I'm Morgan McGuire (@CasualEffects). I've been working on computer graphics and games for 20 years at great places including NVIDIA, Williams College, Brown University, and Activision.

See my home page for a full index of my blog posts, books, research, and projects.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Big Graphics Codex changes in Aug & Sept

Over 1000 of 3D programmers, researchers, and graphics students already use the Graphics Codex app--I can see not only the original sales, but how many download the free updates each month. For the last two years the app has been essentially underground. Sales are driven solely by word of mouth and I have no advertising. This was a quiet start appropriate for an app that began by just releasing my course lecture notes in a mobile form factor, and only later grew towards comprehensive coverage.
Now that the Graphics Codex has 224 entries, including an entire course of lecture notes on physically-based rendering and new topics ranging from HTML5 to the biology of the human eye, it is time to upgrade both the app and the distribution strategy. In mid-August, I'll release version 2.0.  I have already submitted it to Apple and am just waiting for App-store approval for release. This contains a reworking of the UI code for responsiveness and clarity. Here's the full change log:

This really is a "2.0"--the entire scrolling, selection, and layout engines have been rewritten for performance and robustness.  The 1.9 version introduced the iOS 7 interface, which is retroactively available back to iOS 5.

I plan two more rapid-fire updates, for August and September. The first will include more UI features that need additional testing, such as the interactive graphs and retaining your place on a page when navigating between topics. Other UI features like printing are on the task list but may not make these short-term updates. I try to ship once a month with whatever is ready, rather than holding a release on a specific feature.

This update will be accompanied by an academic marketing campaign run by Alice Peters (cofounder of A K Peters), whom I've had the pleasure to work with on many projects in the past. It is time to get the word out about the app as the perfect complement for traditional textbooks in the classroom. In the last six years (long before it was publicly available!), I used the Graphics Codex in teaching at Williams as a companion to Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, Real-Time Rendering, and Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in different semesters. I tuned the material for the app to work well with all three of these popular texts.

The September update will follow shortly after Apple's expected early-September product announcements. It will include additional iOS 7 support and increased coverage of GPU and rasterization topics. I'll post more information about this and another significant announcement about the Graphics Codex at the end of August.

Morgan McGuire is a professor of Computer Science at Williams College and a professional game developer. He is the author of The Graphics Codex, an essential reference for computer graphics that runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.