Metal by Tutorials: First 10 Chapters Now Available!

Manda Frederick

We’re happy to announce that the first 10 chapters of our book Metal by Tutorials are now available!

This book will introduce you to graphics programming in Metal — Apple’s framework for programming on the GPU. You’ll build your own game engine in Metal where you can create 3D scenes and build your own 3D games.

The book is currently in early release and available on our online store.

The two new chapters include:

  • Chapter 9, Scene Graph: In this chapter you’ll take your rendering engine and put together a simple game engine by abstracting the rendering code away from scene management. This takes you to the next level where you can start creating your own games.
  • Chapter 10, Fragment Post-Processing: Before embarking on huge features such as tessellation and instancing, you’ll learn some simple techniques to improve your render quality. A series of operations run on the GPU after the fragments have been processed in the pipeline, including alpha testing, depth testing, stencil testing, scissor testing, blending, and anti-aliasing. You’ll touch on most of these operations in this chapter.

Give better perspective and placement in your scene with Scene Graphs!

WWDC 2018 Metal Changes

In our last post, we covered the updates that you can expect to see after the announcements made at WWDC 2018. But in case you missed that post:

With OpenGL and OpenCL now deprecated, WWDC 2018 brought Metal to the forefront of graphics and compute on macOS, iOS and tvOS!

The team is excited about the changes that come with Metal 2, and, of course, they will bring the latest tutorial content to you in upcoming editions of the book:

  • Ray tracing using Metal Performance Shaders: Ray tracing is far more accurate than rasterization, and real-time ray tracing is the ultimate goal of rendering. Ray tracing is traditionally performed on the CPU, but using Metal Performance Shaders, you’ll be able parallelize it on the GPU. If you have multiple external GPUs, you’ll be able to achieve phenomenal performance.
  • GPU-Driven Command Encoding: You can now encode your commands on the GPU rather than the CPU, using a compute shader.
  • New GPU debugging tools: These look simply magnificent! The dependency viewer visualizes all your render passes and combines them into a beautifully rendered flowchart. The interactive shader debugger lets you examine your pixels as you step through your shader functions and change your shader output on the fly.

    Vertices aren’t forgotten — you can inspect them with the new geometry viewer. This has a free-fly camera so that you can investigate issues outside your camera frame. If you have an iPhone X or newer, you’ll be able to use the A11 shader profiler to see how long each statement in your shaders takes to execute. Apple have really worked hard on these and other GPU profiling tools!

Remember that, when you buy the early access release, not only do you have a chance to dig into the content early, but you’ll also receive free updates when you purchase the book!

Where to Go From Here?

Want to buy Metal by Tutorials?

We look forward to hearing what you think of the book!

Manda Frederick

Manda has been involved in publishing for over ten years through various creative, educational, medical and technical print and digital publications.

In her free time, you can find her at the climbing gym, backpacking in the backcountry, hanging with her dog, working on poems, playing guitar and exploring breweries.

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