• The fundamental task is converting lines, points and surfaces in 3D space, to be depicted on a 2D screen using colored pixels, or printed on paper with dots, or plotted with pens.


• A computer screen is made up of an square array of points (pixels). The points can be lit up. When viewed as a whole these points make a picture.


• One major problem is making a map between a geometry model (a collection of points) and what we see on the screen. This is accomplished with the perspective transform.



1.2.1 The Perspective Transform


• A set of basic viewing parameters may be defined (variations are also common),

- The point the Eye is looking at, and from which direction

- The focal distance to the viewing plane

- The size of the viewing plane being focused on

- Which direction is up for the eye



• As seen above the viewing parameters can all be combined using simple matrix multiplication which will convert a point in 3D space to a point on the screen.


• The process of drawing an object is merely applying this transformation to each point in the 3D model, then using the resulting (x, y) point on the 2D screen. (Note: If this transformation is done properly then z = depth in the view plane.)


• The point mapped to the computer screen can then be converted to a single pixel using a simple scaling calculation. (Note: It is not shown, but if a point is off the screen, then it cannot be drawn.)



• Visual display can be done using,

- CRT monitors with Frame Buffer memory to store the image.

- plotters which draw one line at a time

- printers using special and proprietary graphics languages


• For the sake of simplicity, the remaining graphics methods ignore some trivial operations such as screen coordinates, line clipping at edge of screen, etc.


• The ‘z’ value after the perspective transform gives a relative depth of a point. This can be used later for depth sorting, or to set light intensity to cue the user to view depth.