I purchased this book in the hope that it would be a good reference for a 3D engine I was building that has a requirement to load 3DStudio and Lightwave format files. On the surface, the information is clearly presented and well structured. However, code is presented as examples but is taken from the authors own library, Crossroads. This has the down side that it has a very strict copyright which practically forbids you from using it. So, no use of the code was possible - not good, particularly when you are developing an open source project!
As it turns out, the code I've generated is very similar to the authors and I start to wonder if copyright problems will arise - I guess only time will tell.
If you want to learn how a format is built up and wish to play around with the authors copyrighted files then great.
If, however, you wish to develop your own program that reads one or more of the formats outlined in this book, then look elsewhere first. There is a wealth of information on the internet that is completely free.
Not a worthy purchase.
Ok, this is an old book now, but I keep using it from time to time. I just wrote a obj file reader in Matlab so I can take a dxf file and display it as a patch. I also used the book years ago to write a truespace reader. I used this for displaying truespace files in Direct3D.
People have complained about the Crossroads library and the examples. The truespace reader and writer examples worked fine for me, and I usually just read the description of the format and write my own code.
So if you want to understand how to read or write different popular 3D formats(even today), then this is worth your money.
Ok, so maybe it won't win the pulitzer prize anytime soon, but if you're looking for a reference for the varied and complicated 3D file formats out there, this is it. Rule has chosen an excellent collection of formats and his source code is clear, concise, and error-free. Perhaps my one qualm is that he uses the Crossroads class library extensively in this book, which I can't say I'm exactly familiar with; but it's a moot point anyway as his clear examples can be extended to any type of project
Robert A. Balfe
If you want a reference book for common graphic formats this is an excellent all-in-one book. Unfortunately the samples use the authors "helper" library code that is has copyrights and can not be used in your own software.
I have had the book on my shelf for years and it has actually been cracked open a few times for reference.