The Evolution of Computer Graphics
Computer graphics, for the longest time, declared the evolution of the medium. When computers first became items that you started to find in homes as opposed to room sized machines that did only a minutiae of what they do now, people were astounded at their monochrome screens and speed. Little did we know that only thirty years later, we would be looking at characters created on a computer that could be mistaken for human at times.
The evolution of computer graphics seemed slow at first, but that is only because the numbers were so small to start. From that initial monochrome of black with green or amber, we moved to CGA. Sixteen colours on a computer monitor in 1981 was a feat that changed the way people did work and played games. The resolution of your screen became important, and the world of computers was growing.
HD and 3D Graphics
Over the next decade we moved to EGA, which supported 16 colors on screen at a time, and then VGA which brought 256 colors to life. The entire world of computing moved and evolved with these graphical changes as the cost of creating the machinery grew cheaper and cheaper. Now, we take the graphics of our computer for granted, and it is much more about how fast can your graphics processor render textures on 3D maps, but back then the war was over how many colors you could put on your screen.
The need for greater computer graphics has been a driving force in the industry, and it still isn't over. We are now looking to make everything look better. The advent of HD has changed television and movies, and the growing trend of adding 3D to projects pushes things even further. Nowadays, even when you are looking at buying a new mobile phone, you are paying attention to the graphics as one of the factors you consider. Phones, tablet computers, and even electronic books all are having their own evolution with graphics as one of the front line considerations of the consumer.
Don't think that just because computer graphics can look very close to human that the computer graphics war is over. Once we have perfected working and rendering pictures in two dimensions, we will move onto a 3rd, making characters look great from all angles. Does this mean that we will inevitably be working and watching holograms that look like real people? Perhaps, and with the speed that we have reached this point, that future might not be as far away as you think.
Next time you turn on your television, computer monitor, tablet, or phone, look at the media. Think about how even twenty years ago that sort of clarity in the computer graphics would have been impossible. What would this machine have looked like back then. Then realize in twenty years, that fast little machine that you are looking at is going to be considered antiquated, and what sort of visuals will be appealing to you then?