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COMP37111: Advanced Computer Graphics (2011-2012)

This is an archived syllabus from 2011-2012

Advanced Computer Graphics
Level: 3
Credit rating: 10
Pre-requisites: COMP27112
Co-requisites: No Co-requisites
Duration: 11 weeks.
Lectures: 11 in total, 1 per week
Examples classes: None.
Labs: There will be one lab exercise programming project.
Lecturers: Toby Howard, Stephen Pettifer
Course lecturers: Toby Howard

Stephen Pettifer

Additional staff: view all staff
Sem 1 Lab 3rdLab Thu 11:00 - 12:00 -
Sem 1 Lecture 1.5 Thu 14:00 - 15:00 -
Assessment Breakdown
Exam: 75%
Coursework: 0%
Lab: 25%

Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Visual Computing


This Course Unit covers the principles of modern techniques for Computer Graphics modelling and image synthesis, on the assumption that students have already completed the introductory Computer Graphics course (COMP20072). Its principal aim is to introduce students to the ever-expanding repertoire of techniques for defining and rendering images of 3D model data. Particular attention is focussed on the increasing requirements for complex rendering and interaction to occur in real-time.

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A1 A2 A5Have a knowledge and understanding of the principles of image synthesis, from the construction of application models, to the rendering of images.
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
  • Individual coursework
A1 A2 A5Have a knowledge and understanding of current models for the interaction of light and materials, and rendering techniques based on these models.
  • Individual coursework
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
A1 A2 A5Have a knowledge and understanding of applications of interactive computer graphics for scientific visualization, and other areas such as engineering, design, simulation and entertainment.
  • Individual coursework
  • Lab assessment
  • Examination
B1Understand the need for, and the specifics of, techniques for obtaining real-time performance of computer graphics algorithms.
  • Individual coursework
  • Examination
  • Lab assessment
A1 A2 A5Have a knowledge and understanding of some areas of current computer graphics research.
  • Individual coursework
  • Lab assessment
  • Examination


Introduction and overview (1)

Applications of advanced image synthesis: visualization, animation, games, CAD systems, simulation. The classical graphics pipeline rendering: geometry, tessellation, modelling and viewing transformations, clipping, screen mapping, rasterizing. Global illumination: starting with the image plane, ray tracing. Local versus global illumination.

Model acquisition (2)

Laser scanning; surface fitting; occlusions and hole-filling; acquisition of geometry from photographs and video.

Non-polygonal modelling techniques (2)

Procedural modelling: fractal geometry, modelling with fractals, particle systems, L-systems.

Non-photorealistic rendering (1)

Approaches to rendering that, instead of striving for traditional photorealism, emphasise information content, visualization and understanding. Early work by Gooch & Gooch, and an overview of more recent techniques.

Introduction to global illumination: Ray Tracing (1)

What is GI, why is it important, when and how is it used? Basic ray tracing, primary and secondary rays, shadow feeler rays, reflection and transparency. Recursive algorithm. RT signature. Real-time ray tracing. Monte Carlo ray tracing. Importance sampling, variance reduction methods. Path tracing, bidirectional ray tracing.

Global illumination: Radiosity (1)

Principles: energy exchange between surfaces, implementation approaches, rendering techniques.

Volume rendering (2)

Programmable rendering (1)

The GPU and its architecture. Vertex and pixel shaders.

Real-time rendering (1)

Examples of model complexity, the need for interaction. Culling techniques: back-face, view frustum, portals, occlusion culling. Spatial enumeration, grids, AABBs, HBBs. Level of detail.

Reading List

The basic material for the course is covered by the recommended reading and although it is not essential to buy these, students will be expected to read additional material on the subjects presented.

So it is recommended that if the books are not purchased then they are studied in the University Library or CS Resource Centre. Other materials, such as copies of published papers, will be made available, on paper and on-line, to supplement the lectures and books.

Title: OpenGL programming guide: the official guide to learning OpenGL, version 1.2 (3rd edition)
Author: Shreiner, Dave
ISBN: 0201604582
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Edition: 3rd
Year: 1999

Title: Interactive computer graphics: a top-down approach with WebGL (7th edition)
Author: Angel, Edward and Dave Shreiner
ISBN: 9781292019345
Publisher: Pearson
Edition: 7th
Year: 2015

Supplementary Text
Title: Real-time rendering (4th edition)
Author: Akenine-Moller, Tomas et al
ISBN: 9781138627000
Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press
Edition: 4th
Year: 2018
Very good book, but not essential to buy. You can read some of it online at Google Books (