Introduction to Digital Image Creation and Manipulation (C 102)

UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts
Spring Quarter 2002

Visiting professor Machiko Kusahara


April 5, 2002

Introduction to computer graphics

What is the nature of computer graphics?
What does computer graphics mean in a wider sense?
What is the relationship between computer graphics in a narrower sense and other related field?
What is the current situation with computer graphics and digital imaging technique?
What are the computer graphics applications we see in our everyday life and in certain specific fields?

Visual examples: Latest examples of computer graphics related images and works (images and video)

Text for today:
"Digital Beauties", Tachen, 2002, a collection of 2D and 3D images of women, by artists all over the world but mainly from Japan.
Animation, Art, and Technology in Context; The Art of 3-D Computer Animation and Imaging, second edition, by Isaac Victor Kerlow (John Willey & Sons, Inc. NY. 2000).

It is recommended to briefly read the text, but not needed to understand the detail for the moment. This text gives an overview of computer graphics from the animation point of view.
Try to get the outline. The detail will be understood during the course. This text is to be also referred for the lecture on week 3.

Distributed text:"Digital Beauties", Tachen, 2002, a collection of 2D and 3D images of women, by artists all over the world; but mainly from Japan.



1. Do people really take these virtual figures as "realistic" or "existing"?



Representation of realistic human figures and motions

video: Final Fantasy


We are surrounded by digital imaging technology

- Music video

video: Peter Gabriel "Steam"
Recent video clips from MTV Japan

-Art works
video:L'enfant de l'Haut de la mer (Ars Electronica 2001)

Japanese student works: video:"Train Run on the Track" "Roll"



2. But computer graphics is not only about art, design, or entertainment.

From the same SIGGRAPH DVD,
-Simulation being used for filmmaking
-Simulation/visualization in architecture/urban planning

Simulating life
-video: Karl Sims "Evolved Virtual Creatures" 1994(MIT Media Lab, Thinking Machines)
-video: Larry Yaeger "Polyworld" (Digital Productions, Disney) 1994


3. How was it before?


video: Flexipede 1967

4. What is the nature of computer graphics? What does computer graphics mean in a wider sense?


Graphics created using computers.
i.e. any image handling by computers is in some sense related to computer graphics.

Ex. SIGGRAPH: very wide range of research subjects, and communities


Computers only deal with digits, or, on-off of signals.
To create any relationship between these signals and images that we see and understand is the role of computer graphics in the wider sense.

Computer graphics is thus based on numbers, but the input/output is designed to simulate more natural way of handling images, especially with commercial software packages.


What is the relationship between computer graphics in a narrower sense and other related fields of application?

What is the current situation with computer graphics and digital imaging technique?

What are the computer graphics applications we see in our everyday life and in certain specific fields? (e.g. design, art, entertainment, science, etc.)

Visual examples: Latest examples of computer graphics related images and works (images and videos)