters: Review of OpenGL basics, Intro GLSL, Language Definitions, Opengl programmable pipeline, OpenGL Shading language API,
Shader development, Traditional shader, Procedural texture shaders, Animated shaders and much more.

| Author(s): Randi J. Rost| Language: English | ISBN: 0321334892 | Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional |

More OpenGL Game Programming

More OpenGL Game Programming
This book contains contributions by more than 20 OpenGL and game-programming experts.

It's easy to read and it has some solid (source code) examples.

The book is structured as a series of articles of varying lengths addressing a large number of advanced topics in OpenGL graphics.

This is not a book for the novice OpenGL programmer.

Buy this book only if you know what you are looking for. (Look at the appendix first.)
(This is not a book that we pick up very often).

Topics/Chapters: PBO/FBO, Shaders, advanced texture mapping, advanced lighting and shading, Billboard, HDR, particle systems, rendering water, rendering skies, terrain and much more.

| Author(s): Dave Astle(editor)| Language:English | ISBN:1592008305 | Publisher:Course Technology |

Focus On 3D Terrain Programming

Focus On 3D Terrain Programming
Terrain rendering has become an increasingly hot topic (or still is a hot topic).
More and more games are using outdoor scenes.
The methods covered in this book include geomipmapping, quadtree-based terrain rendering, and ROAM (and ROAM2).

The author's writing style may be a bit too conversational at times (telling jokes, etc).
But overall this book is a nice introduction for anyone who wants to know more about terrain programming.

This is a book that novice OpenGL programmer can understand.

All in all, I heartily recommend this book for anyone interested in getting a start in terrain programming.

Topics/Chapters: Terrain 101, Texture terrain, Lighting terrain, Clod, Geomip-mapping, Quad tree, Roam , Roam2 and much more.

| Author(s): Trent Polack| Language: English | ISBN:1592000282 | Publisher:Course Technology PTR |

OpenGL Game Programming

OpenGL Game Programming
OpenGL Game Programming teaches you how to use OpenGL to create dynamic 3D environments and effects for use in game development.
It starts with an introduction on 3D theory and gradually introduces new concepts.

This is a book that novice OpenGL programmer can understand.

All in all, you should only buy this book, if you can find it for a few bucks. (Buy it as a reference guide.)
This book is outdated. You better can take a look at the book "Beginning OpenGL Game Programming".
That book is providing information about the additions to OpenGL that have been made in the past years, and providing much more information about important topics like texturing and extensions.

Topics/Chapters: Textures terrain, Lighting, Quadrics, Blending, Use of bitmaps, Display lists, Vertex arrays and much much more.

| Author(s): K. Hawkins, D. Astle | Language:English | ISBN:0761533303 | Publisher:Course Technology PTR |

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