Interactive Graphics Systems

Interactive Computer Graphics is the most important means of producing pictures since the invention of photography and television; it has the added advantage that, with the computer, we can make pictures not only of concrete, "real-world" objects but also of abstract, syntetic objects. Although static pictures are a good means of communicating information, dynamically varying pictures are frequently even better: "a moving pictures is worth ten thousand static ones".

An Interactive Graphics System (IGS) is a technical computing environment for numeric computations and graphics visualization with numeric/graphics interactions.

In our research activity we realized a lot of IGSs (see references). In the years 1983-86 we proposed IGSs called electronic books with the aim to be uself for self-learning in computational mathematics. It was the advent of graphics-based personal computers, such as the Apple and the IBM PC, that drove down the costs of both hardware and software so dramatically that millions of graphics computer were sold as "appliances" for office and home as well as for education.

All the experiences acquired since 1981 in this area, has been exploited recently in the designing and realization of xcmodel system.

xcmodel integrates four IGSs and more precisely a 2D free form modeler, a 3D free from modeler, an object composer and a scene realistic renderer. These packages evolved over a period of years with input from many students. In our University environment, xcmodel has become the standard instructional tool for courses in geometric modelling and computer graphics as well as our reseach laboratory to develop, perfect and compare methods and algorithms in geometric modelling.

xcmodel system is freely distributed as well User's Guide, data, model and images from the web page: