WHAT IS COMPUTER GRAPHICS?
Computer graphics is the art and science of picture making and picture analysis. At its core, it is science drawing from fields like mathematics, physics, computer science and various forms of engineering such as electrical engineering. The practice of computer graphics is much more art than science. While artists of the past had to be masters of the brush, graphics artists are masters of the software that drives image modeling and rendering. The two main components of computer graphics are hardware, the machinery that generates the image, and the software that drives the machine. In this class, we deal with both fundamentals, although we spend the majority of the time on graphics algorithm and the science that underlies them. Often we deviate from science and venture into the field of cheating the eye. To this end, we develop algorithms that take advantage of the limitations of our biological vision system. Such limitations are finite resolution and bandwidth. Limited resolution means that the eye is not capable of distinguishing points that are too close together, and finite bandwidth implies that if two dots appear too fast one after the other, they are seen as one dot. The good news about the eye’s limitations is that they allow us to develop algorithms in the discrete world of the machine that generates images that are seen continuous and smooth.
Copyright © Les A. Piegl. All rights reserved.
Dr. Les A. Piegl, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620