The Computer graphics reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Computer graphics

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The term graphics refers to images, e.g. a drawing, photograph, or graph of a function. See also graph.

Computer graphics (CG) is the field of visual computing, where one utilizes computers both to generate visual images synthetically and to integrate or alter visual and spatial information sampled from the real world.

The first major advance in computer graphics was the development of the Sketchpad in 1962 by Ivan Sutherland.

This field can be divided into several areas: real-time 3D rendering (often used in video games), video capture and video creation rendering, special effects editing (often used for movies and television), image editing, and modeling (often used for engineering and medical purposes). Development in computer graphics was first fueled by academic interests and government sponsorship. However, as real-world applications of computer graphics (CG) in broadcast television and movies proved a viable alternative to more traditional special effects and animation techniques, commercial parties have increasingly funded advances in the field.

It is often thought that the first feature film to use computer graphics was , which attempted to show how computers would be much more graphical in the future. However, all the "computer graphic" effects in that film were hand-drawn animation, and the special effects sequences were produced entirely with conventional optical and model effects.

Perhaps the first use of computer graphics specifically to illustrate computer graphics was in Futureworld (1976), which included an animation of a human face and hand - produced by Ed Catmull and Fred Parke at the University of Utah.

Table of contents
1 Computer Graphics, 2D
2 Computer Graphics, 3D
3 Related topics
4 Toolkits and APIs
5 See also

Computer Graphics, 2D

The first advance in computer graphics was in the use of CRTss. See 2D computer graphics. There are two approaches to 2D graphics: vector and raster graphics. In short, vector images are stored as colored lines and figures or other shapes. Rasterized images, on the other hand, are stored as points of color or regions of one color that blend into another color. While both of these explanations simplify greatly on the complicated encoding algorithms used to generate modern graphics files, they highlight the fundamental difference between some formats.

Computer Graphics, 3D

With the birth of the workstation computers (like LISP machines, paintbox computers and Silicon Graphics workstations) came the 3D computer graphics, based on vector or "wire-frame" representations of virtual objects.

Some major advances in 3D computer graphics since then have been:

Related topics

Several important topics in
2D and 3D graphics include:

Toolkits and APIs

For an application relying heavily on computer graphics, the following could be useful:

See also