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Computer science from A to Z

J is for Jeu (Games)

© INRIA Sophie Auvin - J comme Jeu

From its hiding place behind a treasure chest, an enormous dragon jumps out in front of you.

Its fiery breath lights up the dungeon as its glistening eyes are fixed upon you...

There's no point in running, it's only a video game!

Here you are immersed in a highly realistic game which replicates a complicated environment. Several light sources illuminate the scene, some objects are hidden by others, and the surfaces offer various reflections, from the dragon's scaly skin to the rough treasure chest.

How can this scene be represented on screen? By studying the rays of light that pass through it. We determine their trajectories, tracing them from your eye back to a light source. Simple straight lines or zigzags with multiple reflections, with variable colours and intensities, these rays can be used to reconstitute the desired image.

 Soon, your console will use these sophisticated methods to calculate in real time what is displayed on the screen, which should make your mission all the more possible!

Did you know...?

© INRIA / Sophie Chauvin - Jeu

Are these techniques purely for entertainment purposes? No!
The realistic representation of objects in three dimensions allows engineers to design bold buildings and biochemists to visualise complex molecules.

Keywords: Computer science from A to Z Science awareness