REVIEW - 3D Graphics - Tips, Tricks & Techniques


3D Graphics - Tips, Tricks & Techniques


David J. Kalwick




Morgan Kaufmann Pub (1996)




Philip Michaelson-Yeates


February 1998



A splash box on the cover declares 'No Programming Skills Required'. This is a book about designing 3D graphics with application software. It is not about programming algorithms. The style is very approachable, assuming no prior knowledge of the subject in early chapters, although the hand-holding does go over the top in one or two places - 'Typically, manipulation tools are used to manipulate objects.'

The pace picks up in just a few chapters to tackle more complex topics such as lighting and animation and the overall coverage is comprehensive. There are many screenshot illustrations and examples to accompany the text. It is a shame that these all have to be black and white, sometimes selling an otherwise impressive effect short.

The 'Tips, Tricks and Techniques' of the title appear in a distinctive format and are liberally sprinkled throughout the book. The author demonstrates a wealth of practical experience in the subject, with frequent references to specific features and tools and a summarising chapter which reviews the available technology. The accompanying CDROM contains demo versions of several major graphics applications.

All this selection advice is very welcome but may limit the useful shelf life of the book as the computer graphics world moves on. However, if you want to start out with 3D computer graphics in the next few months, this is a useful companion.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.