GLSL Essentials: Review

GLSL Essentials

Shader programming has been the largest revolution in graphics programming. The OpenGL Shading Language, is a high-level shading language based on the syntax of the C programming language. With GLSL you can execute code on your graphics card and add more sophisticated effects to your renders.

GLSL Essentials attemps to be the definitive book that teaches you about shaders from the very beginning. Going through graphics programming evolution and describing in depth each stage in the Graphics Rendering Pipeline. The book explains how shaders work in a step-by-step manner, with an explanation of how they interact with the application assets at each stage.

The book is intended for people with some experience in application programming interfaces (API) for rendering 2D and 3D computer graphics,who are willing to update their knowledge to the newest OpenGL version practices.

The author assumes some familiarity with OpenGL and C/C++ as the language for host applications, which helps to cut down on a lot of introductory boilerplate. It’s best to start reading from the beginning, as examples build on information from previous chapters.

The examples are short but long enough to describe the power of the technology at hand. I find this book useful for people trying to make thejump from the fixed pipeline paradigm to the new programmable pipeline.

All in all I think it's a good resource for anyone who wants to jump into Graphics Programming using the “modern” OpenGL approach.


I believe that the author, Jacobo Rodrguez, does a great job describing the programmable graphics pipeline and makes a swift transition from the basic theoretical concepts to practical demonstrations of what role each type of shader plays in it.

It's a short and rewarding experience that any Computer Graphics programmer should embark in order to have a grasp on the new OpenGL practices and the current state of their shading language.

Grab a copy and let me know what YOU think on the comments down below.