Perhaps no single technology has had more impact on people than television. Yet according to the experts the real impact is just starting.

The reason? Home computers that connect to a standard television and convert it into a machine with more raw power than any product ever offered to the consumer and with the capability to completely alter the way we relate to the visual world of electronics.

This book is about one of the most exciting uses of the new home computer products—computer graphics—the ability to create complex drawings, plans, maps, and schematics on the screen of an ordinary black-and-white or color television. It is divided into three chapters. Chapter 1, “Perspectives,” presents what the entirely new field of home computer graphics is all about, explains how it got started, and illustrates some of the exciting applications for low-cost graphics displays. Chapter 2, “Basic Concepts,” introduces the general hardware and software concepts behind computer graphics and continues by presenting a profile of the numerous products on the market today. A section on graphics accessories is also included.

Chapter 3, the meat of the book, is entitled “Graphics Programming.” It introduces the graphics features of the Apple II computer used for this book, and then goes on to describe these concepts: plotting simple equations; drawing lines and vectors; creation of simple geometric shapes (rectangles, triangles, polygons, circles) as well as gaming figures (small tanks, jets, cars, rackets, animals); mandalas and other computer art effects, including tunneling; shape shifting, random artwork; detailed drawings and the use of digitizing tables; and, finally, moving figure animation.

The first two chapters of the book can be read any time and will be of help in evaluating which personal computer to buy for graphics work. The third chapter can be studied whether or not you own a computer, but your understanding will certainly be enhanced if one is available to practice the examples on.

The author hopes that you find this journey into computer graphics exciting, comprehensive, and, most of all, enjoyable.


To Tony Clemintino

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