The History of Visual Magic in Computers

How Beautiful Images are Made in CAD, 3D, VR and AR

  • Jon Peddie

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xli
  2. Jon Peddie
    Pages 1-9
  3. Jon Peddie
    Pages 11-36
  4. Jon Peddie
    Pages 37-76
  5. Jon Peddie
    Pages 77-124
  6. Jon Peddie
    Pages 125-210
  7. Jon Peddie
    Pages 211-285
  8. Jon Peddie
    Pages 373-427
  9. Jon Peddie
    Pages 429-431
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 433-448

About this book


If you have ever looked at a fantastic adventure or science fiction movie, or an amazingly complex and rich computer game, or a TV commercial where cars or gas pumps or biscuits behaved liked people and wondered, “How do they do that?”,  then you’ve experienced the magic of 3D worlds generated by a computer.

3D in computers began as a way to represent automotive designs and illustrate the construction of molecules. 3D graphics use evolved to visualizations of simulated data and artistic representations of imaginary worlds.

In order to overcome the processing limitations of the computer, graphics had to exploit the characteristics of the eye and brain, and develop visual tricks to simulate realism. The goal is to create graphics images that will overcome the visual cues that cause disbelief and tell the viewer this is not real.

Thousands of people over thousands of years have developed the building blocks and made the discoveries in mathematics and science to make such 3D magic possible, and The History of Visual Magic in Computers is dedicated to all of them and tells a little of their story.

It traces the earliest understanding of 3D and then foundational mathematics to explain and construct 3D; from mechanical computers up to today’s tablets. Several of the amazing computer graphics algorithms and tricks came of periods where eruptions of new ideas and techniques seem to occur all at once. Applications emerged as the fundamentals of how to draw lines and create realistic images were better understood, leading to hardware 3D controllers that drive the display all the way to stereovision and virtual reality.


3-Dimensional 3D 3D Art 3D Software Advertisement Making CAD CRT Computer Aided Design Game Making LED LCD Mobile Devices Movie Making OLED Raster Simulation Stereoscopic 3D Stereovision Tablet Computers Touch Screen Vector

Authors and affiliations

  • Jon Peddie
    • 1
  1. 1.Jon Peddie ResearchTiburonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4471-4931-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4471-4932-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Consumer Packaged Goods