REVIEW - Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments - From Realism to Real-time


Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments - From Realism to Real-time


Mel Slater, Anthony Steed, Yiorgos Chrysanthou




Pearson Education (2002)




Alan Lenton


December 2004



This is a competent book covering similar territory to Foley and van Dam. As always with books on this subject a solid grasp of matrices, calculus and geometric algebra is needed although the authors provide a mini refresher course at the start. The book breaks with convention by starting from illumination rather than polygon drawing. I am not sure how much better this is as a teaching device, but it certainly does not detract from the book, which covers all the components of the standard graphics pipeline.

The last few chapters are, to my mind, a bit scrappy, being a whistle stop tour round the options available for a number of more advanced topics. I am not really sure that they add very much to the book, given their brevity.

One particularly useful aspect of the book is that the examples are in OpenGL and VRML97 as well as some 'C', which makes it relatively easy to 'borrow' examples for your own use. A lot of material is packed into the pages of this book and, in my opinion, it represents good value for money, although I suspect it would be more useful as a college textbook than as a reference for working programmers.

A useful book on a specialist subject.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.