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Proceedings Graphics Interface 2003
Author: Edited by Torsten Moeller and Colin Ware
Publisher: A.K. Peters
ISBN: 1-56881-207-8
Purchasing: [Amazon.Com] - US$70.00, [] - UK£37.02, [TransAtlantic Publishers] - UK£46.95.
Reviewed: 30th January 2004

Front Cover Shot:


This book is somewhat different from many of the other books reviewed on this website. In particular, it is a publication covering an event - as opposed to a book on a given topic (or field). It is, essentially speaking, a collection of white papers that were presented at last years 'Graphics Interface' conference in Canada.

Graphics Interface conferences

The Graphics Interface conferences are not widely publicized outside of the academic-world, yet they have been one of the longest running regular graphics related conferences over the last 30 years. Yes, that's right, the first conference was over 30 years ago (1969)! It's hard to imagine just how much the graphics programming world has changed since then - if it were possible to get hardcopies of all GI proceedings I'm sure it'd give a good history of modern computer graphics.

For those of you not familiar with these sorts of conferences, they are basically a sounding-board for the various academics in the field - they go and present their latest work to other academics and discuss the pro's/con's of the work. In general it is the work from these researchers that eventually filters down to every-day programmers and real-time/games graphics programmers.

Why are these white papers of any use?

As just mentioned, the content of these conferences will over time become more relevant to the programmers that actually produce the bulk of commercial software. There are two ways to look at this, and consequently, this book:

Firstly, if it's only just being discussed at the research level it's not really relevant yet - it's still just first-drafts and clever ideas. Or, more importantly, it's still too advanced to simulate in real-time graphics.

Secondly, given that the material is only just ready - and coming from some of the greatest minds in the graphics world then it's probably time to sit-up and pay attention. Reading through this work will prove to be a valuable insight into the next few years of commercial-level graphics.

The distinct problem is that most people are inherently lazy and will go for option 1 - do nothing and wait till a bit later, and that option 2 does require that you have your wits about you  and that you're an advanced-level programmer.


The content in this print is strictly limited to the material that was presented at the '03 conference - sounds obvious, but it does mean that the various papers don't mesh together too well; unlike a normal book where the author would pick and arrange material to fit together as best as possible.

Because of this, it reads much more like a reference book than anything else - one where you can have a quick flick-through when you first get it, but after that it'll mostly be useful as a reference when it comes to implementing a technique that has been discussed.

The text itself is divided into 10 sections, covering a total of 36 white papers (roughly 3-4 per section). These sections are:

 - Highlights include: An article on BRDF's and simulations of fluid-solid interaction.

Detail and Context
 - Not really much here that's obviously related to real-time graphics/games

Hardware Methods
 - Interesting article on texture based volume rendering (voxel's)

 - Not really related to graphics as such, but interesting articles that could influence the input mechanisms used in games..

 - Various useful papers here, some new work on ray-tracing as well.

Mixed Reality
 - Like with 'Detail and Context', not much of obvious interest here

Meshes and Surfaces
 - A good white paper on View-Dependent CLoD algorithms.

 - A white paper on Human Computer Interaction in computer games..

Deformable Models
 - Deformations are an interesting topic, and a few clever white papers are presented here

Keynote Speakers
 - Not really of any use unless you attended the actual event.

In Conclusion

This book is, as mentioned several times, more of a reference collection - one that you'd scan read once and then use as-and-when. The quality of the print is of a high standard, and follows the standard formatting used by the majority of research publications - the writing style is obviously varied (many different authors) but generally of a high standard.

Bottom line is, get a copy of this if you're a hardcore graphics programmer - but otherwise, you may as well wait till the topics become a little more mainstream.

Good Things Bad Things
• Interesting - all the topics are rather up to date • Some aspects either very very specialised or vague
• Well presented and formatted • Only really suitable for the elite programmers/developers
  • Quite expensive for what it is
  • Being an academic publication, its not the easiest text to read/understand.


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