May 20, 2004

Review of 'GPU Gems'

TBR writes "'GPU Gems', edited by Randima Fernando, is a collection of white papers describing techniques and practical applications useful in today's programmable graphical processing units. The full color hardcover text is 816 pages and includes a CD-ROM that includes working demos and source for most of the articles presented in the book.

The text is divided into six major sections: natural effects, lighting and shadows, materials, image progressing, performance and practicalities, and beyond triangles. Each section has anywhere between 5 to 9 chapters (for an overall total of 42 chapters). The chapters are separate white papers related to the overall section's major topic. For example, the natural effects section contains chapters on water caustics, Perlin noise, creating realistic fire, and diffraction just
to name a few.

Generally, each chapter has an introduction, a background with some mathematics, an implementation (occasionally with some partial source code), a conclusion, and key references. While a different author writes each chapter, the overall feel of the book is consistent and smooth. The chapters read very similar to a SIGGRAPH paper without as much math or specific detail.

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