Computer Graphics


Computer Graphics

Fast Track See Game Resources for real-time and interactive 3D links.

Spiraloid hosts 3D tips and tutorials.

Siggraph is the premier gathering of graphics researchers, artists and engineers. National Association of Broadcasters is another show that features lots of hardware.

For a variety of research topics, see David Baraff for physically-based modelling, Jim Blinn, Paul Debevec.

Recommended reading includes Graphic Gems series. and books by Jim Blinn. See game development resources for reading on real-time graphics.

Open Source and Standards

Scene Graphs

OpenSceneGraph is descended somewhat from Fahrenheit while OpenSG is descended more from Performer


OpenGL is the cross-platform immediate-mode 3D API. Mesa is an open source OpenGL workalike. The Khronos Group promotes OpenGL ES for small platforms. Collada is an XML schema for 3D descriptions.


For open source development in Java, you can use an OpenGL binding such as JOGL or a scene graph API such as Java3D or and have more information on Java3D. The Looking Glass 3D desktop is implemented in Java3D.


Similarly, for Python, there’s PyOpenGL and a scene graph API Panda3D. Python 3D lists applications.

Image Libraries

Open source image format libraries include libpng, libtiff, libjpeg, and FreeImage. FreeType provides font support. OpenType is an open standard for font descriptions. Image Magick provides image manipulation, OpenEXR is a high dynamic range file format and library from Industrial Light and Magic.


Osirix is a MacOSX package for medical imaging. Celestia is a nifty astronomy visualization package with add-ons available on the Celestia Mother Lode

Machine Vision

TINA and OpenCV provide machine vision processing.

Web 3D

The successor to VRML is X3D . Open-source browsers include XJ3D and FreeWRL (which also supports VRML)

Web3D tools running on MacOSX are listed on MacWeb3D.

The game development page also lists game engines and Flash extensions that support browser-based game deployment.


Open Cascade
LDRAW Unofficial software library of Lego parts
Mac Brick CAD Mac editor using LDRAW

Image Tools

GIMP and a high-end derivative, Cinepaint. Inkscape creates vector graphics, in particular SVG documents.


Wings 3D implemented in Erlang, uses the winged edge data structure, a subdivision method that has some advantages over the half edge data structure. See course notes and original paper.

Create models with Blender , Art of Illusion, implemented in Java.


Ray-tracing renderers include POV-Ray, Radiance and YAFRay.

Commercial Tools

3D Desktops

Universe generates starfield images.


oil field

Panotools hosts the panorama community and Pangea Software provides panorama tools and services.

Diard Software provides the Universe Image Creator.

Asset Management



3DNA is a 3D desktop for Windows.

Alias and Discreet for content creation. Lower cost tools include those from Curious Labs, Ulead, Luxology, Pixologic, and Sketchup. Shareware offerings include Milkshape3D, a popular modeller for game mods, and Cheetah3D, written specifically for MacOSX.

Terragen and World Machine are used for terrain creation.

For Kids

Kid Pix is a long-standing illustration package for children. Cosmic Blobs offers a similarly slick package for 3D scene creation and animation.


3D Galleries

3D Cafe lists jobs, tutorials and models. Renderosity features renderings. WordsEye allows natural language creation of 3D scenes. 3D Buzz

3D Models

TurboSquid and 3DModelWorks list free and for sale models. Military models.

Textures has free 3D-ready textures. Astronomy textures are available from JHT's Planetary Pixel Emporium , JPL Space Simulator and Bjorn Johnsson


Web Page Publicity and Divide By Zero offer free fonts.


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