Upcoming Events
Unite 2010
11/10 - 11/12 @ Montréal, Canada

GDC China
12/5 - 12/7 @ Shanghai, China

Asia Game Show 2010
12/24 - 12/27  

GDC 2011
2/28 - 3/4 @ San Francisco, CA

More events...
Quick Stats
66 people currently visiting GDNet.
2406 articles in the reference section.

Help us fight cancer!
Join SETI Team GDNet!
Link to us Events 4 Gamers
Intel sponsors gamedev.net search:

 Page 2

 Printable version
 Discuss this article
 in the forums

The Series
 Vectors and Planes

First they ridicule you,
Then they condemn you,
Then they say they knew you were right all along.
David Icke


Welcome friends, to the first in the series of what will be a wild ride into the world of 3-D graphics. These articles are designed for people who know how to program and would like to study the wide and diverse world of 3-D graphics. 3-D graphics are indeed a huge and complicated subject. The beginner sometimes needs a little nurture to become adequate with the basics and intermediate stuff and that's what this series is all about. Although I will eventually shift over to more advanced subjects.

The example code used will be C\C++ and I will be using Microsoft Direct3D for the demos in coming articles. There will be a small Direct3D Primer coming up in the next few articles to introduce those people who are unfamiliar with Direct3D. Later on in the series it would helpful if you are familiar with the standard range of data structures and algorithms like linked lists, stacks queues and binary trees.

I can hear you saying now "How hard is the math going to be?" To tell you the truth if you were listening to your teacher in your high school math class you should be ok. If you weren't listening, shame on you.

I will be covering quite a lot of material as you can see below. First we will look at the stock standard range of topics like vectors and matrices and then we shall review some more specific and advanced subjects which will allow you to spread your wings a little more.

  • Coordinate Systems
  • Vectors
  • Matrices
  • Primitives
  • The Transformation Pipeline
  • Lighting
  • Alpha Blending
  • Texture Mapping
  • Portals
  • Binary Space Partitioning
  • Quadtrees and Octrees
  • Curves
  • Particles
  • Hardware Optimisation

Introduction to 3-D Graphics

When we use the term '3-D' we are referring to space which consists of three dimensions. Webster's dictionary defines 'graphics' of, in, or relating to writing, drawing, painting or vividly descriptive. So when we talk of '3-D graphics' we mean that which has three dimensions and is visually descriptive.

3-D graphics have many useful applications. We can use them in the aerospace, medicine, architecture, movie special effects and animation and most importantly games J . Now while we can continue the debate on whether indeed the application of 3-D graphics in games is more important than medical tools ( joke ), I would rather discuss some 3-D theory. And the first thing to learn if you are to follow the path to 3-D guruism is an understanding of coordinate systems.

Next : Page 2