The State of Computer Graphics Today

Computer Graphics

About Computer Graphics

Chances are if you have seen a movie recently it contained some form of computer graphics or “CGI”. The revolution caused by computer graphics has changed the landscape of entertainment and how we view the world as well. From simple visual designs to 3D modeling, computer graphics has come a long way.

From humble beginnings, computer graphics have grown along with the advancement of computer technology which now dominates so many areas of information, manufacturing and entertainment. Computer graphics are the most visible extension of the power of computers and their impact has only grown with the advancing technology.


What is Computer Graphics?

Basically, computer graphics are visual designs that are created by computers through the use of hardware and software that is dedicated to the creation of graphics. Graphics are not only visual effects, but they also help our interaction and understanding of interpreting data and capabilities of computers themselves.
The impact of computer graphics over the past half century has truly been profound in the fields of movies, television, animation and video games. They have not only entertained us, but they have also facilitated major changes in the entertainment industry that is still growing by the day.

The History of Computer Graphics

In 1960, William Fetter who was a graphic designer for Boeing actually coined the term “computer graphics”. At that time, computers were still very primitive compared to what we see today and it took a series of graphic hardware products such as the SAGE Projects and Whirlwind to construct the CRT monitors so that the graphics could be displayed. In 1959, Douglas T. Ross who worked at MIT actually created a computer image of a Disney character using the technology that was available.

Over the next 40 years, computer graphics managed to develop alongside computers themselves as they became more powerful and technically advanced. During the 1960s, there were substantial advances in graphics that included “Pong”, the first computer video game and in 1966 the first efforts at 3D modeling were seen at MIT as well.
By the 1970s, graphics had advanced considerably with the advent of the 3D Core Graphics System or “Core” that became the foundation for 3D modeling. In addition, the movie “Westworld” became the first to showcase a 3D computer image, a hand that was shown on a monitor in the film.
The 1980’s brought about substantial change as bit-slice and microprocessors helped revolutionize the industry while the 1990s brought about further advancements with 3D graphics such as “Quake”, the first 3D computer video game and the evolution of CGI in movies.


The State of Computer Graphics Today

Today, computer graphics and 3D modeling is not only more advanced than ever, it is now within the reach of consumers who now have the ability to create graphics for their own uses. Even films are taking advantage of having compete computer-generated sets for films such as “Sin City” and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”.
With each advancement computer graphics becomes more a part of today’s changing world and the ability to create realistic effects gets more in touch with the everyday consumer.