Home > Store

Metal Programming Guide: Tutorial and Reference via Swift

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Metal Programming Guide: Tutorial and Reference via Swift

Best Value Purchase

Book + eBook Bundle

  • Your Price: $53.99
  • List Price: $89.98
  • Includes EPUB and PDF
  • About eBook Formats
  • This eBook includes the following formats, accessible from your Account page after purchase:

    ePub EPUB The open industry format known for its reflowable content and usability on supported mobile devices.

    Adobe Reader PDF The popular standard, used most often with the free Acrobat® Reader® software.

    This eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.

More Purchase Options


  • Your Price: $39.99
  • List Price: $49.99
  • Usually ships in 24 hours.

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $31.99
  • List Price: $39.99
  • Includes EPUB and PDF
  • About eBook Formats
  • This eBook includes the following formats, accessible from your Account page after purchase:

    ePub EPUB The open industry format known for its reflowable content and usability on supported mobile devices.

    Adobe Reader PDF The popular standard, used most often with the free Acrobat® Reader® software.

    This eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.



  • Fills a major gap, teaching Apple’s exciting new technology for high-performance 3D graphics, gaming, scientific programming, visualization, big data, and machine learning
  • Packed with hands-on projects and real code samples covering everything from simple draw calls to advanced parallel computing
  • Includes uniquely thorough coverage of data-parallel programming and performance/debugging tools, not just 3D graphics
  • Author hand-picked by Apple’s Metal team, with tech review by world-class graphics programming expert Dave Shreiner


  • Copyright 2018
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 352
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-466894-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-466894-9

Metal enables Apple iOS and macOS platform developers to maximize performance in demanding tasks like 3D graphics, games, scientific programming, visualization, and now GPU-accelerated machine learning. Apple’s Swift + Metal combination runs faster than nearly any other language used in these areas. Now, there’s an authoritative and 100% practical guide to making the most of Metal. Pioneering Apple developers Basel Farag and Janie Clayton cover everything from simple draw calls to advanced parallel computing, teaching through hands-on projects and industry-realistic code samples. They cover a wide array of applications, from 2D and 3D graphics to neural networking. Farag and Clayton offer a uniquely valuable perspective on high-performance data-parallel programming with Metal -- a topic that has been woefully underserved by earlier resources. They also offer expert guidance on Metal performance and debugging, helping you capture every iota of performance the Metal API and shader language can offer.


Source Code

Download the code files for this book at https://github.com/RedQueenCoder/Metal-Programming-Guide.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Essential Mathematics for Graphics (Shader) Programming

Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxiii

About the Author xxv

Part I: Metal Basics 1

Chapter 1: What Is Metal? 3

History of Graphics APIs 4

Metal: The New Way to Do Graphics on Apple Platforms 6

Metal in Context: How Metal Complements and Supports Other Platform Frameworks 10

Summary 10

Chapter 2: Overview of Rendering and Raster Graphics 13

Representing the GPU 14

Preparing Data for the GPU 16

Summary 24

Chapter 3: Your First Metal Application (Hello, Triangle!) 25

Creating a Metal Application in Xcode (without Using a Template) 25

Creating a MTLDevice 28

Creating a CAMetalLayer 28

Creating a Vertex Buffer 29

A First Look at Shaders 31

Libraries, Functions, and Pipeline States 34

Introducing Render Passes 35

Introducing MetalKit Features and MTKView 39

Summary 40

Part II: Rendering and Graphics 41

Chapter 4: Essential Mathematics for Graphics 43

Language of Mathematics 43

Coordinate Spaces and Moving among Them 44

Points, Vectors, and Vector Operations 46

Normalization and Unit Vectors 49

Pythagorean Theorem 50

Sine, Cosine, and Tangent 52

Matrices and Matrix Operations 53

Transformations: Scale, Translation, Rotation, Projection 55

Summary 60

Chapter 5: Introduction to Shaders 61

Metal Shading Language Overview 61

Setting Up Shaders 63

Your First Shader: Pass Through 63

Writing Your First Shader 68

Uniform Buffer 74

Summary 82

Chapter 6: Metal Resources and Memory Management 83

Introduction to Resources in Metal 83

The Argument Table: Mapping between Shader Parameters and Resources 84

Buffers 85

Resource Options: Storage Mode, Cache Mode, Purgeability 86

Preparing Data for the Vertex Shader and Vertex Descriptors 87

Copying to and from Buffers 88

Introduction to Textures 89

Copying to and from Textures 93

Compressed Texture Support 94

The Blit Command Encoder 94

Generating Mipmaps 96

Summary 97

Chapter 7: Libraries, Functions, and Pipeline States 99

What Are Libraries and Functions? 99

The Metal Two-Phase Compilation Architecture 100

Creating Libraries at Compile Time and Runtime 101

Command Encoders 103

Render Pipeline Descriptors and State 104

Pipeline Reflection 105

Summary 105

Chapter 8: 2D Drawing 107

Metal Graphics Rendering Pipeline 107

Sample Project: Build a Star 108

Metal Primitive Types 113

Responding to MTKViewDelegate Methods 115

Retrieving a Drawable 115

Creating a Command Buffer 116

Creating a Command Encoder 117

Fixed-Function State on the Command Encoder 119

Passing Data to Shaders 121

Issuing Draw Calls 124

Scheduling and Enqueuing Command Buffers 124

Summary 126

Chapter 9: Introduction to 3D Drawing 127

Model-View-Projection Transformations 127

Clip Space and the View Frustum 131

Shading Models 136

Basic Lighting 138

Animation 140

Summary 141

Chapter 10: Advanced 3D Drawing 143

Constructing a Hierarchical World with Scene Graphs 143

Instanced Rendering 145

Summary 155

Chapter 11: Interfacing with Model I/O 157

What Are Model Files? 158

Importing a Model 161

Meshes and Submeshes 163

Render State Pipeline 164

Asset Initialization 165

Render State Setup and Drawing 166

Exporting Files 167

Summary 168

Chapter 12: Texturing and Sampling 169

Texture Mapping 169

Mipmapping 171

Sampling 172

Precompiled Sampler States 175

Passing Textures and Samplers to Graphics Functions 177

Summary 182

Chapter 13: Multipass Rendering Techniques 183

When (and Why) to Use Multipass Rendering 183

Metal Render Pass Descriptors 184

Creating and Managing Render Targets 185

Revisiting Load-Store Actions 188

Summary 190

Chapter 14: Geometry Unleashed: Tessellation in Metal 191

Removing Bottlenecks by Using Tessellation 191

Catmull-Clark Subdivision 192

Per-Patch Tessellation Factors 195

Metal Tessellation Fixed-Function Pipeline 197

Setting Up a Tessellation Kernel 201

Post-Tessellation Vertex Function 202

Draw Patches 204

Summary 208

Part III: Data Parallel Programming 209

Chapter 15: The Metal Compute Pipeline 211

Introduction to GPU Programming 212

Concurrency versus Parallelism 213

Using GPUs for General Computation 216

Kernel Functions 217

The Metal Compute Command Encoder 218

Issuing Grids of Work 220

Finding Your Way in the Grid inside the Kernel Function 223

Reading and Writing Resources in Kernel Functions 223

Summary 224

Chapter 16: Image Processing in Metal 225

Introduction to Image Processing 225

Creating a Metal Texture 227

Desaturation Kernels 230

Convolution and Dispatching a 2D Grid 232

Blur Effects 235

Selecting an Optimal Threadgroup Size 238

Summary 239

Chapter 17: Machine Vision 241

How a Computer Sees the World 241

Noise and Smoothing 242

Sobel Edge Detection 244

Thresholding 245

Histograms 246

Facial Recognition 246

Summary 253

Chapter 18: Metal Performance Shaders Framework 255

Overview of Metal Performance Shaders Framework 255

Image Processing with the MPS Framework 257

Matrix Operations with MPS 267

Summary 269

Chapter 19: Neural Network Concepts 271

Overview of Neural Networks 271

Neural Network Components 272

Neural Network Architecture 281

Summary 283

Chapter 20: Convolutional Neural Networks 285

History of Convolutional Neural Networks 285

MPSImage 289

Convolutional Neural Network Kernels 290

Convolution Data Source 296

Neural Network Graph 298

Summary 299

Index 301


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020