A (Spotty) History and Who's Who of Computer Graphics

Matthew Ward, WPI CS Department


The impetus for this project occurred in a recent advanced graphics class, when I mentioned a particular algorithm attributed to Jim Blinn. One student innocently asked "who is Jim Blinn?" Well, after a moment of shock, I came to realize that many people working in graphics really don't have a perspective on the history of the field or who the key players are/have been (this is true, I'm sure, in most disciplines). Thus, I decided to create a brief Web-based history of the computer graphics field, which hopefully will evolve and become more complete in time. I freely admit that the information contained is not guaranteed to be correct, and welcome any additions, corrections, and embellishments.

The Events

The 1960's

The 1970's The 1980's

The People

The Companies


V. R. Auzenne, The Visualization Quest (a History of Computer Animation), Associated University Presses, 1994.

J. D. Foley, A. van Dam, S. K. Feiner, and J. F. Hughes, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice , Addison-Wesley, 1990.

M. Morrison, Becoming a Computer Animator, historical exerpts found here.

A. Watt and M. Watt, Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, Addison-Wesley, 1992.

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