Modern Graphics Programming Primer

(1 customer review)

USD $10.93

Improve your graphics programming skills by understanding the theory and hardware.

Read this e-book to learn:

  • How the overall graphics pipeline works
  • What shaders are, and how they’re used
  • The various types of data buffers (vertices, textures, etc.)
  • How 3D objects and cameras are positioned in 3D space using matrix algebra
  • Basic 3D lighting – the Phong lighting model
  • And more…

E-book available via instant download (in PDF format).

Also available in the following formats:

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USD $10.93


There are plenty of tutorials out there that teach how to program graphics cards to generate imagery. However, simply following tutorials alone won’t get you to mastery. Understanding how a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) works and the theory they’re built on will.

Unlock the Secrets of Graphics Programming Mastery with the “Modern Graphics Programming Primer!”

It seems like there are only options for learning graphics programming: tutorials that only scratch the surface, and huge “teach you everything” graphics programming books that are completely overwhelming. Following tutorials alone will only get you so far, while the huge books bog you down with details so much, that mastering anything feels impossible.

Kickstart your path to graphics programming mastery with this deliberately short yet to-the-point and focused e-book. Learn how Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) work, and the theory they’re built on. Then you’ll be able to think creatively instead of blindly following tutorials.

What’s Inside

The e-book doesn’t try to cover everything in full detail. Instead, it covers the core fundamentals you need to get started:

  • Explore the inner workings of the graphics pipeline, demystifying shaders, data buffers, etc.
  • Learn 3D camera and object positioning using matrix algebra
  • Grasp the fundamentals of simulating lighting in 3D (via the Phong lighting model)
  • Performance tips and tricks to optimize your graphics engine’s performance
  • A cheat-sheet for common tasks using OpenGL ES 3, SDL2, and GLM
  • A curated list of useful resources to deepen your knowledge and expand your expertise beyond what’s covered in the book

What’s NOT inside

You’ll be grateful that there are:

  • No obtuse math equations that’ll confuse you before you get so much as a triangle on screen
  • No heavy jargon loaded prose written for academics. Concepts are written in layman’s terms so you won’t need a computer science degree to just understand it
  • No super advanced lighting techniques that look awesome, but are far out of reach to beginners. This book is laser focused on what you need to get started. You can learn advanced techniques later, after you’ve mastered the fundamentals
  • Vulkan, Mantle or any other modern but insanely complex graphics APIs. Yes, these advanced APIs can achieve awesome results, but that power comes with great (mind-bending) complexity. They’re NOT beginner friendly. The concepts in this book are fundamental, and can be used with any API

Also Included

This e-book comes with a companion “Getting Started with OpenGL ES 3+ Programming” tutorial series. These hands-on tutorials cover the practical “how-to” side; taking you from zero to rendering a basic 3D scene with lighting.

Check out the tutorials for free (link).

What Others Are Saying

One word; Superb!

Good introduction to 3D development

It gives the reader a good overview of the basics, enough to get started.

Good: Example code makes it easy to get started

A crucial good thing is the tutorials w/example code that compiles (those you provided on your keasigmadelta webpage).

This gives the reader good opportunities to succeed.

Other authors often forget this, leaving the reader «in the dark» by struggling with quirks, and ends up by giving up.

Having example code available is an excellent way of teaching. It’s easy to get started this way.

Good: Balanced detail level & informative

It has a good combination of programming details & explanations.

Good: Chapter about texture mapping

Easy understandable & informative illustration, combined with good explanations.

Good: Chapter about Performance optimizing

Optimization is important to me, and getting this information in this book is crucial for me.

This means the readers can obtain healthy programming habits from the beginning.

— Jostein Aarbakk

About the Author

Hans de Ruiter is a software engineer with a background in computer vision and graphics. As a child/teenager he taught himself programming, constructed electronic circuits from kitsets, and also had a keen interest both science and in building things himself. He persued these interests further at university, going all the way through to a Ph.D. (at the University of Toronto).

He’s written both graphics software and graphics drivers, giving him a broad understanding of how modern graphics cards work.

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  • cybereality



    Best Place to Start for Learning Graphics Coding

    This is one of those short, no nonsense, types of books that actually has a treasure trove on info hidden inside. It’s not very long, and can be read in one or two sittings. And there is not really all that much code either, aside from a few cookbook like examples at the end. What Modern Graphics Programming Primer offers is an approachable, high level, overview of how to get started in graphics programming, and it does so well. Hans de Ruiter chose to use OpenGL ES3 for this book, which is actually a great choice for beginners, and has wide platform support on both desktop and mobile. However, a lot of the advice is generic, and would apply with more modern APIs like Vulkan.

    As stated, the text is short, only 58 pages. But it’s still well worth reading. I’ve seen a lot of graphics and programming books, but many of them are too complex for a beginner, or get mired in obtuse math equations that will just confuse you before you get a triangle on the screen. Ruiter takes a different approach here, and just explains some general concepts in layman’s terms. While not the most advanced techniques in rendering, you’ll get an overview of the pipeline, how shaders work, practical advice on how to use matrix math, and an overview of the Phong lighting model. It is very basic, but it’s the best place to start that I’ve seen. There is also a section on performance optimization, which a lot of books miss, and this alone makes it worth picking up.

    If you’re already intermediate to advanced, you may not find much here, but I did learn a few valuable tricks, and if you are coming from other APIs and want to learn GLES3, it could still be useful. The author also has a more detailed book Getting Started with OpenGL ES 3 Programming, which is the second part of the series. While many people advise to skip learning OpenGL, I believe this is a mistake. The new modern APIs like Vulkan are seriously complex, and not a good choice if you don’t have previous experience with coding graphics. In theory, Vulkan can offer better performance, but many (or all) of the same techniques can be achieved no matter which API you choose. So if you are just starting out, I think this is a great place to take your first steps. Recommended.

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