The Continuum

  • Jon PeddieEmail author


The use of a computer to generate a simulated image can be traced back to the first games and CAD programs in the late 1970s. Simulations of weather maps, circuit boards, mechanical drawing of automobiles (actually dating back to the early 1960s) show the interest and unending quest for a faithful representation of a physical thing, or a fantasy thing. Over the decades, brilliant computer scientists from various disciplines as diverse as geographical information systems to movie animations, and CAD drawings for giant buildings, bridges, and space ships came up with clever ways to create amazing looking images—but they were for the most part trickery, and not faithful to the physics of light. The difference between a physically accurate photorealistic image and a clever approximation in terms of computing workload is 100–10000 times. It is almost a law that as soon as new more accurate rendering technique is developed, the workload to use it goes up by orders of magnitude. Then, other clever researchers figure out ways to do it more efficiently and the process becomes affordable in time and hardware and is adopted for everyday use. That process is a continuum and doesn’t indicate any end point.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jon Peddie ResearchBelvedere TiburonUSA

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