Light Science pp 305-332 | Cite as

Computer Imaging

  • Thomas D. RossingEmail author
  • Christopher J. Chiaverina


Artists using computers are capable of creating images of captivating power and beauty. Electronic collage, animation, and image transformation blend with traditional form, color, and shading.


Glossary of Terms

augmented reality

A form of virtual reality in which the real world is enhanced through the use of computer-generated content.

binary notation

Representation of numbers by 0 s and 1 s.


Binary digit.


A group of eight bits.

central processing unit (CPU)

The section of a computer that integrates and coordinates overall operation.

computer-aided design (CAD)

Using a computer to draw graphs and pictures.

computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

Using a computer to control machines.

cathode ray tube

A specialized vacuum tube in which images are produced when an electron beam strikes a phosphorescent screen.

facial capture head rig

A camera mounted on an actor’s head used to capture facial movements.


Shapes or patterns made of parts similar to the whole in some way (i.e., which demonstrate self-similarity under a change in scale such as magnification) Magnification.

kilobyte (KB)

1024 bytes.

megabyte (MB)

1,048,576 bytes.

liquid crystal display (LCD)

A flat panel display that uses the light-modulating properties of liquid crystals.

organic light-emitting diode (OLED)

A semiconductor consisting of a very thin film of organic carbon-based compound that emits light in response to an electric current.

performance capture

A process using sensors or reflective markers to capture the movement of actors.

plasma display

A flat display that uses small cells that contain ionized gases to illuminate pixels.

quantum dot display

A flat display that uses quantum dots (semiconducting nanocrystals) to produce monochromatic red, green, and blue light.

reduced instruction set computer (RISC)

Computer design that reduces the number of instructions necessary to perform operations.


The sets of instructions, codes, operating systems, and languages that enable a computer to perform its functions.

virtual reality

Technology used to create a computer-generated visual environment.


Printing process that uses an electrically charged photoconductive drum on which the latent image is developed by using a powder called toner.

Further Reading

  1. Goodman, C. (1987). Digital Visions. New York: Harry N. Abrams.Google Scholar
  2. Hainich, R.R., & Bimber, O. (2017). Displays: Fundamentals & Applications, 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  3. King, A., & Stapleton, M. (1989). Computer animation: A personal view. In J. Lansdown and R. A. Earnshaw (Eds.), Computers in Art, Design and Animation. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  4. Kojima, H. (1996). Digital Image Creation. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.Google Scholar
  5. Truckenbrod, J. (1988). Creative Computer Imaging. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Wegner, T. (1992). Image Lab. Corte Madera, CA: Waite Group Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas D. Rossing
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher J. Chiaverina
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Music, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.New Trier Township High SchoolWinnetkaUSA

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