Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice

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Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice 2nd Edition in C
Author James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven K. Feiner, John Hughes
Country United States
Language English
Series The Systems Programming Series
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Addison-Wesley
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 1175
ISBN 978-0-201-84840-3
Preceded by An Introduction to Database Systems, Volume II
Followed by Structured Programming: Theory and Practice

Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice is a textbook written by James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven K. Feiner and John Hughes and published by Addison–Wesley. It was widely considered a classic standard reference book on the topic of computer graphics, and is also known as the bible of computer graphics (due to its size), the great white book (due to its white cover) or after the name of its authors as Foley et al. Parts of the dated text are largely irrelevant to today's graphics hardware, and important advancements of the last decades are missing.[1][2][3][4]


First Edition[edit]

The initial edition discussed the SGP library, which was based on ACM's SIGGRAPH CORE 1979 graphics standard, and focused on 2D vector graphics.

Second Edition[edit]

The second edition[5] was completely rewritten and covered 2D and 3D raster and vector graphics, user interfaces, geometric modeling, anti-aliasing, advanced rendering algorithms and an introduction to animation. The SGP library was replaced by SRGP (Simple Raster Graphics Package), a library for 2D raster primitives and interaction handling, and SPHIGS (Simple PHIGS), a library for 3D primitives, which were specifically written for the book.

Second Edition in C[edit]

In the second edition in C[6] all examples were converted from Pascal to C. New implementations for the SRGP and SPHIGS graphics packages in C were also provided.

Third Edition[edit]

A third edition covering modern GPU architecture was released in July 2013. Examples in the third edition are are written in C++, C#, WPF, GLSL, OpenGL, G3D, or pseudocode. [7]


The book has won a Front Line Award (Hall of Fame) in 1998.[8]


  1. ^ Wolfe, Rosalee (1999). "Bringing the Introductory Computer Graphics Course into the 21st Century". Proceedings of the Graphics and Visualization Education (GVE99) Workshop.: 3–6. the classic 
  2. ^ Jonathan D. Cohen (29 May 2000). "1999 Course Syllabus Rendering Techniques at Johns Hopkins University". Retrieved 28 October 2010. Known as the "bible" of computer graphics or the "great white book," this text serves as a great reference 
  3. ^ "Amazon Product Description". Retrieved 28 October 2010. the standard computer graphics reference work for the 1990s 
  4. ^ "Game Development Books". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Foley, James D.; van Dam, Andries; Feiner, Steven K.; Hughes, John (15 June 1990). Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (2nd ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-201-12110-0. 
  6. ^ Foley, James D.; van Dam, Andries; Feiner, Steven K.; Hughes, John (14 August 1995). Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C (2nd ed.). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-201-84840-3. 
  7. ^ "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition". 
  8. ^ "Front Line Awards Hall of Fame Winners". Game Developer. Retrieved 2010-11-01.