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
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 graphics mode. Few samples in this area are given below.
- A mechanical engineer can make use of computer graphics to design nuts, bolts, gears etc.
- Civil engineer can construct the buildings, bridges, train tracks, roads etc on the computer and can see in different angles and views before actually putting the foundation for them. It helps in finalizing the plans of these structures.
- A text tile designer designs different varieties of designs through computer graphics
- Electronics and electrical engineers design their circuits, PCB designs easily through computer graphics.
Making the pictures to move on the graphical screen is called animation. Animation really makes the use of computers and computer graphics interesting. Animation brought the computers pretty close to the average individuals. 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 is 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.
Animation also plays very important role in training through computer graphics. If you have been given a bicycle you might have learn to ride it easily with little effort, but if you have been given a flight, automatically it needs the animated images to study the entire scenario of how flight takes off, on and handling it during flying, contacting with and getting the help from control room etc will be better explained using computers animation technique
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.
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 etc.,) medical fields (recreating pictures of internal cavities, using signals sent by miniature cameras), recreation of satellite pictures etc.