A Guide to Computer Graphics

Computer graphics consist of non-text content displayed for entertainment or work related purposes on a monitor, television screen or movie screen. Computer graphics consist of various image types.

Two dimensional images are referred to as 2D. 2D images exist on only two planes and were developed for use with printing and drawing. The creation of 2D images is executed by using points, lines and shapes upon one surface. 2D images can present the illusion of depth and complexity by layering the images. As an example, in its early days of animation, the Walt Disney company was known to achieve its unique visual style and effects by use of layering 2D animation cells before filming.

Currently, 2D computer graphics are rendered from models with specific techniques. Some video games use the same technique as the Disney company by creating art work in cells and then layering the cells.

Advances in technology meant that computer graphics could be presented by creating pixel art. Pixel art is designed and implemented by using raster graphics programs that allow a user to manipulate an image at the pixel level. A pixel is a solitary point that when combined with other pixels makes up the whole image. Video games created earlier in time as well as mobile device games make use of pixel art.

Another method of creating a computer graphic is to create images using vector graphics. Vector graphics work well with pixel art. Vector images are created by encoding information about colors and shapes into a computer program which together can be used to create an image that resembles photography with relation to depth and detail.

Three dimensional computer graphics, also called 3D, use geometric data. In computer imaging, 3D can be achieved by the use of models which are encoded and then rendered. Unlike the other forms of computer graphics, which may be printed, 3D exists only in virtual space and cannot be printed. If 3D is printed, it becomes 2D as ink and paper exist on two planes.

Computer Animation is another graphic image rendered on a computer by using the applied process of motion capture. This style of computer graphic can also be referred to as CGI which stands for computer generated image. Its place is most recognizable to the general public as being a popular medium for film presentation.