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Learning OpenGL ES for iOS: A Hands-on Guide to Modern 3D Graphics Programming

Get Started Fast with Modern OpenGL ES Graphics Programming for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad


OpenGL ES technology underlies the user interface and graphical capabilities of Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad–as well as devices ranging from video-game consoles and aircraft-cockpit displays to non-Apple smartphones. In this friendly, thorough introduction, Erik M. Buck shows how to make the most of  Open GL ES in Apple’s iOS environment.


This highly anticipated title focuses on modern, efficient approaches that use the newest versions of  OpenGL ES, helping you avoid the irrelevant, obsolete, and misleading techniques that litter the Internet. Buck embraces Objective-C and Cocoa Touch, showing how to leverage Apple’s powerful, elegant GLKit framework to maximize your productivity, achieve tight platform integration, and deliver exceptionally polished apps.


If you’ve written C or C++ code and know  object-oriented programming basics, this title  brings together everything you need to fully  master OpenGL ES graphics for iOS–including  downloadable examples specifically designed to  jumpstart your own projects.


Coverage includes


• Understanding core OpenGL ES computer graphics concepts and iOS graphics architecture

• Integrating Cocoa Touch with OpenGL ES to leverage the power of Apple’s platform

• Creating textures from start to finish: opacity, blending, multi-texturing, and compression

• Simulating ambient, diffuse, and specular light

• Using transformations to render 3D geometric objects from any point of view

• Animating scenes by controlling time through application logic

• Partitioning data to draw expansive outdoor scenes with rolling terrain

• Detecting and handling user interaction with 3D geometry

• Implementing special effects ranging from skyboxes to particles and billboards

• Systematically optimizing graphics performance

• Understanding the essential linear algebra concepts used in computer graphics

• Designing and constructing a complete simulation that incorporates everything you’ve learned

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  1. Michele says:

    The only up to date IOS guide to 3d programming This is the only up to date book on iOS OpenGL ES2.0 I’m aware of, and I practically own every single textbook on the subject.All other competing texts fail to treat GLKit and most modern additions to iOS programming libraries and unlike this book don’t use ARC based code.As the author states, this book does not contain obsolete code and gently guides the reader towards practical use of Open GL on iOS5.It includes a Math Cheat sheet wich I strongly suggest beginners start reading before everything else, in order to make things easier.This is not a math book and subject treatment is just a gentle introduction, this may not be enough for more advanced purposes.This book is a very complete introduction to OpenGL ES2.0 and is very specific to iOS development.It touches advanced topics as mesh importing, optimization, and skinning, but it is not nor aims at being complete and thorough treatment of advanced 3d graphics programming. It just places a beginner in the right direcation, and can also efficiently inform an advanced programmer of the newest iOS features about OpenGL programming.It is a lot more modern than comparable texts, and explains GLKit workings, in this sense, it can serve as a good starting point for an individual aiming at becoming an advanced iOS programmer.However, integrating high performance multitexturing invoving more than two textures will require shader programming, rather than the simple approach used in this book, there are far better ways to import efficiently 3d models in production code, and state of the art optimization of 3d code and shader fragments remains difficult.This said, As the reader is given the ability to understand GlKit workings rather than just using it blindly, an advanced reader will have little difficulty extending the knowledge acquired from this text to more complex tasks.Shader programming is just given a cursory view here, in depth understanding will require placing into iOS context (well treated here) information gathered elsewhere, eg. from the OpenGL Library textbooks, which will be definitely easier to read after this one.In summary: an extremely good introduction and a refresher for advanced programmers, this is not a complete treatment of the subject matter, which require a small library, as can be expected.This book would be interesting for graphics gurus aiming at entering the iOS arena. It does not treat programming using obsolete approaches such as OpenGL 1.0, if you need to understand old code based on that approach, you will need a less recent book. Rather than a weakness, I consider abandoning any description of OpenGL 1.1 one of the strength’s of this book.

  2. John R says:

    Review I was interested in this book mainly for expanding my iOS app development. I have a good amount of experience on OpenGL for desktops but haven’t had the time to explore the OpenGL ES world.As stated in the other reviews this does contain a good amount of dependences with GLKit which means you’ll be programming for iOS 5+, if that isn’t a problem then keep reading.Throughout the book the author does a great job on commenting his code. He tells you exactly what each method does and what it returns. I found this very helpful while going through the book. His explanations and examples are easy to follow and provides a summary at the end of each chapter.When a new GLKit method is used in most cases the method is explained in a “Deep Dive” section. For example “Deep Dive: How does GLKTextureLoading Work”. I liked that it goes into detail for some of these methods instead of the reader interpreting that i’ll just accept the magic behind what it does.Overall I was satisfied. I enjoyed following the examples and learned a good amount. I would recommend it to someone looking for OpenGL and GLKit reading.

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