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1. 0. General Information

1.1 : Charter of is an unmoderated newsgroup intended as a forum for the discussion of the algorithms used in the process of generating computer graphics. These algorithms may be recently proposed in published journals or papers, old or previously known algorithms, or hacks used incidental to the process of computer graphics. The scope of these algorithms may range from an efficient way to multiply matrices, all the way to a global illumination method incorporating raytracing, radiosity, infinite spectrum modeling, and perhaps even mirrored balls and lime jello.

It is hoped that this group will serve as a forum for programmers and researchers to exchange ideas and ask questions on recent papers or current research related to computer graphics. is not:

- for requests for gifs, or other pictures - for requests for image translator or processing software; see* FAQ [now degenerated to pic postings] (image format translation) comp.sources.misc (image viewing source code) sci.image.processing fj.comp.image - for requests for compression software; for these try: alt.comp.compression comp.compression comp.compression.research

1.2 : Are the postings to archived?

Archives may be found at:

1.3 : How can I get this FAQ?

The FAQ is posted on the 1st and 15th of every month. The easiest way to get it is to search back in your news reader for the most recent posting, with Subject: Frequently Asked Questions It is posted to, and cross-posted to news.answers and comp.answers.

If you can't find it on your newsreader, you can look at the latest HTML version at either of these two sites: Both versions should be up-to-date and nicely converted. The maintainer also keeps a copy of the raw ASCII, accessible via orourke/.

Finally, you can ftp the FAQ from several sites, including:

The (busy) site lists many alternative "mirror" sites. Also can reach the FAQ from, which is worth visiting in its own right.

1.4 : What are some must-have books on graphics algorithms?

The keywords in brackets are used to refer to the books in later questions. They generally refer to the first author except where it is necessary to resolve ambiguity or in the case of the Gems.

Basic computer graphics, rendering algorithms, ----------------------------------------------

[Foley] Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (2nd Ed.), J.D. Foley, A. van Dam, S.K. Feiner, J.F. Hughes, Addison-Wesley 1990, ISBN 0-201-12110-7; Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, C version J.D. Foley, A. van Dam, S.K. Feiner, J.F. Hughes, Addison-Wesley ISBN: 0-201-84840-6, 1996, 1147 pp.

[Rogers:Procedural] Procedural Elements for Computer Graphics, Second Edition David F. Rogers, WCB/McGraw Hill 1998, ISBN 0-07-053548-5

[Rogers:Mathematical] Mathematical Elements for Computer Graphics 2nd Ed., David F. Rogers and J. Alan Adams, McGraw Hill 1990, ISBN 0-07-053530-2

[Watt:3D] _3D Computer Graphics, 2nd Edition_, Alan Watt, Addison-Wesley 1993, ISBN 0-201-63186-5

[Glassner:RayTracing] An Introduction to Ray Tracing, Andrew Glassner (ed.), Academic Press 1989, ISBN 0-12-286160-4

[Gems I] Graphics Gems, Andrew Glassner (ed.), Academic Press 1990, ISBN 0-12-286165-5

[Gems II] Graphics Gems II, James Arvo (ed.), Academic Press 1991, ISBN 0-12-64480-0

[Gems III] Graphics Gems III, David Kirk (ed.), Academic Press 1992, ISBN 0-12-409670-0 (with IBM disk) or 0-12-409671-9 (with Mac disk) See also "AP Professional Graphics CD-ROM Library," Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-059756-X, which contains Gems I-III.

[Gems IV] Graphics Gems IV, Paul S. Heckbert (ed.), Academic Press 1994, ISBN 0-12-336155-9 (with IBM disk) or 0-12-336156-7 (with Mac disk)

[Gems V] Graphic Gems V, Alan W. Paeth (ed.), Academic Press 1995, ISBN 0-12-543455-3 (with IBM disk)

[Watt:Animation] Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, Alan Watt, Mark Watt, Addison-Wesley 1992, ISBN 0-201-54412-1

[Bartels] An Introduction to Splines for Use in Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling, Richard H. Bartels, John C. Beatty, Brian A. Barsky, 1987, ISBN 0-934613-27-3

[Farin] Curves and Surfaces for Computer Aided Geometric Design: | A Practical Guide, 4th Edition, Gerald E. Farin, Academic Press | 1996. ISBN 0122490541.

[Prusinkiewicz] The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants, Przemyslaw W. Prusinkiewicz, Aristid Lindenmayer, Springer-Verlag, 1990, ISBN 0-387-97297-8, ISBN 3-540-97297-8

[Oliver] Tricks of the Graphics Gurus, Dick Oliver, et al. (2) 3.5 PC disks included, $39.95 SAMS Publishing

[Hearn] Introduction to computer graphics, Hearn & Baker

[Cohen] Radiosity and Realistic Imange Sythesis, Michael F. Cohen, John R. Wallace, Academic Press Professional 1993, ISBN 0-12-178270-0 [apparently now out of print]

[Ashdown] Radiosity: A Programmer's Perspective Ian Ashdown, John Wiley & Sons 1994, ISBN 0-471-30444-1, 498 pp.

[Sillion] Radiosity & Global Illumination Francois X. Sillion snd Claude Puech, Morgan Kaufmann 1994, ISBN 1-55860-277-1, 252 pp.

[Ebert] Texturing and Modeling - A Procedural Approach (2nd Ed.) David S. Ebert (ed.), F. Kenton Musgrave, Darwyn Peachey, Ken Perlin, Steven Worley, Academic Press 1998, ISBN 0-12-228730-4, Includes CD-ROM.

[Schroeder] Visualization Toolkit, 2nd Edition, The: An Object-Oriented Approach to 3-D Graphics (Bk/CD) (Professional Description) William J. Schroeder, Kenneth Martin, and Bill Lorensen, Prentice-Hall 1998, ISBN: 0-13-954694-4 See Subject 0.07 for source.

[Anderson] PC Graphics Unleashed Scott Anderson. SAMS Publishing, ISBN 0-672-30570-4

[Ammeraal] Computer Graphics for Java Programmers, Leen Ammeraal, John Wiley 1998, ISBN 0-471-98142-7. Additional information at ammeraal/ .

For image processing, ---------------------

[Barnsley] Fractal Image Compression, Michael F. Barnsley and Lyman P. Hurd, AK Peters, Ltd, 1993 ISBN 1-56881-000-8

[Jain] Fundamentals of Image Processing, Anil K. Jain, Prentice-Hall 1989, ISBN 0-13-336165-9

[Castleman] Digital Image Processing, Kenneth R. Castleman, Prentice-Hall 1996, ISBN(Cloth): 0-13-211467-4 (Description and errata at: " castlman")

[Pratt] Digital Image Processing, Second Edition, William K. Pratt, Wiley-Interscience 1991, ISBN 0-471-85766-1

[Gonzalez] Digital Image Processing (3rd Ed.), Rafael C. Gonzalez, Paul Wintz, Addison-Wesley 1992, ISBN 0-201-50803-6

[Russ] The Image Processing Handbook (3rd Ed.), John C. Russ, CRC Press and IEEE Press 1998, ISBN 0-8493-2532-3 [Russ & Russ] The Image Processing Tool Kit v. 3.0 Chris Russ and John Russ, Reindeer Games Inc. 1999, ISBN 1-928808-00-X

[Wolberg] Digital Image Warping, George Wolberg, IEEE Computer Society Press Monograph 1990, ISBN 0-8186-8944-7

Computational geometry ----------------------

[Bowyer] A Programmer's Geometry, Adrian Bowyer, John Woodwark, Butterworths 1983, ISBN 0-408-01242-0 Pbk

[O'Rourke (C)] Computational Geometry in C (2nd Ed.) Joseph O'Rourke, Cambridge University Press 1998, ISBN 0-521-64010-5 Pbk, ISBN 0-521-64976-5 Hbk Additional information and code at orourke/ .

[O'Rourke (A)] Art Gallery Theorems and Algorithms Joseph O'Rourke, Oxford University Press 1987, ISBN 0-19-503965-3.

[Goodman & O'Rourke] Handbook of Discrete and Computational Geometry J. E. Goodman and J. O'Rourke, editors. CRC Press LLC, July 1997. ISBN:0-8493-8524-5 Additional information at orourke/ .

[Samet:Application] Applications of Spatial Data Structures: Computer Graphics, Image Processing, and GIS, Hanan Samet, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1990. ISBN 0-201-50300-0.

[Samet:Design & Analysis] The Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures, Hanan Samet, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1990. ISBN 0-201-50255-0.

[Mortenson] Geometric Modeling, Michael E. Mortenson, Wiley 1985, ISBN 0-471-88279-8

[Preparata] Computational Geometry: An Introduction, Franco P. Preparata, Michael Ian Shamos, Springer-Verlag 1985, ISBN 0-387-96131-3

[Okabe] Spatial Tessellations: Concepts and Applications of Voronoi Diagrams, A. Okabe and B. Boots and K. Sugihara, John Wiley, Chichester, England, 1992.

[Overmars] Computational Geometry: Algorithms and Applications M. de Berg and M. van Kreveld and M. Overmars and O. Schwarzkopf Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1997.

[Stolfi] Oriented Projective Geometry: A Framework for Geometric Computations Academic Press, 1991.

[Hodge] Methods of Algebraic Geometry, Volume 1 W.V.D. Hodge and D. Pedoe, Cambridge, 1994. ISBN 0-521-469007-4 Paperback

Algorithms books with chapters on computational geometry --------------------------------------------------------

[Cormen et al.] Introduction to Algorithms, T. H. Cormen, C. E. Leiserson, R. L. Rivest, The MIT Press, McGraw-Hill, 1990.

[Mehlhorn] Data Structures and Algorithms, K. Mehlhorn, Springer-Verlag, 1984.

[Sedgewick] R. Sedgewick, Algorithms, Addison-Wesley, 1988.

Solid Modelling ---------------

[Mantyla] Introduction to Solid Modeling Martti Mantyla, Computer Science Press 1988, ISBN 07167-8015-1

1.5 : Are there any online references?

The computational geometry community maintains its own bibliography of publications in or closely related to that subject. Every four months, additions and corrections are solicited from users, after which the database is updated and released anew. As of 31 Mar 1998, it contained 11,275 bib-tex entries. See Jeff Erickson's page on "Computational Geometry Bibliographies": jeffe/compgeom/biblios.html#geombib The bibliography can be retrieved from: - bibliography proper - overview published in '93 in SIGACT News and the Internat. J. Comput. Geom. Appl. - detailed retrieval info

Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya maintains a search engine at: geomc/geombibe.html

The ACM SIGGRAPH Online Bibliography Project, by Stephen Spencer ( The database is available for anonymous FTP from the directory. Please download and examine the file READ_ME in that directory for more specific information concerning the database.

'netlib' is a useful source for algorithms, member inquiries for SIAM, and bibliographic searches. For information, send mail to, with "send index" in the body of the mail message.

You can also find free sources for numerical computation in C via In particular, grab numcomp-free-c.gz in that directory.

Check out Nick Fotis's computer graphics resources FAQ -- it's packed with pointers to all sorts of great computer graphics stuff. This FAQ is posted biweekly to

This WWW page contains links to a large number of computer graphic related pages:

There's a Computer Science Bibliography Server at: with Computer Graphics, Vision and Radiosity sections

A comprehensive bibliography of color quantization papers and articles (CQUANT97) is available at

Modelling physically based systems for animation:

The University of Manchester NURBS Library:

For an implementation of Seidel's algorithm for fast trapezoidation and triangulation of polygons. You can get the code from:

Ray tracing bibliography:

Quaternions and other comp sci curiosities:

Directory of Computational Geometry Software, collected by Nina Amenta ( Nina Amenta is maintaining a WWW directory to computational geometry software. The directory lives at The Geometry Center. It has pointers to lots of convex hull and voronoi diagram programs, triangulations, collision detection, polygon intersection, smallest enclosing ball of a point set and other stuff.

A compact reference for real-time 3d computer graphics programming: loisel/

RADBIB99 is a comprehensive bibliography of radiosity and related global illumination papers, theses, articles, and books. It currently includes 1,593 references. This bibliography is available in BibTex format as RADBIB99.BIB (with a release date of June 1, 1999) from:

The "Electronic Visualization Library" (EVlib) is a domain- secific digital library for Scientific Visualization and Computer Graphics:

1.6 : Are there other graphics related FAQs?

BSP Tree FAQ by Bretton Wade

Gamma and Color FAQs by Charles A. Poynton has poynton/

The documents are mirrored in Darmstadt, Germany at

1.7 : Where is all the source?

Graphics Gems source code. This site is now the offical distribution site for Graphics Gems code.

Master list of Computational Geometry software: Described in [Goodman & O'Rourke], Chap. 52.

Jeff Erikson's software list: jeffe/compgeom/compgeom.html

General 'stuff'

There are a number of interesting items in seth including: - Code for 2D Voronoi, Delaunay, and Convex hull - Mike Hoymeyer's implementation of Raimund Seidel's O( d! n ) time linear programming algorithm for n constraints in d dimensions - geometric models of UC Berkeley's new computer science building

Sources to "Computational Geometry in C", by J. O'Rourke can be found at

Greg Ferrar has uploaded his heavily commented C++ 3D rendering library at

TAGL is a portable and extensible library that provides a subset of Open-GL functionalities.

Try for /pub/msdos/programming/docs/graphpro.lzh by Michael Abrash. His XSharp package has an implementation of Xiaoulin Wu's anti-aliasing algorithm (in C).

Example sources for BSP tree algorithms can be found at |, item 24.

Mel Slater ( also made some implementations of BSP trees and shadows for static scenes using shadow volumes code available mel/BSP.html

The Visualization Toolkit (A visualization textbook, C++ library and Tcl-based interpreter) (see [Schroeder]):

WINGED.ZIP, a C++ implementation of Baumgart's winged-edge data structure:

CGAL, the Computational Geometry Algorithms Library, is written in C++ and is available at URL . It consists of three parts. The first part is the kernel, which consists of constant size non-modifiable geometric primitive objects. The second part is a collection of basic geometric datastructures and algorithms, which are parameterized by traits classes that define the interface between the datastructure or algorithm, and the primitives they use. The third part consists of non-geometric support facilities.

A C++ NURBS library written by Lavoie Philippe. Version 2.1. Results may be exported as POV-Ray, RIB (renderman) or VRML files. It also offers wrappers to OpenGL: | lavoie/software/nurbs/

Paul Bourke has code for several problems, including isosurface generation and Delauney triangulation, at: pdb/geometry/ pdb/modeling/

A nearly comprehensive list of available 3D engines (most with source code): ki/engines.html

See also 5.17: Where can I get the spline description of the famous teapot etc.?

Interactive Geometry Software called "Cinderella":

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