A comprehensive title targeted at experienced 32-bit Delphi programmers and developers in the use of the industry graphics standard library, OpenGL, which has become a standard for programming in the animation and computer game industries.
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The Delphi Developer's Guide to OpenGL gives an outline of OpenGL--once a proprietary graphics library that used to reside only on expensive workstations--and explains its capabilities, including how to use it inside Borland's popular programming language, Delphi.
The book begins with a tour of creating a Delphi project that can utilize OpenGL. Over the first five chapters, the book demonstrates how 3D graphics work using popular computer graphics nomenclature as well as instructions for drawing OpenGL objects in perspective within a Delphi window, and the implementation of the three different types of OpenGL lighting (ambient, specular, and diffuse) upon those objects.
While the book provides great coverage on some of OpenGL's effects (fog, transparency, and mapping textures to surfaces), the most important chapter is "Picking," which discusses how to detect a user's interaction with OpenGL objects (i.e., detecting a user's selection and movement of an onscreen object).
There are plenty of code snippets, and all the source code in the book can be found on the CD-ROM. However, the book completely lacks color pictures that demonstrate the results of the techniques, even though the chapters on lighting, textures, and special effects could've greatly benefited from them. Also, all the examples in the book use extremely primitive shapes and actions. Presumably, a talented programmer can extrapolate the viable info from the simple examples and build more sophisticated projects.
With the proliferation of video display cards that support the OpenGL standard, applications built in popular development environments like Delphi can take advantage of real-time 3D graphics. This is a timely book, suitable for programmers with Delphi experience and some graphics programming experience who need to get a leg up on the Delphi/OpenGL learning curve. --Mike Caputo
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