12: Book Review: 3D Programming for Windows

This entry is part 12 of a 12-part series on WPF 3D.

3D Programming for Windows

The best WPF 3D tip I can give you today is to recommend that you buy a copy of 3D Programming for Windows by Charles Petzold.  The book will be released tomorrow.

I have enjoyed the privilege of reading this book as a technical reviewer.  It's going to be very good.  Not as good as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but still, very good.  :-)

The book contains 9 chapters:

  1. Lights! Camera! Mesh Geometries!
  2. Transforms and Animation
  3. Axis/Angle Rotation
  4. Light and Shading
  5. Texture and Materials
  6. Algorithmic Mesh Geometries
  7. Matrix Transforms
  8. Quaternions
  9. Applications and Curiosa

I don't think anybody but Charles Petzold could have written this book.  He blends his development experience with his math background to explain everything quite thoroughly, from the details of the API to the hows and whys of the math underneath. 

  • He explains why WPF 3D shades triangles differently depending on whether they share their vertices or not. 
  • His explanation of quaternions is probably the best I have read. 
  • He talks about why Viewport3DVisual is better than Viewport3D for printing. 
  • He explains the math behind lighting calculations.

The book contains lots of pictures, lots of sample code and a library of useful classes for WPF 3D programming.

If you're doing anything with WPF 3D, you simply must have this book.