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    There are a number of different disciplines that fall under the heading of computer graphics. Over the last few years I've been teaching myself as much as I can about a bunch of different topics -- raytracing, fractals, image manipulation, animations, web graphics. Of all the pages on this site, this one will probably be the most fluid, because with the changing computing environments, as computers become more powerful for the individual user, the wealth of what one can do with them also increases.

    As far as 3D work goes, a long time ago, in the pre-win95 days, there existed a number of raytracing programs that required ascii scripting input in order to render an image. Nowadays, with a vast array of GUI based programs, things have gotten a lot easier. Certainly the programs themselves are much easier to use. When I was first struggling to understand programs that rendered 3D space and geometric objects within it, I went through POVray, QRT (Quick Ray Trace -- a misnomer if there ever was one), Rayshade, Vivid, Polyray .. I learned a lot, and the more I learned, the more there was to learn. These days there are a great many commercial products out there which allow you to make 3D or photorealistic images -- programs like 3D Studio, Raydream, Lightwave, trueSpace and a bunch of others.

    At the same time I got serious about POVray, I also started working with Fractint, an excellent fractal generating program. Fractals are designs of incredible complexity -- indeed some of them maintain their level of detail infinitely, no matter how much you may magnify a given formula (yes, they're math based, as is raytracing). There are fractals all around us -- a tree, with its trunk, branches and leaves; one's circulatory system, that vast internal transport system that grows in detail as it shrinks in size. Mind-boggling stuff, really, which probably explains a lot about me, running around with a boggled mind for a long time now ...

    I've also done a lot of more straightforward and (perhaps) less arcane stuff, using programs like Photoshop to manipulate an existing image, restore a badly damaged photograph or compose collages.

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    Enjoy.

 

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Ashley Writing Computer Graphics
1999 Amanda Osborne
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