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Definition Links Links rule
Last modified: September 1, 1996

Pertains to any computer device or program that makes a computer capable of displaying and manipulating pictures. For example, laser printers and plotters are graphics devices because they permit the computer to output pictures. A graphics monitor is a display monitor that can display pictures. A graphics board (or graphics card) is a printed circuit board that, when installed in a computer, permits the computer to display pictures.

Many software applications include graphics components. Such programs are said to support graphics. For example, certain word processors support graphics because they let you draw or import pictures. All CAD/CAM systems support graphics. Some database management systems and spreadsheet programs support graphics because they let you display data in the form of graphs and charts. Such applications are often referred to as business graphics.

The following are also considered graphics applications :

  • paint programs : Allow you to create rough freehand drawings. The images are stored as bit maps and can easily be edited.
  • illustration/design programs: Supports more advanced features than paint programs, particularly for drawing curved lines. The images are usually stored in vector -based formats. Illustration/design programs are often called draw programs.
  • presentation graphics software : Lets you create bar charts, pie charts, graphics, and other types of images for slide shows and reports. The charts can be based on data imported from spreadsheet applications.
  • animation software: Enables you to chain and sequence a series of images to simulate movement. Each image is like a frame in a movie.
  • CAD software: Enables architects and engineers to draft designs.
  • desktop publishing : Provides a full set of word-processing features as well as fine control over placement of text and graphics, so that you can create newsletters, advertisements, books, and other types of documents.
  • In general, applications that support graphics require a powerful CPU and a large amount of memory. Many graphics applications -- for example, computer animation systems -- require more computing power than is available on personal computers and will run only on powerful workstations or specially designed graphics computers. This is true of all three-dimensional computer graphics applications.

    In addition to the CPU and memory, graphics software requires a graphics monitor and support for one of the many graphics standards. Most PC programs, for instance, require VGA graphics. If your computer does not have built-in support for a specific graphics system, you can insert a video adapter card.

    The quality of most graphics devices is determined by their resolution -- how many points per square inch they can represent -- and their color capabilities.

    See Also
    3-D graphics
    alpha channel
    bit map
    bit-mapped graphics
    character based
    clip art
    desktop publishing
    display screen
    graphics file formats
    image processing
    laser printer
    Microsoft Windows
    personal computer

    Links Links Links rule


    Antialiasing and transparency tutorial Award Winning Page
    This page is an excellent resource those creating graphics for Web pages. It focuses on antialiasing and transparency in images, and offers descriptions and numerous examples. In addition, there are links within the descriptions for you to get more information on a subject. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

    Bandwidth Conservation Society Award Winning Page
    Offers several comprehensive tutorials for optimizing graphics for faster Web pages, Cut-N-Paste JavaScripts, a discussion forum, related Web resources, and membership information. Updated on Oct 11, 1997

    Computer graphics research sites Award Winning Page
    This collection of groups involved in computer graphic development is a great place to search for whatever aspect of computer graphics you are interested in. Many of the listings are of University groups, but a number are also businesses involved in this work. Updated on Jul 21, 1997

    Computer graphics resource page Award Winning Page
    Provides a categorized list of topics (animation, desktop publishing, file formats, software, etc.) related to computer graphics. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

    Corel Corporation home page Award Winning Page
    Corel's home page offers a search utility for locating product information, links to news, company information, a resource center, beta programs, conferences and tradeshow information, and service and support information. Updated on Aug 5, 1998 resource page Award Winning Page
    Offers numerous links to every aspect of desktop publishing. A few categories include: clip art, graphics, and image, computer related magazines, newsgroups, FAQs, file and FTP archives, and desktop publishing software information. A very good resource for desktop publishing professionals. Updated on Aug 1, 1998

    Explanation on antialiasing graphic objects Award Winning Page
    Provides a guide for those creating graphics for the Web. Here you can find a definition on antialiasing, how it works, and how to achieve this effect. There are numerous graphic examples that go with each explanation.

    IMG Source: Bandwidth Blues Award Winning Page
    ZDNet article (December 1998) with the basics on optimizing Web graphics and information on Adobe's ImageReady for Photoshop and Macromedia's Fireworks tool. The article also contains links to many useful tips on reducing the size of Web graphics.

    Jelane's free web graphics Award Winning Page
    Jelane's Free Web Graphics is a good place to start if you are looking to add more visuals to your Web pages. Simple and well designed, this site offers links to a collection of graphics and related design information and instructions. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

    MetaCreations Award Winning Page
    Home page for MetaCreations, developer of 2D and 3D visualization software for Web, print, and computer graphics applications. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

    Optimizing Web Graphics Award Winning Page article on how to minimize file size and dithering for Web graphics. Includes sections on the color palette, color reduction, compression, tools and techniques, and several online references.

    Silicon Graphics home page Award Winning Page
    Contains company information and news, products and solutions, and customer support links. Updated on Jan 28, 1998

    The Game Developer's Resourcium Award Winning Page
    A comprehensive collection of links to game development resources including: programming information, algorithms and AI, design, hardware, books, and related Web links. Updated on Nov 19, 1997

    3D Ring home page
    The 3D Ring site consists of art galleries featuring 3D rendered art on the Web linked together to form a virtual art gallery tour. Updated on Apr 17, 1998

    Home page for the ACM Special Interest Group on computer graphics. The site hosts a collection of educational, career and art and design resources, as well as conference information, publications, and news and information about the group. Updated on Apr 11, 1998

    Computer graphic resources
    A listing of computer graphics sites that includes research institutions, software developers, user groups, software, and a large listing of relevant newsgroups. Updated on Mar 7, 1997

    DCC Magazine
    Online publication featuring up-to-date reviews, news, buyer's guides, techniques and features about graphics, video, 3D animation and web design tools. Updated on Aug 1, 1998

    Free art Web site
    From Laurie McCanna, author of "Creating Great Web Graphics", this site provides links to free graphics, information on creating graphics for the Web, Adobe Photoshop tips, and book recommendations. Updated on Jun 19, 1998
    A well-organized and searchable database of sites offering free web graphics, fonts, graphics software, tutorials, holiday graphics and more. Weekly downloads from a variety of well-known web artists and a free weekly newsletter.

    Graphics Depot
    Contains links to free graphics software and resources for fractal generation, screen savers, backgrounds, and 3-D image programs. Updated on May 27, 1998

    Intergraph Online
    This home page provides links to Intergraph's line of interactive graphics systems products and services, company information and news, user groups, customer services and support, and divisions and companies. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

    Positron Publishing
    Home page of Positron Publishing, Inc., developer and marketer of computer graphics software. Includes links to their visual effects, 3-D paint, and texture mapping module products. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

    Ray Tracing News home page
    Ray Tracing News is an electronic magazine which deals with issues relating to computer graphics, including antialiasing. Updated on Jul 18, 1998

    The Clip Art Connection
    Features links to clip art images and resources, animated worlds, type, and graphics utilities. Updated on Jun 23, 1998

    The Font Site
    Offers practical information for type and graphics professionals. Includes articles, guides, links, and font and file downloads.

    Usenet FAQs on graphics
    A collection of FAQs on graphics, file formats, animation, and specific software. Updated on Oct 23, 1996

    Web Graphics Resource
    The Web Graphics Resource contains links to hexadecimal color with color charts, common problems with Web graphics, and examples of decorative page elements created with tables and horizontal rules.

    Web icon and graphics archive
    Contains links to Web icon and graphics collections. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

    Yahoo!'s computer graphics (non-business) page
    Yahoo!'s directory of computer graphics software information, particularly shareware, freeware, and applications. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

    Yahoo!'s computer graphics software page
    Yahoo!'s directory of computer graphics software links. Updated on Aug 2, 1998

    Yahoo!'s graphics page
    Yahoo!'s directory of computer and internet graphics. It includes links to a large number of sites offering everything from individually designed graphics to software, to computer animation. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

    YOUniverse System page
    This page highlights the YOUniverse System, a fm (frequency-modulated) halftone screen algorithm developed by Robert Maxwell Case. This site provides many useful links to the desktop publishing and graphics process, including information on halftones, screening, electronic prepress, color reproduction, and dithering filters. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

    Links Links Links rule


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