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Book review

Author(s) Fellner, W.D.
Title Computer Grafik
Publisher B.I. Wissenschaftsverlag
Year of publication 1988
Reviewed by Bazil Pârv

This book, the 58th issue of the series "Computer Science" (published since 1968 by B.I. Wissenschaftsverlag Mannheim), has for purpose the fundamentals of computer graphics.

The book is structured in three parts: graphic devices and user interfaces, 2-D graphics and 3-D graphics. It consists of 15 chapters and 6 appendices: Pascal data-types, standard functions and procedures used, various indexes (figures, Pascal functions and procedures; terms) and references (both general and monographs dedicated to computer graphics). At the end of each chapter bibliographical notes are given.

The first part of the book contains 4 chapters: 1. Generalities; 2. Graphic devices; 3. Color models; 4. Interactive graphic input. This part contains several hardware aspects of computer graphics: short description of graphic devices, together with a brief presentation of the well known graphic standards: GKS (Graphical Kernel System), PHIGS (Programmer's Hierarchical Interactive Graphic System) and GKS-3D.

The next 5 chapters are related to 2-D graphics: 5. The representation of 2-D graphical elements; 6. Graphical attributes; 7. 2-D transforms; 8. Windowing and clipping; 9. Segment manipulation. From the beginning, the most important items of 2-D graphic are gradually presented: coordinate systems (device, normalized and world coordinate systems); algorithms for graphic primitives (line, polygon, circle, ellipse and so on); graphic attributes (in GKS system) both geometric, non-geometric and identification ones; elementary 2-D transforms (translation, zooming, rotation), compound and general (in GKS); algorithms for windowing and polygon clipping; the representation of graphic information (called segment in GKS or structure in PHIGS).

The last part of the book, the most consistent (covering 6 chapters and about half of the text) is dedicated to 3-D graphics: 10. Fundamentals of 3-D graphics; 11. The representation of 3-D graphical elements; 12. 3-D transforms; 13. Representation of spatial elements in plane; 14. Hidden-line and hidden-surface removal; 15. Getting realistic 3-D representation. Following the same gradual presentation as the second part, are presented: 3-D graphic standards, 3-D coordinate systems and displaying methods; polygonal surfaces, Bezier and B-spline curvature and surfaces, fractals, translation and rotation bodies, constructive solid geometry CSG; several 3-D transformations: translation, scaling, rotation; parallel and perspective projection, 3-D clipping; algorithms for hidden-line and hidden-surface removal (floating horizon, back-face removal, Z-buffer, priority list).

In my opinion, this book can be considered as a good introduction in computer graphics, covering main aspects of this domain of interest. The author's experience in teaching computer graphics is visible throughout the text; he knows how to explain and to organize his material. The algorithms presented are written in Pascal, with useful comments.

Like other books in this series, this one is well produced (typeset by TeX). The appendices are extremely useful and organized.

This book can be very-useful for students, teachers or anyone interested in computer graphics, excepting those which don't understand German language.