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Computer graphics are pictures and movies created using computers - usually referring to image data created by a computer specifically with help from specialized graphical hardware and software. It is a vast and recent area in computer science.The phrase was coined by computer graphics researchers Verne Hudson and William Fetter of Boeing in 1960. Another name for the field is computer-generated imagery, or simply CGI.

Important topics in computer graphics include user interface designsprite graphicsvector graphics3D modelingshadersGPU design, and computer vision, among others. The overall methodology depends heavily on the underlying sciences of geometryoptics, and physics. Computer graphics is responsible for displaying art andimage data effectively and beautifully to the user, and processing image data received from the physical world. The interaction and understanding of computers and interpretation of data has been made easier because of computer graphics. Computer graphic development has had a significant impact on many types of media and has revolutionized animationmoviesadvertisingvideo games, and graphic design generally.

The term computer graphics has been used a broad sense to describe "almost everything on computers that is not text or sound". Typically, the term computer graphics refers to several different things:

  • the representation and manipulation of image data by a computer

  • the various technologies used to create and manipulate images

  • the sub-field of computer science which studies methods for digitally synthesizing and manipulating visual content, see study of computer graphics

Computer graphics is widespread today. Computer imagery is found on television, in newspapers, for example in weather reports, or for example in all kinds of medical investigation and surgical procedures. A well-constructed graph can present complex statistics in a form that is easier to understand and interpret. In the media "such graphs are used to illustrate papers, reports, thesis", and other presentation material.

Many powerful tools have been developed to visualize data. Computer generated imagery can be categorized into several different types: two dimensional (2D), three dimensional (3D), and animated graphics. As technology has improved, 3D computer graphics have become more common, but 2D computer graphics are still widely used. Computer graphics has emerged as a sub-field of computer science which studies methods for digitally synthesizing and manipulating visual content.


Over the past decade, other specialized fields have been developed like information visualization, and scientific visualization more concerned with "the visualization of three dimensional phenomena (architectural, meteorological, medical, biological, etc.), where the emphasis is on realistic renderings of volumes, surfaces, illumination sources, and so forth, perhaps with a dynamic (time) component"