Portal:Computer graphics

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Computer graphics

A 3D projection of a 4D Pentachoron performing a simple rotation.

Computer graphics includes almost everything on computers that is not text or sound but is normally considered as different from photography. Today almost every computer can do some graphics, and people have come to expect that they will interface with their computer through icons and pictures rather than solely by typing. The term computer graphics has additional meanings:

Today much of our life is affected by computers, and by computer graphics. Whether you see them on television, in newspapers, in weather reports or while at the doctor's surgery, computer images are all around you. A well-chosen graph is able to transform a complex table of numbers into meaningful results. Such graphs are used to illustrate papers, reports, and theses, as well as providing the basis for presentation material in the form of slides and overhead transparencies. A range of tools and facilities are available to enable users to visualise their data, and computer graphics are used in many disciplines.

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Global illumination rendering

Global illumination is a general name for a group of algorithms used in 3D computer graphics that are meant to add more realistic lighting to 3D scenes. Such algorithms take into account not only the light which comes directly from a light source (direct illumination), but also subsequent cases in which light rays from the same source are reflected by other surfaces in the scene (indirect illumination).

Theoretically reflections, refractions, and shadows are all examples of global illumination, because when simulating them, one object affects the rendering of another object (as opposed to an object being affected only by a direct light). In practice, however, only the simulation of diffuse inter-reflection or caustics is called global illumination.


Radiosity, ray tracing, beam tracing, cone tracing, path tracing, metropolis light transport, ambient occlusion, photon mapping, and image based lighting are examples of algorithms used in global illumination, some of which may be used together to yield results that are fast, but accurate. Find out more...

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Complete neuron cell diagram en.svg

Vector diagram of a typical myelinated vertebrate neuron

Image credit: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal (LadyofHats)

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