Jon Barrilleaux is a consultant specializing in the application of 3D graphics, imaging, and virtual reality. He has been involved in numerous projects to develop 2D and 3D user interfaces for research, training, electronic library, product configuration, e-commerce, and end-user applications. He lives in Oakland, California.
Many people seem to think this is a book for learning Java 3D but this book was NOT intended as an introduction to Java 3D. Instead, it describes what the author calls "Swing 3D". In many ways, this book is a little beyond it's time. It discusses 3D user interfaces for the most part of the book and how they can be useful in computer-human interactions. Java 3D is merely a specific platform in which the concepts were implemented and many of the ideas could easily apply to other 3D API. Only about a third of the book discusses the Java 3D API specifically and how various features can be used to solve problems when designing a 3D UI. It covers things from basic UI components to complex UI interactions. This book delivers exactly what it set out to do, so don't expect more from it. If you want a Java 3D tutorial, you are better off looking elsewhere. I'm writing data visualization software but have little experience with user interfaces showing 3D data and I found this book suited me well. The updated code examples from the website also provide a good basis for my own code.
If you are expecting to learn Java 3D programming, then you won't find much help from this book. This book is talking about the pioneering idea of '3D Virtual world for user interaction', instead of the current '2D GUI'. There are more principles than implementations in this book, which is the way I like. I will not use Java 3D to build any real applications, but Java 3D is purer and easy to grasp the concept than OpenGL or DirectX. I guess many of the code and concepts of the book is coming from a research project on 3D user interaction, in Rice University. This book is a little bit too much focused on this special 3D framework. And I don't like the writing style of the author. This book is somewhat difficult to read (I am a foreigner), the author uses lenghy words to describe a simple idea, and most times in a objective manner instead of a subjective manner, lists a lot of fact without giving a good reasoning. The reason for such a writing style maybe also because this book is comming from the result of a research project. Bottom line: This book is excellent for who already have some 3D programming and OO pattern design background, and want to build/study next generation user interactive method. Currently not much people think 3D GUI is important, but I believe 5 years later VR, 3D GUI will become more and more popular. This book is really a pioneering work.
Useful also for beginners2004/1/14
I found this book suit my needs as a 3d GUI beginner perfectly. The book covers basic 3d GUI techiques but more importantly presents a the design of a basic 3d GUI tool set. The many acronyms are annoying I have to say.
Not to learn 3D2000/12/1
I am more then half way threw this book and have found very little to help learn Java3D. Instead it looks at strategies and goes threw a long-winded discussions about basic issues. So I believe if you are new to Java3D it will be no use to you or if you have experience it will be a boor.
I recieved it sooner than I expected. And the book is practicaly new. I am very satisfied with this purchase.