Use of computers to display and manipulate information in pictorial form. Input may be achieved by scanning an image, drawing with a mouse or stylus on a graphics tablet, or by importing and manipulating other image data. The output may be as simple as a pie chart or, with specialized software, as complex as an animated sequence in a science fiction film, or a seemingly 3-dimensional engineering blueprint.
Vector graphics are stored in the computer memory by using geometric formulae. They can be transformed (enlarged, rotated, stretched, and so on) without loss of picture resolution. It is also possible to select and transform any of the components of a vector-graphics display because each is separately defined in the computer memory. They are typically used for drawing applications, allowing the user to create and modify technical diagrams such as designs for houses or cars.
Raster graphics are stored in the computer memory by using a map to record data (such as colour and intensity) for every pixel that makes up the image. When transformed (enlarged, rotated, stretched, and so on), raster graphics become ragged and suffer loss of picture resolution, unlike vector graphics. They are typically used for painting applications, which allow the user to create artwork on a computer screen much as if they were painting on paper or canvas.
Rendering is the process of generating an image from a computer model that contains data about size, shapes, light, and texture. Rendered images are capable of achieving realistic effects.
Computer graphics are widely used in personal computing, in computer-aided design (CAD), and to generate models and simulations in education, engineering, meteorology, medicine and surgery, and other fields of science.
Using Computers in Art and Design
CAD, DTP, and CAM
Function and aesthetics in graphics products
Graphics products: manufacturing processes
Computer Graphics World
Vector and Bitmap Images
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