Author: Dave Shreiner
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2009
Aimed at: All users of OpenGL
Pros: Easy to use reference with lots of example
Cons: Fails to provide an overview and suffers from having undergone many revisions
Reviewed by: Mike James
This book, now in its seventh edition, is the official guide to OpenGL but to be honest it really doesn’t do it justice.
It’s not a beginner’s book because it makes little effort to explain the bigger picture and its examples are a little too complicated and under explained.
It isn’t an expert’s book either because it simply fails to provide a modern account due to the number of revisions it has been through.
It also provides a particular challenge for Windows programmers because the Windows OpenGL libraries are still stuck at 1.1. and the book makes no effort to demarcate what might work. The explanations are often difficult to follow unless you already know what is going on and the examples are long and could do with more comments.
It starts from the basics and explains 3D models, camera, lights, texture and then deals with more advanced idea such as texture mapping, anti-aliasing, atmospheric effects and NURBs modelling. Examples are provided but they aren’t step-by-step and you need to be prepared to do some work to get things working. The latest edition has been updated to include the latest features of OpenGL Versions 3.0 and 3.1 such as using framebuffer objects for off-screen rendering and texture updates; using texture arrays to increase performance when using numerous textures and rendering using primitive restart and conditional rendering. It adds more to the discussion of the OpenGL Shading Language introduced in the previous edition.
Even though this isn’t an ideal book on OpenGL it still has some value in that it provides an easy to use reference with lots of examples.
<Reviewed in VSJ>