Computer Graphics

The first assignment for Ken Perlin’s Computer Graphics course is to explain why I’m interested in computer graphics and what I want to get out of the course. My assignments will be posted to my github.

I’m interested in Computer Graphics as a creative window into more advanced topics in computer science and math. I took computer science as an undergrad, but, without any graphics, the topic seemed very dry. It took weeks before we could see any results from our code. Even though I had always been interested in using computers to create things, starting with HyperCard when i was very young, I wound up gravitating towards Computer Music, where I could hear the results of my work instantly. Similarly, I became less interested in math until I had concrete applications, such as Digital Signal Theory, where I could see or hear the results.

JavaScript has rekindled my love of programming as a means of creative expression. In particular, libraries like Processing’s p5.js make it easy to get started sketching out your creative ideas. Libraries like three.js make it relatively easy to get up and running with 3D using WebGL, and I’ve enjoyed playing with this in some recent projects. Now that I have some basic understanding and use cases, I’m eager to learn more about what is happening under the hood.

I’m especially interested in learning about computer graphics from Ken Perlin, who is a very inspiring person. I started contributing to his Chalktalk project last semester, and already I’ve learned a lot from him. I want to learn more so that I can make more meaningful contributions to Chalktalk. A better understanding of computer graphics will serve me well in life, even if my focus leans toward the audio side of things. In the long run, I’m interested in sound design for video games and virtual/augmented reality. In the short run, I want to keep contributing to Chalktalk, and also somebody needs to bring WebGL rendering to p5.js for a “3D Mode”—maybe I could help make that happen this summer! Now that I’ve scratched the surface of computer graphics, I’m excited to learn more.