Computer graphics is a broad field that includes many different areas, including design, lighting, and texturing. The process of computer graphics involves converting mathematical representations of three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional screen images.
Early computer graphics were limited to simple pictures. However, the advent of home computers in the 1980s revolutionized the field. Personal computers could draw more complex shapes, and graphics were more accurate than ever before.
The University of Utah computer science program became the world’s premier computer graphics research center. During this time, the department produced some of the most important pioneers in the field.
In 1973, the American Computer Society (ACM) launched the Special Interest Group on Graphics (SIGGRAPH). Its first conference was held in 1973. Since then, the organization has grown in size and scope.
By the mid-1960s, several major corporations began to take a serious interest in computer graphics. Companies like TRW, Sperry Rand, and General Electric entered the industry.
In the early 1970s, the University of Utah’s computer science program became the leading center for computer graphics. This coincided with the creation of Sketchpad, a software package that influenced alternative forms of computer interaction.
By the late 1980s, 3D graphics had become possible with powerful SGI computers. This led to the creation of the first computer-generated short films at Pixar. A series of commercially successful 3D games, such as Super Mario 64, also helped popularize the field.
The development of virtual reality was also a focus of research by NASA. Eventually, Sutherland’s techniques were rediscovered by NASA for use in this research.