The term "computer graphics" refers to anything involved in the creation or manipulation of images on a computer, including animated images. It is a very broad field, and one in which changes and advances seem to come at a dizzying pace. It can be difficult for a beginner to know where to start. However, there is a core of fundamental ideas that are part of the foundation of most applications of computer graphics. This book attempts to cover those foundational ideas, or at least as many of them as will fit into a one-semester college-level course. While it is not possible to cover the entire field in a first course—or even a large part of it—this should be a good place to start.
This short chapter provides an overview and introduction to the material that will be covered in the rest of the book, without going into a lot of detail.