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#1 DivideByZero  Icon User is offline

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How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:53 PM

Hi fellow game programmers,

This year as some of you may know, I had a few XNA assignments in which one of them I struggled with (the 3D one).

If it had not been for the 3D part of the exam, I would have gotten a 1st in my game programming module.

In the exam, we had to complete 3 2D projects which I did effortlessly.
Then the 3D question, which was to get a 3D car to move around came up. And I couldn't get it to do anything.
All the vector movement and rotation math I knew just didn't help and I haven't touched 3D programming since.

The problem is, next year (my final year) will be even more focused on 3D and will use either open gl or direct x.
So I won't even have the abstraction that XNA gives me!

This means I have to use my month off after my internship to understand 3D programming once and for all.

So how did you guys "get" it?

Do you have any resources you recommend?

Any advice really is much appreciated :)

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Replies To: How did you learn 3D programming?

#2 bonyjoe  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:10 PM

By reading Frank Lunas Book, mixed with a bit of Game Coding Complete and I would highly recommend you pick up both of these. I'm still don't have a vast understanding of the subject, but it has taught me quite a lot and I've only read about 2 chapters of the 2nd book. The knowledge I picked up from them was enough to get me a very high 1:1 in my Further Programming 3d Applications module which focused on Directx and shader implementation.

You could be spending your time after work or on weekends to learn as well. It's tough coming home from coding to sit down and do more code in your free time, I know that but it's also time that you're not necessarily doing anything important in.
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#3 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:12 PM

Pre-calculus is all I can say. Pre-calculus pretty much covers everything you need to know math wise when developing games. Functions, trigonometry, algebra, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, polynomials, quaternions, vectors and matrices.

Get a good pre-calculus book and study the hell out of it, if there's anything you don't understand then it will be lack of basics which means you can get hold of a book from GCSE maths and it will help you with your basics.

I really don't recommend any books such as "maths for game programmers" as they really don't cover the basics you may need. Stick with the textbooks on the subject.

Learning the needed maths until it just becomes second nature is hard, that's why games programming is hard. Persevere and you will get there! :)
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#4 bonyjoe  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:09 AM

Oh yeah I guess The 2 modules of Maths at Uni probably helped me a bit as well lol
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#5 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:22 AM

When I was a computer science student it was very heavily math based, so the math was taught by lecturers from the math department rather than a computer science lecturer teaching you math. Strangely, only the top 15% were allowed to pass (of which I was one) and the rest failed the module. It was aggressive, but that is the way that life goes.

After graduating I revised from books and code samples to get it fixed in my head, then used trial and error to get things working and better understand what could go wrong. :)
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#6 Hiram  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 29 July 2011 - 06:09 AM

Man, you guys are lucky. My university literally requires two math classes for my degree, both of which are introductory classes to discrete mathematics. They're so introductory that the exams are handed to you, with the crucial parts of the questions removed, so if you have enough time, you're guaranteed 100% on the courses. Not really a good learning environment.

Anyway! How good are you with C/C++? While in my graphics programming course, I found that the students who struggled the most were the ones who had a poor grasp of C++, especially pointers and memory management. To really put it in perspective, I suck at math. As in, I literally just relearnt how to calculate the area for a triangle last week. But I got 100% for that course, because I got to spend more time focussing on the math/debugging problems when they occurred rather than learning about pointers and such, because I can handle C++ quite well.

So yeah, I guess what I'm saying is, play your strengths. But definitely make sure your grasp of C++ is strong. Of course, I'm assuming you'll use C++.

Off topic; you know what the hardest part about graphics programming is, for me? The debugging. Ask any graphics programmer what to do when you get a "black screen" and you'll probably get an "oh no" in response.
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#7 DivideByZero  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:00 PM

I have a very good grasp with C++\C#\Java, it's just game programming in 3D is too much for my brain :(
I wish I could do it as I would definitely be a game programmer instead of a standard software developer that I will most likely will be after uni.

Next year we will be doing only 3D in direct X, to say I'm worried it an understatement!
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#8 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you learn 3D programming?

Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:35 PM

As I am forever pointing out on these forums, working in games requires you to be a very clever and creative programmer. If you think that learning 3D math gets you there you are sadly mistaken; it's good to have, but if you don't code smart you ain't getting in!
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