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Home > Math Tips > Video Game Graphics: It's all about Geometry!

Video Game Graphics: It's all about Geometry!

Video game graphics is all about geometry. Geometric shapes and interactions between geometric shapes is the basic foundation of all videos games. Video games rely on the extensive use of circles, squares, ovals, rectangles, trapezoids, and many other geometric shapes to form shapes you see on your computer or TV screen as you play video games.

One of the basic geometric concepts you learn in school is the use is recognition of two dimensional and three dimensional objects, along with how to use them in different situations. This is how video game programmers are able to develop a video game a sense of depth. They use a three dimensional concept called "skybox."

This is a fixed point in which appears to be in the distance and all other graphics on in the video game are developed around this fixed point. This point is called fixed, because it does not move, even as the figure or object you are moving appears to be in the front of the screen. This gives the video game a three dimensional look.

When video game programmers first begin developing figures and scenes, they start with a basic geometric shape of the objects. This is the same way artists start when they begin a painting. They begin with a focal point (skybox) and draw lines that radiate from the focal point to the corners of the screen. Then the video programmers start inserting additional lines, circles, squares, and other shapes into these original lines at places to given the video graphics depth - three dimensional look. After they draw the outline then they start inserting the colors.

This used to done by hand on pieces of paper, with each piece of paper containing the next step in the sequence. Today this is all done on a computer working with each pixel in the screen to accomplish each the step in the process of incorporating geometric shapes into a video game. To give you an example of how many pixels are in a TV screen, there are over 200,000 in a typical television. If you have a high definition TV for your video games, then you can have up to 18,000,000 pixels. As you can see developing video games is a complicated process.

Of course as along as you learn geometry and understand how to turn two dimensional objects into three dimensional objects then you will make a good video game programmer. Another use of geometry used in video games is using geometric shapes which are congruent with other shapes. Also they use geometric shapes by rotating, reflecting, and the use of similarities in making the video graphics move around the screen during action sequences.

Also video games are heavily based on patterns to present motion within the video game. These patterns are all based on the patterns within geometric shapes to give the video game action and the three dimensional look. This provides more reality to today's video games; rather than the original video games like Pong, Space Invaders, Pacman, and other early games that came out in the 1970s. Although these games relied heavily on geometric patterns and shapes, the games could only present a two dimensional view of the game.

With the development of adding three dimensional views to video games, the entire video game industry was revolutionized. Video game programmers can now integrate any geometric shape they want and get it to accomplish pretty much anything what it to do.

If you want to become a video game programmer one day, you need to develop a deep understanding of all geometry concepts. The best video game programmers will all tell you that one subject they have to be strong in is geometry.