History Of Computer Graphics

History Of Computer Graphics

The field of computer graphics has developed alongside the development of the digital computer. In 1959, MIT’s Lincoln Labs TX-2 computer gave birth to the field of interactive computer graphics. By the mid 1960’s major corporations, such as TRW, Lockheed, General Electric and Sperry Rand, had already started research and development in computer graphics. IBM’s 2250 graphics terminal was the first commercially available graphics computer.

In 1969, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) initiated a Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) to promote the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH interests include simulation and modeling, computer generated art, digital motion analysis, text editing and composition, cartography and mapping, computer aided design, and computer graphics software and hardware.

During the 1970s, personal computers became more powerful, and were more capable of drawing complex shapes and designs.

In the late 1980s, 3D computer graphics, such as 3D models, became possible with the SGI computers and graphical user interfaces (GUI). GUI presented data (input and output) and information with symbols, icons and images, rather than text. The SGI computers were used to create some of the first fully computer-generated short films at Pixar. Today, Apple’s Macintosh system remains one of the most popular choices for computer graphics in graphic design studios and businesses.

In the 1990’s, 3D image renderings became the main advances in the computer graphics industry and it stimulated cinematic graphics applications. VGA and SVGA standards were introduced and since then, personal computers could easily display photo-realistic images and movies.

Since then, computer graphics have become more realistic, due to more advanced computers, 3D techniques, and better 3D modeling software and applications. With the rising popularity of games, multimedia, and animation, 3D graphics have become more popular.

In 1996, one of the first fully 3D games, Quake, was released. In 1995, Toy Story, the first full-length computer-generated animation film, was released. In 2001, powerful computer hardware graphics GeForce series by NVIDIA’s was released. In 2003 ID Software graphics engine was released in Doom3 game.

Computer Graphics are widely used today. From graphics presentations to virtual reality worlds and entertainment, computer graphics have a far reaching impact of our everyday lives.

3D Architectural Visualization of an office space

Fig.1 3D Model of a City