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Graphics Shaders, 2nd Edition by Steve Cunningham, Mike Bailey

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xix
Foreword
Excellent! I am glad that you are reading this book. You might want to skip
straight ahead to the good stu, but as long as you are here…
Computer graphics is a fascinating and fast-changing eld that didn’t
even exist when I was born. I was aracted to it because it is a eld with a
unique mix of engineering and artistry. In the computer graphics industry,
people with engineering skills design graphics software and hardware prod-
ucts that oer ever-increasing levels of performance and image quality. These
products inspire people with artistic skills to use the resulting products to cre-
ate amazing visual experiences that entertain, teach, or help others create or
design. This in turn inspires the engineers to create even beer hardware and
software in order to improve the visual experiences created by artists. This
symbiotic relationship between engineers and artists has never let up and has
xx
Foreword
resulted in photorealistic eects for movies and near-cinematic quality experi-
ences for computer games.
You might be reading this book because of your interest in the computer
graphics eld. Perhaps you are an engineer looking to develop another tool for
your toolbox of software development skills for computer graphics. Perhaps
you are an artist who is interested in learning a lile more about the bits and
bytes of how computer graphics images are created. Perhaps you are that rare
breed, an engineer/artist, and you have in your mind’s eye a vision of what
you want to create, and you need only to develop an understanding of this
new medium in order to bring your vision to reality. If any of these are true,
you have selected an excellent guide book to help you on your journey.
You are holding in your hands a book wrien by two people who share
two passions. Mike Bailey and Steve Cunningham both love computer graph-
ics, and they are absolutely passionate about teaching. This book allows them
to combine both of these passions into a form that is sure to benet you, the
reader.
Actually, the word “passionate” understates the impact that Mike and
Steve have had on computer graphics education. Mike is a “lifer” in the com-
puter graphics industry. I met him some 15 years ago when we asked him to
lead an eort to dene industry-standard benchmarks for computer graphics
systems (which he graciously agreed to do). He has been teaching or practic-
ing computer graphics for almost 30 years now. He has won numerous awards
as a professor of computer graphics. His dedication to educating people new
to graphics is demonstrated by the fact that he annually prepares and deliv-
ers the “Introduction to Computer Graphics” tutorial at SIGGRAPH (ACM’s
Special Interest Group on Graphics).
Steve is a similarly dedicated, accomplished, and award-winning edu-
cator. He was a co-founder of the SIGGRAPH Education Commiee and co-
chaired this activity for many years. He served in countless leadership positions
in the SIGGRAPH organization and for the SIGGRAPH conference itself (the
largest, most prestigious, and longest-lived conference focusing on computer
graphics). For his lifelong eorts, he was given the 2004 ACM SIGGRAPH
Outstanding Service Award. His inuence on the computer graphics industry
is global, as witnessed by the fact that he was the rst Eurographics Education
Board chair and he has been named a Eurographics Fellow.
So it is certainly the case that these two authors can tell you a thing or two
about computer graphics. But even more importantly, they can tell it to you in
a way that you will understand and remember.
The topic of this book, writing shaders with the OpenGL Shading
Language, is both important and timely. OpenGL and its companion shading

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