Jim Blinn's Corner: A Trip Down the Graphics Pipeline


  • Jim Blinn, Microsoft, Inc., Redmond, Washington, U.S.A.

For almost three decades eminent computer graphicist Jim Blinn has coupled his scientific knowledge and artistic abilities to foster the growth of the computer graphics field. His many contributions include the Voyager Fly-by animations of space missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus; The Mechanical Universe, a 52-part telecourse of animated physics; and the computer animation of Carl Sagan's PBS series Cosmos. In addition, Blinn, the recipient of the first SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, has developed many widely used graphics techniques, including bump mapping, environment mapping, and blobby modeling.Blinn shares his insight and experience in "Jim Blinn's Corner," an award-winning column in the technical magazine IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications in which he unveils his most useful graphics methods and observations. This book, a compendium of 20 of the column's articles, leads you through the "graphics pipeline" offering a wealth of tips and tricks. It explores common graphics problems, many of which have never before been addressed.
An invaluable resource for any graphics professional
In his entertaining and inspirational style, Blinn examines a variety of topics to help computer graphics software and application developers recognize and solve graphics programming problems. Focusing on geometry and the graphics pipeline, he shares:
  • easy to understand explanations of difficult concepts gleaned from years of teaching
  • interesting examples of tricky special cases that cause conventional algorithms to fail
  • highly refined algorithms for clipping, viewing, lighting, and rendering
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Computer graphics professionals with computer science or mathematics background, including academic computer scientists, researchers, educators, students, and graduate students; graphics designers; computer animators interested in the latest developments of conceptual and practical aspects of rendering and graphics; software and game developers.


Book information

  • Published: July 1996
  • ISBN: 978-1-55860-387-5

Table of Contents

How Many Ways Can You Draw a Circle? What, Teapots Again? Nested Transformations and Blobby Man. Platonic Solids. How to Write a Paper for SIGGRAPH. Me and My (Fake) Shadow. Things I Hope Not to See or Hear at SIGGRAPH. Where Am I? What am I Looking At? The Three-Dimensional Kaleidoscope. Fractional Invisibility. Optimal Tubes. The Ultimate Design Tool. Line Clipping. Pixel Coordinates. Subpixelic Particles. Grandpa, What does "Viewport" Mean? Hyperbolic Interpolation. The Homogeneous Perspective Transform. Backface Culling Snags. Farewell to FORTRAN.