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3-D graphics
Last modified: Thursday, July 14, 2005 

The field of computer graphics concerned with generating and displaying three-dimensional objects in a two-dimensional space (e.g., the display screen). Whereas pixels in a 2-dimensional graphic have the properties of position, color, and brightness, a 3-D pixels adds a depth property that indicates where the point lies on an imaginary Z-axis. When many 3-D pixels are combined, each with its own depth value, the result is a three-dimensional surface, called a texture. In addition to textures, 3-D graphics also supports multiple objects interacting with one another. For example, a solid object may partially hide an object behind it. Finally, sophisticated 3-D graphics use techniques such as ray tracing to apply realistic shadows to an image.

Converting information about 3-D objects into a bit map that can be displayed is known as rendering, and requires considerable memory and processing power. In the past, 3-D graphics was available only on powerful workstations, but now 3-D graphics accelerator are commonly found in personal computer. The graphics accelerator contains memory and a specialized microprocessor to handle many of the 3-D rendering operations.

Also see Understanding Video and Graphics Adapters  in Webopedia's "Did You Know...?" section.

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For pages about 3-D graphics . Also check out the following links!

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3D animation workshop 
Contains links to weekly tutorials containing step-by-step instructions for the creation of 3D graphics and animation. These tutorials are hosted by

Offers many resources for 3D computer graphics and animation enthusiasts. Includes articles and information related to 3D schools and education, employment, digital and character animation, modeling, art galleries, tutorials, mailing lists, and related links.

3D Video Acceleration
Describes some of the concepts involved in 3D video, as well as the issues related to the new 3D accelerators on the market. This page is from "The PC Guide."

Guide to 3D graphics cards
This TechTools article provides a comprehensive hands-on guide to 3D graphics cards, including how they work, a shopper's guide, performance and testing information, and list of 3D games.

Yahoo!'s 3D graphics page
Yahoo!'s directory of 3D graphics.

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