XNA 3D Toolkit [Video]

Dustin Heffron, Larry D. Louisiana

XNA 3D Toolkit [Video]
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Course Contents
The Author
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  • New! Packt Video courses: practical screencast-based tutorials that show you how to get the job done. Bite sized chunks, hands on instructions, and powerful results.
  • Build realistic 3D environments using XNA with the flexibility to make quick changes without drastically changing the rest of the code
  • Learn best coding practices and understand how gameplay affects graphics engine design decisions
  • Learn by doing as you build up your 3D graphics engine

Video Details

Language : English
Release Date : Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Course Length : 2 hours and 25 mins
ISBN : 1849695687
ISBN 13 : 9781849695688
Author(s) : Dustin Heffron, Larry D. Louisiana
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Game Development, Video

Table of Contents

  1. XNA Graphics Overview [12:32 mins]
    • XNA Graphics Profile
    • XNA Concepts
    • XNA Graphics Pipeline
    • XNA Graphics Helper Code

  2. Game Components [18:01 mins]
    • Creating a Base Camera
    • Creating a Camera Manager
    • Creating a Free Camera

  3. Graphics and Debugging Components [13:47 mins]
    • Creating Tool Code
    • Adding a Gimbal and Debug Rendering Capabilities
    • Adding a Frame Rate Counter and a Reference Plane
    • Using Preprocessor Directives

  4. Creating Advanced Cameras [13:08 mins]
    • Introduction to Cameras
    • Creating an Orthographic Camera
    • Creating a Chase Camera
    • Creating a First-person Camera
    • Creating a Third-person Camera

  5. Models [19:44 mins]
    • Loading and Drawing a Simple Model
    • Adding a Drawing Manager Component
    • Understanding Model Properties
    • Building an Instanced Model
    • Building a Model at Runtime

  6. Introducing Shaders and HLSL [17:50 mins]
    • Getting up to Speed with Shaders
    • Coding a High-level Shader Language Effect
    • Managing Shaders
    • Developing a Simple Shader
    • Choosing Shader Approaches

  7. Setting up Your First Scene [26:40 mins]
    • Incorporating the Microsoft Particle Sample
    • Setting up Your Scene
    • Adjusting Lights
    • Creating a Scene File and Loading it at Runtime
    • Debugging Metadata
  8. Deploying to Xbox and Windows Phone [14:32 mins]
    • Getting Ready for Deployment to Other Platforms
    • Deploying to the Windows Phone Emulator
    • Deploying to Xbox 360
    • Discussing Platform Features and the Kinect Sensor
    • Taking your Next Steps



Dustin Heffron

Dustin Heffron is an avid gamer and programmer. He has over 8 years of experience programming in various languages and environments including Linux, Windows, embedded systems, and various consoles. He has been working with XNA since version 2.0 and has created everything from 3D military applications to small 2D games. Dustin currently works for Johnson Controls where he creates a variety of tools to integrate with AutoCAD to facilitate the design of HVAC equipment. He is also currently working on a variety of different game projects using Monogame. Dustin has previously helped Packt as a technical reviewer for the book XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example and the video series 3D XNA Game Development by Example.

Larry D. Louisiana

Larry D. Louisiana has worked as Lead Software Developer at Magenic since 2010. He is a self-taught programmer with a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Larry is an accomplished problem-solver who has published peer-reviewed research in synthetic chemistry. Larry is a Minnesota native who spent his summers working on a family carnival and his winters working in a sawmill. He is an outdoor enthusiast with formal training in forestry and fire fighting. His hobbies include gaming, abstract mathematics, and fishing.

Larry is currently a Software Consultant at Magenic as well as a Microsoft Gold Partner, where his main focus has been developing, architecting, and leading teams of developers working on web and business applications using Microsoft technologies.

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What you will learn from this video course

  • Construct a cross-platform solution in Visual Studio to minimize work and maximize reusability
  • Gain an understanding of how to leverage utilities in XNA to write extensible code
  • Develop useful debugging tools for 3D game programming
  • Load and display 3D models using a variety of techniques
  • Create and configure different cameras to view your scene
  • Write shaders in HLSL to create realistic looking scenes
  • Properly set up a 3D game scene

Who this video course is for

Packt video courses are designed to cover the breadth of the topic in short, hands-on, task-based videos. Each course is divided into short manageable sections, so you can watch the whole thing or jump to the bit you need. The focus is on practical instructions and screencasts showing you how to get the job done.

To get the most out of this video course, you should have some prior programming knowledge, preferably in C# and .NET. This course is for those who wish to make steady progress using a concept driven learning approach to learn more about XNA and how it can be used to create 3D video games.

In Detail

Using XNA, you can get up and running with 3D graphics development in no time, and you will quickly start developing fun gaming experiences. Developing a 3D graphics engine can be very rewarding when done right; learn how to get an immediate payoff so you can focus on developing your game. This course includes videos on shader development, coding for extensibility, scene construction, and multi-platform game development.

XNA 3D Toolkit will walk you through all the information you need to develop a 3D graphics engine. Along the way, you will learn how to deal with a complex game scene and how to incorporate and work with in-game debugging tools. This is a great series for anyone who wants to get an in-depth view of how to design 3D graphics using XNA.

Starting from scratch, with this course you'll learn all the building blocks needed for developing a cross platform 3D graphics engine. You'll build upon this until you have a sound infrastructure that will allow you to quickly implement the functionality needed for your future games.

XNA 3D Toolkit helps you learn how to effectively work with models, providing you with the ability to go from concept to scene. You'll learn how to display your models many times on the screen without wasting memory, as well as making them look ultra realistic. You will then move on to creating a basic foundation for physics and shaders to get the most out of your engine. Once everything is in place, you'll learn how to add all of your content to a scene to produce a high-quality effect. Lastly, we will ensure that your game is ready for the real world by deploying it to the Xbox and Windows Phone Emulator.

By the end of this course, you should be comfortable using all the tools necessary to start creating your very own 3D video games.


This video is designed to approach the content from the perspective of viewers who have an interest in 3D development and who want to understand a broad range of concepts underlying the process of 3D graphics engine development using the XNA 3D Toolkit.

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