“First 3D Renderings” by Romney, Romney and Romney

  • ©Gordon Romney, Miles Romney, and Todd Romney




    First 3D Renderings

Program Title:

    From Computer Graphics' Past to the Future


    First 3D Rendering illustrates, using original images, how the first 3D, shaded, colored, computer-generated, raster-scan images were produced:

    1. First 3D virtual images, starting with basic B+W geometric shapes, and progressing to the first color 3D computer generated art, CAD images, 3D graphing, computer generated fonts, and even the first 3D CG stereo images (Oculus concept 50 years before its time).

    2. The method and apparatus used to produce the images was an ARPA-sponsored project and doctoral thesis (with Ivan Sutherland as the thesis advisor). The thesis was used as the first 3D Computer Graphics text book by ARPA and universities nation-wide throughout the 70s.

    3. The computer syntax, systems, and method developed to produce the images, together with the thesis-based text book, served as the infrastructure and foundation of the ARPA sponsored Computer Graphics Center at the University of Utah, and was used and built upon by subsequent students and researchers to produce further advances in rendering techniques throughout the 70s, and synergistically energized the creativity of 11 individuals who have received ACM SIGGRAPH awards for their contributions to the computer graphics industry.

    The term “rendering” associated with computer generated graphics was coined with this work, and the linear matrix algebra techniques, hidden-surface solution, displaying a 3D image on a 2D plane with the ability to shift the viewing position of the observer, and displaying the images in a raster scan fashion, developed during these first images continue to be used in the 3D computer graphics rendering engines of today.

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