Java 3D Programming,
by Daniel Selman, (Paperback, 302 pages); ISBN 1-930110-35-9
Publications Co., go
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2 SDK, Java3D, OpenGL-compatible 3D graphics card with 16MB
or more memory, 256MB or more RAM
its effort on Microsoft DirectX (The Awesome
Power of Direct3D/ DirectX), Manning Publishing
has produced another 3D programming book, this
time for Java. Books on 3D graphics have always
been ahead of their time because most of the
mainstream desktop computers do not have the
power to run the memory and CPU- intensive 3D
applications. Even the 3D specification may be
partly a projection above the current hardware
and software capability. When it comes to 3D
Java, it is even more convenient for programmers
to blame slow operation on Java itself. Nonetheless,
it is still fun to see how this topic is presented.
order to follow the book's examples, you must install Java
2 and Java3D. This is detailed in Appendix A of the book.
If you cannot run the Sun demo applications at the command
prompt, don't panic. You may still run some simple demos as
applets in Internet Explorer. The author complains about the
difficulty of deploying Java 2 and editing classpath. This
is misleading because Internet Explorer has a good interface
for downloading and installing Java runtime over the Internet.
Sun's new installation file automatically adds the plugin
to integrate with the Internet Explorer. There is no need
to edit classpath unless the Java code is deployed as an application.
books covers a lot of topics in a relatively small space,
including scenegraph, universe, geometry, lights, behavior
and texture. The source code and binaries can be downloaded
from the book's web site (see below). The downloaded ZIP file
contains three nicely packed directories: classes, javadoc
and src. Reading the book and trying out the samples is only
a matter of clicking and a few keystrokes. This is very important
because Java3D samples are usually lengthy. The last chapter
is an analysis of the architecture of Java3D classes and thus
rounds up a discussion of this new frontier.
who have an interest in 3D programming using Java should not
miss this book. Manning Publications places the whole book
online for free viewing (see the links below). It has been
there for several months, but we cannot guarantee that it
will stay there forever. If you are interested in Java 3D
programming, view it while it is still online!
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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