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Monday, October 15, 2012

Gortler's graphics book is out

Steve (Shlomo) Gortler's intro graphics text is out.  It's a sweet book, and is nicely priced.  Shlomo was nice enough to sit down and take me through his favorite part: handling points, vectors, and transforms.  One of the things that is a pain in the neck in graphics is managing coordinate systems.  Most books assume a canonical coordinate system and then introduce some Phigs-like hierarchy.  This book makes coordinate systems a first class citizen, while keeping the math elegant as those of you who've read Shlomo's papers know is his habit.  I think he may have found the sweet spot of how to handle this, and he says teaching from it has gone well.  I would love to hear others' experience and am anxious to give it a try in code (the code he showed me makes me think it may be really clean).

My favorite part is surely his color chapter.  I've often tried to develop why the weird XYZ space is the way it is, and what the relationship between the weighting functions (like x(lambda)) and the lights are (nonphysical for XYZ).  He's totally nailed it.  This treatment totally lives up to the "Foundations" part of the title.  I have not yet read the rest of the book, but this chapter alone was worth buying it in my opinion.