Book review: Three.js Essentials

This time I’m going to write about another little book I’ve been reading last weeks, Three.js: Essentials.

ThreeJS Frontcover

The book is an introduction or a wide getting starting guide to several features of Three.js Javascript library. Three.js is a high level WebGL wrapper, that tries to make easier to work with WebGL on the browser, so you will be able to render 2D/3D objects using Javascript/HTML5.

The book is aimed to people who want to learn a bit about Three.js. The author says you must know Javascript but not WebGL, maths or 3D rendering. I agree with him about you don’t need to know WebGL or 3D rendering, but you should have knowledge about geometry at least, if not, some of the concepts of the book will be hard to understand. It’s obvious to me that if you’re interested in a 3D library means that you know a bit of geometry (x-y-z axies, vectors, matrix algebra, planes, etc.). If you don’t you can follow the book and the samples, but as I’ve already said, it’ll be harder.

Three.js: Essentials is like a big tutorial where you will find lot of code examples of everything explained along the book. The code is very easy to read and modify, so you’ll be able to do experiments and learn how Three.js works. The book has seven chapters where you’ll learn how to draw 3D objects, animate them, do collision detection, apply light, materials and textures, make 3D random mazes, control objects with mouse or keyboard, generate particle systems, combine HTML5 with Three.js or learning how to use Blender along Three.js.

If you want to start working with 3D in the browser this book is really helpful, but you’ll need to combine it with a complete reference of Three.js, because as the author says, there are a lot of features that are not covered and will give you lots of possibilities to do interesting things.

The good
Really helpful introduction to Three.js. Lot of easy to follow code samples.
Not too long and easy to read.

The bad
Several complex concepts (mesh, textures, materials, matrix algebra, etc.) can be hard to understand for people new to 3D.

Conclusion
If you want to learn about Three.js and already know a bit about 3D buy this book because it teachs a lot of concepts of the library and is a cheap book.

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