Top 5 Best Vulkan Books To Read in [2024] [UPDATED]

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Here, we have assembled a list of 5 Best Vulkan Books to advance your learning in Vulkan API.

Vulkan is the next generation graphics API released by the Khronos group. It is expected to be the successor to OpenGL and OpenGL ES, which it shares some similarities with such as its cross-platform capabilities, programmed pipeline stages, or nomenclature. Vulkan is a low-level API that gives developers much more control over the hardware.

Best Vulkan Books You Should Read

  1. Vulkan Cookbook
  2. Introduction to Computer Graphics and the Vulkan API
  3. Vulkan Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning Vulkan
  4. Learning Vulkan
  5. C++ Game Development By Example


1. Vulkan Cookbook

Best Vulkan book for beginnerThis book is ideal for developers who know C/C++ languages, have some basic familiarity with graphics programming, and now want to take advantage of the new Vulkan API in the process of building next generation computer graphics. OpenGL developers who want to take advantage of the Vulkan API will also find this book useful.

This book is your guide to understanding Vulkan through a series of recipes. Start off by teaching you how to create instances in Vulkan and choose the device on which operations will be performed.

You will then explore more complex topics such as command buffers, resources and memory management, pipelines, GLSL shaders, render passes, and more. Gradually, the book moves on to teach you advanced rendering techniques, how to draw 3D scenes, and how to improve the performance of your applications.

By the end of the book, you will be familiar with the latest advanced techniques implemented with the Vulkan API, which can be used on a wide range of platforms.

What You Will Learn:

  • Work with Swapchain to present images on screen
  • Create, submit, and synchronize operations processed by the hardware
  • Create buffers and images, manage their memory, and upload data to them from CPU
  • Explore descriptor sets and set up an interface between application and shaders
  • Organize drawing operations into a set of render passes and subpasses
  • Prepare graphics pipelines to draw 3D scenes and compute pipelines to perform mathematical calculations
  • Implement geometry projection and tessellation, texturing, lighting, and post-processing techniques
  • Write shaders in GLSL and convert them into SPIR-V assemblies
  • Find out about and implement a collection of popular, advanced rendering techniques found in games and benchmarks


2. Introduction to Computer Graphics and the Vulkan API

best books to learn Computer Graphics and the Vulkan APIIntroduction to Computer Graphics with the Vulkan API provides a beginners guide to getting started developing graphical applications. The book focuses on the practical aspects with details regarding technical changes to previous generation approaches, such as, the shift towards more efficient multithreaded solutions.

The book has been formatted and designed with sample program listings and support material, so whether or not you are currently an expert in computer graphics, actively working with an existing API (OpenGL or DirectX), or completely in the dark about this mysterious topic, this book has something for you. If you’re an experienced developer, you’ll find this book a light refresher to the subject, and if you’re deciding whether or not to delve into graphics and the Vulkan API, this book may help you make that significant decision.


3. Vulkan Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning Vulkan

Best Vulkan Programming GuideThe author introduces Vulkan, its goals, and the key concepts framing its API, and presents a complex rendering system that demonstrates both Vulkan’s uniqueness and its exceptional power.

You’ll find authoritative coverage of topics ranging from drawing to memory, and threading to compute shaders. The author especially shows how to handle tasks such as synchronization, scheduling, and memory management that are now the developer’s responsibility.

Vulkan Programming Guide introduces powerful 3D development techniques for fields ranging from video games to medical imaging, and state-of-the-art approaches to solving challenging scientific compute problems. Whether you’re upgrading from OpenGL or moving to open-standard graphics APIs for the first time, this guide will help you get the results and performance you’re looking for.

Coverage Includes:

  • Extensively tested code examples to demonstrate Vulkan’s capabilities and show how it differs from OpenGL
  • Expert guidance on getting started and working with Vulkan’s new memory system
  • Thorough discussion of queues, commands, moving data, and presentation
  • Full explanations of the SPIR-V binary shading language and compute/graphics pipelines
  • Detailed discussions of drawing commands, geometry and fragment processing, synchronization primitives, and reading Vulkan data into applications
  • A complete case study application: deferred rendering using complex multi-pass architecture and multiple processing queues
  • Appendixes presenting Vulkan functions and SPIR-V opcodes, as well as a complete Vulkan glossary

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4. Learning Vulkan

Best Vulkan Learning BooksThis book is ideal for graphic programmers who want to get up and running with Vulkan. It’s also great for programmers who have experience with OpenGL and other graphic APIs who want to take advantage of next generation APIs. A good knowledge of C/C++ is expected.

You will learn fundamentals of Vulkan programing model to harness the power of modern GPU devices. Implement device, command buffer and queues to get connected with the physical hardware. Explore various validation layers and learn how to use it for debugging Vulkan application.

What You Will Learn:

  • Get a grip on memory management to control host and device memory operations.
  • Understand and implement buffer and image resource types in Vulkan.
  • Define drawing operations in the Render pass and implement graphics pipeline.
  • Manage GLSL shader using SPIR-V and update the shader resources with descriptor sets and push constants.
  • Learn the drawing process, manage resources with synchronization objects and render 3D scene output on screen with Swapchain.
  • Bring realism to your rendered 3D scene with textures, and implement linear and optimal


5. C++ Game Development By Example

Best Vulkan books for beginnersIf you’re a developer keen to learn game development with C++ or get up to date with game development, this book is for you. Some knowledge of C++ programming is assumed.

C++ Game Development By Example starts by touching upon the basic concepts of math, programming, and computer graphics and creating a simple side-scrolling action 2D game. You’ll build a solid foundation by studying basic game concepts such as creating game loops, rendering 2D game scenes using SFML, 2D sprite creation and animation, and collision detection.

The book will help you advance to creating a 3D physics puzzle game using modern OpenGL and the Bullet physics engine. You’ll understand the graphics pipeline, which entails creating 3D objects using vertex and index buffers and rendering them to the scene using vertex and fragment shaders.

Finally, you’ll create a basic project using the Vulkan library that’ll help you get to grips with creating swap chains, image views, render passes, and frame buffers for building high-performance graphics in your games.

By the end of this book, you’ll be ready with 3 compelling projects created with SFML, the Vulkan API, and OpenGL, and you’ll be able take your game and graphics programming skills to the next level.

What You Will Learn:

  • Understand shaders and how to write a basic vertex and fragment shader
  • Build a Visual Studio project and add SFML to it
  • Discover how to create sprite animations and a game character class
  • Add sound effects and background music to your game
  • Grasp how to integrate Vulkan into Visual Studio
  • Create shaders and convert them to the SPIR-V binary format