Presented here are a collection of practical techniques in computer
graphics which are reasonably easy to implement and produce an
acceptable degree of realism for a small investment in programming
time. Most of these techniques are not in themselves particularly
complex but refinements on well known algorithms. Taken together
they form a collection of ideas which may be of interest to other workers
in the field.
Research in various aspects of realistic graphics and animation requires
a testbed system in which to produce results from experiments with
specific areas of interest. For example to test the effectiveness of a
volcanic eruption manufactured from particles, it is necessary to have
at least rudimentary animation infrastructure available. In this paper
we describe some of the ways in which we provide this infrastructure
with the limited resources available in a typical university research
environment consisting of a VAX 780 running UNIX and a frame buffer.
These methods have been developed during the building of a computer
animation system called Graphicsland at the University of Calgary.
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