March 12th, 2014

The Computer Graphics Library

I love you Hoi-En.

Back in the 90s, one book was ubiquitous in the world of Computer Graphics. Commonly called "The CG Bible", Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice gathered a huge part of the knowledge of the time. It was commonly referenced by the best programmers of that era in interviews and articles. By 1998, the book popularity had been acknowledged with a Front Line Award.

In order to keep up with the explosion of CG, the book has been updated twice. The third edition was released on July 2013 and it even features material from the shadow mapping article I wrote back in 2009 !

The CG Bible through the ages

The CG Bible was first published in 1982 under the name Fundamentals of interactive Computer graphics. It was updated a first time in 1995 as Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C. And again in July 2013 as : Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice.

The three successive covers of the book, spanning over 30 years, summarize perfectly the tremendous evolution of CG:

Trivia : The first edition was John Carmack's bible in the 80s He even tried to make the cover image on his //GS, but couldn't get perspective correct texturing.

The CG Library

The CB Bible is still a pretty good book today. But in order to keep up with CG one needs to build a library :

A Good Start

A BIG library :

Shader X Serie :

Three first volumes are available for free on

GPU Gems Serie :

First two volumes available for free on NVidia website: GPU Gems 1 and GPU Gems 2.

GPU ProSerie :

Graphic Gems Serie :

Dated but still contains pearls such as the Business card Raytracer.

The Raytracing classics :

The legendary Black Book :

Available for free on


And don't forget all the papers from siggraph :

The field has become exponentially difficult to follow. It seems to be a general tendency: On the Game Programming side for example, the legendary JP. van Waveren from id Software provides a very good list of the books he recommends. That is 92 books in total.

Signed copy !

Spyke (John F. Hughe) was nice enough to send a complimentary copy, signed by himself and Andries Van Dam:

Below: The Seven CG Programmers !



Fabien Sanglard @2014