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by Dinesh Thakur Category: Basic of Computer Graphics

As ancient says “ a pixel is worth thousand words”, graphics is essential everywhere to understand the things, concepts, etc easily. Computer graphics is useful in almost all part of our life. In the following sections we are discussing some of the popular areas of computer graphics.

Design and Drawing : In almost all areas of engineering, be  it civil, mechanical,  electronic etc., drawings are of prime  importance.  In fact, drawing is said to be  the  language  of  engineers.   The  ability  of  computers  to store  complex  drawings  and display them on demand was one of the major attractions for using computers  in  graphic  mode.   However, these  were  further  advantages.  

Most  of  these  drawings  were  the  result  of  engineering  calculations.   In  fact, programs  can  be  written to make these calculations and the results can be used to draw diagrams on the  screen.   If  changes  are  to be  made, one  can  get  back to the  design  formulae  and so on.  Thus, the are of design  and drawing  was one of the earliest and most  useful applications of graphics.

 Animation: But  what  brought  the  computers  pretty  close  to the  average  individuals  is  the  concept  of  animation  moving  pictures.   It  is  the  well  known principle  of  moving  pictures  that  a  succession  of  related pictures, when  flashed  with  sufficient speed will  make  the succession of pictures  appear  to be  moving.  In movies, a sequence of such pictures  is  shot  and are displayed with   sufficient  speed to make  them  appear  moving. Computers  can  do it  in another  way.  

The  properties  of  the  picture  can  be  modified at  a  fairly fast  rate  to make  it  appear  moving.  For example, if a  hand  is  to be  moved, say, the successive positions of  the  hand at different periods of  time can be computed  and pictures showing the  position of the  hand at  these positions can  be  flashed on  the screen.  This  led to  the  concept  of  “animation”  or  moving pictures.   In  the  initial  stages, animation was mainly used in computer games. 

 However, this led to a host of other possibilities.  As we see later on in this  course, computers  not  only allow  you  to display the  figures  but  also  offer  you facilities  to manipulate  them  in  various  ways  –  you  can  enlarge, reduce, rotate,  twist, morph  (make  one  picture  gradually change  to another  –  like  an advertisement showing a cheetah change  into a  motor bike) and do a whole  lot of  other things. 

Thus, a whole lot of films made use of computers to generate tricks.  In  fact, several  advertisement  films  and cartons  strips  are  built  with  no actors  at  all – only the computer generated pictures.

Multimedia applications  : The  use  of  sound cards  to make  computers  produce  sound effect  led to other  uses of  graphics.   The concept of  virtual   reality, where  in  one  can  be  taken  through  an  unreal  experience, like  going  through  an  unbuilt  house  (  to see  how  it  feels  inside, once  it  is  built  )  are  possible  by  the  use  of  computer  graphics  technology  .  

In  fact  the  ability of  computers  to convert  electronic signals (0 & 1) to data and then on to figures and pictures  has  made  it  possible  for  us to  get photographs of   distant planets  like  mars being  reproduced  here on the earth in almost real time. 

 Simulation : The other revolutionary change that  graphics  made  was  in the area  of  simulation.   Basically simulation is a mockup of an environment elsewhere to study or experience it.  The availability of easily interactive devices (mouse is one of them, we are going to see a few other later in the course)  made  it possible to  build simulators. 

One example  is of  flight  simulators, wherein the trainee, sitting in  front  of  a  computer, can  operate  on  the  interactive  devices  as  if  he  were  operating on the  flight controls and the changes  he  is expected to see outside  his  window are made to appear on the screen, so that he can master the skills of flight  operations before actually trying his hand on the actual flights.

 The graphic capabilities of computers are used in a very large variety of areas like  criminology (to  recreate  faces  of  victims, assailants  etz.,)  medical  fields  (recreating pictures  of  internal  cavities, using signals  sent  by miniature  cameras), recreation  of Satellite pictures etc.


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About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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