Computer graphics is the computational science of visual depiction.
As humans are much better equipped to see and understand images than to generate them, computer graphics plays a large and wide role in facilitating many different forms of visual communication. The need to expand and enhance visual communication is constantly growing. Our expectations, however, may not easily reduce to numerical error measures and may not proceed predictably. As with any communication, the receiver of a message participates in making sense of a sender's message. Thus a caricature of a face may well seem more realistic to us than a beautifully rendered, painstakingly detailed three-dimensional model, and a few moving dots on a screen may convey more expressive intent than a fully realized animation.
All of this gives the field of computer graphics a huge territory to explore. The 3.5 faculty, numerous graduate students and other collaborators who devote themselves to this field attack the problems of computer graphics in different ways. We span the main subareas of the field, including interactive geometric modelling, character and full-body animation, the modelling of natural phenomena, and illumination and rendering. The applications of our research work extend to content-creation tools (as found in the products of Autodesk and Adobe, for example), special effects and animation workflow (such as at Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, and Core Productions), computer-assisted art and design, electronic games, scientific visualization, biomechanics, medicine, biology, geography and archeology.
If something has an appealing visual manifestation, it is likely to be of interest to computer graphics. Some specific scientific threads include the use of machine learning in computer graphics, physically based methods for simulation, rendering and animation, acquiring salient parameters from the capture of real-life phenomena such as lighting, motion capture and natural phenomena, signal processing and control theory for rendering and animation, interactive modelling of natural phenomena such as turbulent smoke and fire, expressive and facial animation, and hardware accelerated computer graphics.
Our researchers in computer graphics are internationally-recognized, regularly presenting their work at the top forums in the field, working with other top international scholars, sitting on and chairing numerous programme committees, running conferences and awards committees, and garnering various awards (including Academy Awards and Sloan Fellowships). Our graduates have gone on to excellent universities (e.g., Universities of British Columbia, Waterloo, California-Davis, Toronto, York, Saskatchewan, Alberta) as well as start-ups and larger companies (e.g., Adobe, Alias/Autodesk, ATI, Pixar, Nokia, ILM, Honda, Google, Okino, Core).
Our graphics lab is run collectively with researchers in human-computer interaction, which permits many synergistic relationships among graphics and HCI people to emerge. Our lab, the Dynamic Graphics Project (dgp), has a long history of such very productive interactions