Early computer graphics started as a research and application ﬁeld that was the domain of only a few experts, for instance in the area of computer aided design (CAD). Nowadays, any person using a personal computer beneﬁts from the developments in computer graphics. Operating systems and application programs with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) belong to the simplest applications of computer graphics. Visualisation techniques, ranging from simple histograms to dynamic 3D animations showing changes of winds or currents over time, use computer graphics in the same manner as popular computer games. Even those who do not use a personal computer might see the results of computer graphics on TV or in cinemas where parts of scenes or even a whole movie might be produced by computer graphics techniques. Without powerful hardware in the form of fast processors, suﬃciently large memory and special graphics cards, most of these applications would not have been possible. In addition to these hardware requirements eﬃcient algorithms as well as programming tools that are easy to use and ﬂexible at the time are required. Nowadays, a standard personal computer is suﬃcient to generate impressive graphics and animations using freely available programming platforms like OpenGL or Java 3D. In addition to at least an elementary understanding of programming, the use of such platforms also requires basic knowledge about the underlying background, concepts and methods of computer graphics.
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