Computer Graphics are a branch of Computer Science that deals with generating images with the aid of computers. They can be created via image processing, video and photo editing, artificial intelligence, and other computer-based design systems. These images are either rastered (composed through a grid of individual pixels) or vectored (composed through mathematical relationships between points and paths).
Common applications of Computer Graphics include CGI animation, augmented reality, graphical user interfaces, 3D rendering, scene modeling, and many others. They’re important to learn about for individuals interested in career paths in art, media, design, development, science, and various others.
Roles where knowledge of Computer Graphics is useful include Digital Artist, Computer Programmer, Animator, Film Editor, Graphic Designer, Internet Technologies Manager, Media Specialist, Product Designer, Software Developer, Teacher, Webmaster, Website Designer, and a wide variety of others.
Lessons on Computer Graphics that are covered through Coursera equip learners with knowledge in supporting visual problem solving; harnessing one’s creativity; enhancing graphical user interfaces; understanding tools for 2D drawings and 3D animations; and more.
Some courses explicitly cover Computer Graphics, while for others, you may need to search the medium or field in which you hope to create them (e.g. Animation or Graphic Design).
Computer Graphics and related lessons are taught by instructors from major tech names and universities, including the University of Tokyo. Learners can enjoy exploring Computer Graphics with instructors specializing in Computer Science, User Interfaces, Interactive Computer Graphics, and other disciplines. Course content on Computer Graphics is delivered via video lectures, hands-on projects, readings, quizzes, and other types of assignments.
Although the requirements may vary from course to course, in general, you need to have strong computer skills, a good grasp of physics, and a strong foundation in mathematics, including linear algebra, before learning computer graphics. Some beginner-level courses may teach you coding and programming, but having some experience in that area can be helpful too. As you progress in your coursework, you'll develop skills like interaction design and 3D computer graphics. Depending on the direction you take, you may also gain skills in game design and development, virtual reality, and robotics.
Having a streak of creativity and a passion for computer-based design are two of the qualities found among those best suited for roles in computer graphics. Other qualities that many employers look for include having an innate sense of curiosity, an appreciation for the details that make up the big picture, open-mindedness, strong communication skills, and the passion and drive that will fuel each project. Roles in computer graphics can be found across multiple industries, including architecture, engineering, web technology development, computer-aided design, animation, and graphic design.
If you're interested in trying your hand at developing video games, creating computer programs and applications, or creating images, then learning computer graphics might be a good move for you. Courses in this subject cover a variety of aspects of the field, including graphic design, 3D modeling, animation, and game development. Additionally, computer graphics and interactivity can be a tool to help people solve problems visually. Some graphics courses will help you develop skills to not only create interactive tools, but also to enhance graphical user interfaces and leverage elements of design to create images.