Jos Dirksen is the author of Learn Three.js., we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Jos: About a decade ago I wrote a lot of blogs on Three.js. At that time it wasn’t such a well-known framework. Packt contacted me to see if I was interested in writing something about Three.js. That’s how the first edition came to be. Since then I’ve written a number of different books for Packt. Most about Three.js, but also one on D3.js and one on Scala. Three.js in itself is a great library for 3D content and is constantly being updated and extended with new functionality. So we keep track of the major changes and update the Learn Three.js book every so often to incorporate new content and new features.
Q: What is the name of your book?
Jos: Learn Three.js – Fourth Edition
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Jos: Well, for this specific book there wasn’t really a long research period beforehand. We checked the main differences and changes that happened in the years since the last version was published. Based on that I provided a possible new outline, which we eventually decided there was enough content to warrant a new version.
Q: Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Jos: That doing 3D in the browser really isn’t that hard. You just need to understand a couple of concepts, and you’re good to go with Three.js.
Q: Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Jos: Three.js itself has great documentation: https://threejs.org/docs/
Q. Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Jos: Yes, always 🙂 Especially during the summertime, it is sometimes hard to find the motivation to go sit inside and start writing. It is always hard to find the balance between the day job, the family and then writing a book. For me, I just plan out everything, so for specific days I know what to do, which examples to make, or content to write. That makes it manageable and resolves a lot of stress.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Jos: We’ve had our ups and downs, but I think that is normal during such a process. In the end, everyone wants to create the best book possible, and Packt really helps in getting that result.
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Jos: I think currently it is one of the most comprehensive books on what is possible with Three.js. It does not just provide examples, it explains all of the concepts of Three.js and is up to date with the latest versions. Besides that, it provides workflows on how to integrate with tools like Blender, and how you can use Three.js together with frameworks like React, or a language like TypeScript.
Q. What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Q. What advice would you give to readers jumping into this technology? Do you have any top tips?
Jos: Play around with examples and experiment. 3D in the browser with Three.js is not just about programming, it is also a creative process, where you really need to see what works and what doesn’t.
Q. What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Jos: Three.js as a library is really great. It provides the core of many interactive 3D experiences on the web and makes working with WebGL a lot easier. I think 3D on the web will continue growing, and Three.js with it. Think about AR, the whole metaverse discussion, and more and more VR games. All are related to 3D, and a lot of those features are offered through the browser.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Jos: Well, together with Packt, we decided on the high-level plan. For each chapter I further planned what and when I wanted to do certain things during that period. So I had a fairly detailed plan. That works for me. Generally, I’d first create the examples that explain the concepts of the chapter, and once those are written and working, writing the actual content usually doesn’t take that long.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Jos: Not really a single journal. Twitter works great to keep an overview of the main changes that are happening.
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, mention them below.
Jos: Twitter: https://twitter.com/josdirksen
Q: What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Jos: Really don’t underestimate the time and conviction it takes to write a book. Packt can help in high-level planning, but in the end, you’re the one that needs to write and do everything.
You can find Jos’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here