Learn Computer Graphics

Teach yourself about computer graphics.

Whether you enjoy tinkering around with digital doodles on your computer or want to know more about how your favorite game characters are created, pixel by pixel, consider learning the field of computer graphics. The term “computer graphics” may cover something as simple as a single color text-based logo or an incredibly intricate gaming system, and there are quite a few ways to begin studying, both through self-paced learning and getting information directly from the experts in the field.


1. Enroll in an adult-education course in computer graphics. Adult-education classes are usually short-term, held in the evening, and have no requirements for experience or education. Students in Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, may enroll in one of Wake Technical Community College’s graphics programs, including graphics introduction, Photoshop 1, Photoshop Elements for digital design and graphic design for the real world.

2. Read an introductory textbook such as “Fundamentals of Computer Graphics” by Peter Shirley and Steve Marschner, “Introduction to Computer Graphics” by James D. Foley et al., “Computer Graphics: Theory Into Practice” by Jeffrey J. McConnell and “Computer Graphics for Artists: An Introduction” by Andrew Paquette.

3. Select a longer-term computer-graphics program, one resulting in a degree or diploma. Colleges across the country offer associate degrees (two years), bachelor’s degrees (four years) and diplomas (one year) in computer graphics, along with online chapters of colleges and online-only universities. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, for example, offers an online division with diplomas in web and digital design, associate degrees in graphic design and web design with interactive media and bachelor’s degrees in game art and design, graphic design, media arts and animation and web design and interactive media. Courses include fundamentals of design, instructional design theory, web imaging techniques, color theory, broadcast graphics, information design and screen design

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4. Download a free trial copy of a computer-graphics program, many of which allow you to use complete functionality for 30 days or more. Adobe, for example, offers free trials of its Photoshop graphics program plus the entire Creative Suite (which Photoshop is a part of), Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom and InDesign, which is a graphic-design layout and publication program. You can also experiment with Paint, a basic sketching and drawing program included with your computer’s installation.