 Computer graphics (computer science)

This article is about the scientific discipline of computer graphics. For other uses see Computer graphics (disambiguation).
Computer graphics is a subfield of computer science which studies methods for digitally synthesizing and manipulating visual content. Although the term often refers to the study of threedimensional computer graphics, it also encompasses twodimensional graphics and image processing.
Contents
Overview
Computer graphics studies the manipulation of visual and geometric information using computational techniques. It focuses on the mathematical and computational foundations of image generation and processing rather than purely aesthetic issues. Computer graphics is often differentiated from the field of visualization, although the two fields have many similarities.
Connected studies include:
 Scientific visualization
 Information visualization
 Computer vision
 Image processing
 Computational geometry
 Computational topology
 Applied mathematics
Applications of computer graphics include:
History
One of the first displays of computer animation was Futureworld (1976), which included an animation of a human face and hand — produced by Ed Catmull and Fred Parke at the University of Utah.
There are several international conferences and journals where the most significant results in computer graphics are published. Among them are the SIGGRAPH and Eurographics conferences and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Transactions on Graphics journal. The joint Eurographics and ACM SIGGRAPH symposium series features the major venues for the more specialized subfields: Symposium on Geometry Processing,Symposium on Rendering, and Symposium on Computer Animation. As in the rest of computer science, conference publications in computer graphics are generally more significant than journal publications (and subsequently have lower acceptance rates)^{[1]}^{[2]}^{[3]}.^{[4]}
Subfields in computer graphics
A broad classification of major subfields in computer graphics might be:
 Geometry: studies ways to represent and process surfaces
 Animation: studies with ways to represent and manipulate motion
 Rendering: studies algorithms to reproduce light transport
 Imaging: studies image acquisition or image editing
Geometry
The subfield of geometry studies the representation of threedimensional objects in a discrete digital setting. Because the appearance of an object depends largely on its exterior, boundary representations are most commonly used. Two dimensional surfaces are a good representation for most objects, though they may be nonmanifold. Since surfaces are not finite, discrete digital approximations are used. Polygonal meshes (and to a lesser extent subdivision surfaces) are by far the most common representation, although pointbased representations have become more popular recently (see for instance the Symposium on PointBased Graphics). These representations are Lagrangian, meaning the spatial locations of the samples are independent. Recently, Eulerian surface descriptions (i.e., where spatial samples are fixed) such as level sets have been developed into a useful representation for deforming surfaces which undergo many topological changes (with fluids being the most notable example^{[5]}).
 Geometry Subfields
 Implicit surface modeling  an older subfield which examines the use of algebraic surfaces, constructive solid geometry, etc., for surface representation.
 Digital geometry processing  surface reconstruction, simplification, fairing, mesh repair, parameterization, remeshing, mesh generation, surface compression, and surface editing all fall under this heading.^{[6]}^{[7]}^{[8]}
 Discrete differential geometry  a nascent field which defines geometric quantities for the discrete surfaces used in computer graphics.^{[9]}
 Pointbased graphics  a recent field which focuses on points as the fundamental representation of surfaces.
 Subdivision surfaces
 Outofcore mesh processing  another recent field which focuses on mesh datasets that do not fit in main memory.
Animation
The subfield of animation studies descriptions for surfaces (and other phenomena) that move or deform over time. Historically, most work in this field has focused on parametric and datadriven models, but recently physical simulation has become more popular as computers have become more powerful computationally.
 Subfields
 Performance capture
 Character animation
 Physical simulation (e.g. cloth modeling, animation of fluid dynamics, etc.)
Rendering
Rendering generates images from a model. Rendering may simulate light transport to create realistic images or it may create images that have a particular artistic style in nonphotorealistic rendering. The two basic operations in realistic rendering are transport (how much light passes from one place to another) and scattering (how surfaces interact with light). See Rendering (computer graphics) for more information.
 Transport
Transport describes how illumination in a scene gets from one place to another. Visibility is a major component of light transport.
 Scattering
Models of scattering and shading are used to describe the appearance of a surface. In graphics these problems are often studied within the context of rendering since they can substantially affect the design of rendering algorithms. Shading can be broken down into two orthogonal issues, which are often studied independently:
 scattering  how light interacts with the surface at a given point
 shading  how material properties vary across the surface
The former problem refers to scattering, i.e., the relationship between incoming and outgoing illumination at a given point. Descriptions of scattering are usually given in terms of a bidirectional scattering distribution function or BSDF. The latter issue addresses how different types of scattering are distributed across the surface (i.e., which scattering function applies where). Descriptions of this kind are typically expressed with a program called a shader. (Note that there is some confusion since the word "shader" is sometimes used for programs that describe local geometric variation.)
 Other subfields
 physically based rendering  concerned with generating images according to the laws of geometric optics
 real time rendering  focuses on rendering for interactive applications, typically using specialized hardware like GPUs
 nonphotorealistic rendering
 relighting  recent area concerned with quickly rerendering scenes
Notable researchers in computer graphics
 Jim Blinn
 Jack E. Bresenham
 Loren Carpenter
 Edwin Catmull
 Robert L. Cook
 Paul Debevec
 Ron Fedkiw
 James D. Foley
 David Forsyth
 Henry Fuchs
 Pat Hanrahan
 Takeo Kanade
 Jim Kajiya
 Kenneth Knowlton
 Marc Levoy
 James O'Brien
 Ken Perlin
See also
 3D computer graphics
 Cloth modeling
 Computer facial animation
 Digital geometry
 Digital image editing
References
 ^ Best Practices Memo
 ^ Choosing a venue: conference or journal?
 ^ Graphics/vision publications acceptance rates statistics
 ^ An extensive history of computer graphics can be found at this page.
 ^ Ron Fedkiw
 ^ SIGGRAPH 2001 Course on Digital Geometry Processing
 ^ CS 598: Digital Geometry Processing (Fall 2004)
 ^ Digital Geometry Processing
 ^ Discrete Differential Geometry
Further reading
 Foley et al. Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice.
 Shirley. Fundamentals of Computer Graphics.
 Watt. 3D Computer Graphics.
External links
 A Critical History of Computer Graphics and Animation
 History of Computer Graphics series of articles
University Groups
 Computer Graphics Usability and Visualization Group at Simon Fraser University
 Computer Graphics Group at The University of Hong Kong
 Berkeley Computer Animation and Modeling Group
 Berkeley Computer Graphics
 Bristol University Computer Graphics Group
 C²G² at Columbia University
 Center for Visual Information Technology,IIIT Hyderabad
 Caltech MultiRes Modeling Group
 Carnegie Mellon Graphics Lab
 Center for Graphics and Geometric Computing at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
 Computer Graphics Department at MaxPlanckInstitut fur Informatik
 Computer Graphics Department at Haute Ecole Albert Jacquard
 Computer Graphics Group at Brown
 Computer Graphics Group at RWTH Aachen University
 Computer Graphics at Harvard
 Computer Graphics and Immersive Technologies Laboratory at USC
 Graphics Lab of Institute for Creative Technologies at USC
 Computer Graphics Laboratory at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
 Computer Graphics Group at PUCRio
 Computer Graphics Group at University of Bonn
 Computer Graphics Group at University of Virginia
 Computer Graphics Laboratory at University of Tokyo
 Computer Graphics Laboratory at UT Austin
 Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH Zurich
 Computer Graphics / Geometric Design Group at Rice
 Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab at Columbia University
 Computer Graphics and Visualization Lab at Purdue University
 Computer Graphics and Visualization Lab at University of Utah
 Computer Graphics and Visualization Lab at University of Wisconsin
 Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics
 Dynamic Graphics Project at University of Toronto
 Geometric Modeling and Industrial Geometry Group at Technische Universitat Wien
 The Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms at Technische Universitat Wien
 Graphics and Image Analysis at UNC
 Graphics and Geometric Computing Group at Tsinghua University
 Graphics@Illinois
 GRAIL at University of Washington
 GRAVIR at iMAGIS
 GVIL at University of Maryland, College Park
 GVU Center at Georgia Tech
 IDAV Visualization and Graphics Research Group at UC Davis
 IMAGINE Research Group at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
 Imager Laboratory at University of British Columbia
 MIT Computer Graphics Group
 MRL at NYU
 Princeton Graphics and Geometry Group
 Stanford Computer Graphics Laboratory
 UCSD Computer Graphics Laboratory
 Vision Research Center at Vanderbilt
 INIGraphicsNet international network
Industry
Industrial labs doing "blue sky" graphics research include:
 Adobe Advanced Technology Labs
 MERL
 Microsoft Research  Graphics
 NVIDIA Research
Major film studios notable for graphics research include:
Categories:
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