Computer Graphics Unit 11

1930 - 1st reliable analog computer
1939 - 1st semi-electronic digital computing device (5 ton IBM Mark I)
1947 - transistor invented
1950's -Univac I: 1st mass-produced and commercially available computer
1970's - microprocessors; more than 100,000 trans. in one chip

1950 - computer graphics born when computer was connected to cathode ray tube as output device:  MIT Whirlwind I

Ivan Sutherland (post-grad student at MIT) developed the idea of using a keyboard and light pen to build computer images.  In 1963 Sutherland developed a sketchboard system which could do "rubberbanding, " display mass using surface lines and rotate objects.

In the 1970's the data tablet and stylus were introduced.

The first  major research center for computer graphics was at the University of Utah.  In 1972 David Evans and students worked around the clock discovering how to describe shapes and appearances of objects to a computer.  One student was Ed Catmull, later head of graphics research team at Lucasfilm.  Another student was Dr. James Blinn, who developed methods of surface modeling.

1980 was a watershed year for computer graphics; it began to be used in TV, animation, business (financed by auto, aero and defense).

It was not until 1982 that an art school was equipped with a computer graphics system.

1st generation - tubes
2nd generation - transistors
3rd generation - solid state integrated circuits
4th generation - chips

USES for computer graphics include:

mechanical engineering architecture
education (driver ed, etc. )
media (movies; weather reports, etc.)
fine arts

or more information, check:
Computer History
Computer Graphics timeline

Go to this page for sample quiz for Unit 11

Information from:
Lewell, John. (1985), Computer Graphics  (London: Orbis Publishing).

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Ivan Sutherland

Ed Catmull