Interactive computer graphics would rival
word-processing and presentation programs
for everyday communications.
BY taKeo iGaRashi
CoMpUTer GraphiCs is a commodity. Sophisticated
computer-generated imagery is everywhere—
feature films, TV programs, video games, even
cellphones—but most of it is created by professionals.
Few people actually create computer graphics in
their daily lives because most authoring tools are
designed for professionals or dedicated amateurs
following intensive training. This is unfortunate,
because computer graphics could be a powerful
communication tool for everyone.
Consider desktop publishing. Centuries ago, only a small number of professionals worked in the printing industry. When computer-based printing
emerged as an alternative in the late 20th
century, it, too, was initially limited to
professionals. However, the widespread
use of personal computers and easy-to-use graphical user interfaces quickly
made high-quality printing accessible
to the general public. Today, just about
everyone uses word processors on a daily
basis to create documents that communicate ideas to friends and colleagues.
Computer graphics has not yet achieved
such mass-market appeal.
Unlike with traditional physical me-
dia, consumers today create electronic
content to share through the Internet.
Most media are still text-based, as with
email, blogs, and Twitter, but more
and more include images, videos, ani-
mations, and other multimedia con-
computer-graphics authoring should
be accessible to the general public.
Designing these systems starts with
what is natural to humans rather than
what is natural to a computer.
most traditional research focuses on
experts’ high-end use of technology;
here, our main target is the casual use
of technology by nonprofessionals.