Thank you, No Starch Press, for sending me a copy of Computer Graphics from Scratch in exchange for an honest review.

No Starch Press is known for publishing books that help readers learn in all facets of geek culture. Whether coding, computer animation, graphics or even learning python they have you covered. Recently, they partnered with Gabriel Gambetta to bring us Computer Graphics from Scratch. This new book is a programmer’s introduction to 3D rendering. Gambetta has been coding games since he was a child and received a degree in computer science before launching his own game development company, among other jobs within the industry.

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Computer Graphics from Scratch is a great jumping-off point for those who want to learn more about raytracing and rasterization. It does require a bit of programming knowledge and some high school math to understand, but Gambetta does a great job of breaking the information down. It follows a textbook-like format where each chapter builds on the previous one. One chapter introductions the basics of raytracing, while the next discusses how to introduce light. By the time you reach the end, you will have two complete and fully functional renderers.

While reading through Computer Graphics from Scratch, I found that it was easier to learn and understand the concepts while actually doing the work. I would spend a day working through a chapter and making sure I understood what Gambetta was teaching me before moving on to the next. He was never overly technical and the scenarios he created in each chapter helped make better sense of the lesson. Everyone learns differently, of course, so I suggest doing what works best for you. No matter how you approach it, you are sure to come out with a better understanding of the concepts.

Gambetta’s Computer Graphics from Scratch also doubles as a fantastic resource book. If you are a programmer who doesn’t always use raytracing and rasterization, this would be the perfect way to brush up on those skills or reference when you are feeling a bit stuck. Gambetta keeps things straightforward so jumping back in for a refresher doesn’t require rereading the entire book.

Computer Graphics from Scratch is available now through No Starch Press, Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

This was originally published 6/30/21

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Julia Roth
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