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Computer graphics. A key to the communication society

: Encarnacao, J.L.

Training. From Computer Aided Design to Computer Integrated Enterprise. Proceedings
Book Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
audio; Computer Aided Design (CAD); computer graphic; data-graphics; interactive computer graphics; tools; Video; visualisation; voice

Computer graphics is the technology for visualizing computer-generated results. In the past 20 years, it became established as discipline and developed into an important basic technology, as well as into an indispesable tool of computer science and information technology. In order to illustrate the vision of future possibilities of computer graphics, it is important to analyze its developmental stages. They went in parallel to those of the computer. Until 1940, the digital computer was a machine that processed mathematical algorithms. From 1940 to 1960, this computation was accelerated more and more, and supported by comfortable programming tools (operating systems, programming languages, program translators). Since 1960, efforts have been made to present the calculated results not only in numbers but also graphically. By means of interaction, the use of computers became more efficient and acceptable. The advancement of Computers to become machines for "solution support" by establishin g information systems and databases, CAD and networked systems, prevailed in the seventies. From 1980 to 1990, there have been attempts to intensify the use of computers for "solution finding", by employing PCs and workstations as well as methods and techniques of artificial intelligence. Today, there are efforts to optimize and create a better man-machine communication that is appropriate for broader classes of users; it is aimed at a real "partnership" between man and computer. Computer graphics developed in parallel. From 1960 to 1970, devices and tools were developed which allowed the programming and output of computer-generated images. Then, in the seventies, an interactive operation of this process was aspired, the so-called "interactive computer graphics". By means of standards, intelligent user interfaces, and methods for the generation of realistic images, "intelligent computer graphics" prevailed in the eighties. Nowadays, different types of data - graphics, audio, video, an d