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Introduction to Computer Graphics
CMPS-3350/6350, Fall 2017
TR, 11:00am-12:15pm

Course Information

A comprehensive introduction to the mathematics and algorithms that drive today's digital special effects, animation, and games. Designed as a hands-on course, students will gain experience in building 2D/3D interactive applications using OpenGL. Topics covered will include geometric transformations, projections, raster algorithms, 3D object models (surface and volume), visible surface algorithms, texture mapping, lighting/shading, ray tracing, anti-aliasing, and compositing.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, successful students will be able to:
  • understand the current state-of-the-art in graphics technologies;
  • understand the underlying mathematics, algorithms, and data structures that drive movie and game graphics;
  • program interactive 2D/3D graphics programs using OpenGL with proper lighting, shading and texture mapping;
  • program the graphics pipeline through the use of shaders; and
  • program a ray tracing renderer and understand how to extend it to achieve photorealistic global illumination.
  • CMPS 1600 or good programming skills (C and C++ are the preferred languages of the course)
  • Knowledge of basic data structures like: Linked Lists, Arrays, Trees
  • Simple linear algebra: matrix multiplication, vector addition, etc.
  • A computer capable of OpenGL 3.1+ development
Instructor Office Hours
TR, 10:00am-11:00am
Charlie Sklare - (general programming assistance)
  • OpenGL Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 4.3 (8th Edition)
Other Good Graphics Texts:
  • Interactive Computer Graphics: A Top-Down Approach with WebGL, 7th Edition by Angel and Shreiner
  • Fundamentals of Computer Graphics (4th Edition) by Shirley, Ashikhmin, and Marschner
  • Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (3rd Edition) by Hughes and van Dam
  • Physically Based Rendering, Second Edition: From Theory To Implementation by Pharr and Humphreys
10% Class Participation
30% Programming Assignments (3-4 planned)
20% Midterm Game Project
20% Final Raytracing Project
20% Final Exam

Programming assignments can be submitted up to 1 week beyond a due date with a 20% reduction in grade.

Final grade will be assigned as follows:
A >= 93% [Exemplary. Superior achievement.]
A- >= 90% [Outstanding]
B+ >= 87%, B >= 83%, B- >= 80% [High Pass, Above Average]
C+ >= 77%, C >= 73%, [Pass, Average work, Satisfactory] C- >= 70% [Below Average]
D >= 60%, [Low Pass, Unsatisfactory, Barely passing]
F < 60% [Failure, Unacceptable]

Collaboration and Academic Integrity
You are required to adhere to the Code of Academic Conduct. Cheating will be reported to the Associate Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College. I encourage collaboration, but everyone's work must be their own. Help and sharing of small code snippets to help someone get past a bug are OK, but whole files or classes are not. In cases of over sharing, everyone involved will be held equally responsible irregardless of who did the original work. Sources other than the textbook should be cited appropriately.
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Week Topic
1 Introduction
2 Color and the Frame Buffer
3 Primitives, Windows, and OpenGL
4 Vectors, Matrices, and Transformations
5 Polygon Intersections and Clipping
6 Views, Projections, and Cameras
7 Models and Spatial Data Structures
8 Midterm Game Project Due; Curves and Curved Surfaces
9 Mapping
10 Hidden Surface Removal and Scene Graphs
11 Image Synthesis
12 Light, Reflectivity, Transmission, and Shadows
13 Anti-aliasing and Compositing
14 Light Fields and HDR
15 Final Project Due; Radiosity, Path Tracing, and Photon Mapping

Midterm Project: 2D Game

For this project, you'll use all of the topics covered so far in the course: drawing, primitives, transforms, etc. to build a simple 2D game. Undergrads will be given starter code to build a asteroids clone. GRADS will be required to create a unique game.

Topics covered that you'll need to show:

  • Use of color
  • Filled polygons
  • Non-filled polygons
  • Reuse of primitives stored on the GPU
  • Keystroke Interaction
  • Transformations
    • Scales
    • Translations
    • Rotations
    • Multi-object transformations
  • Vector mathematics, e.g.:
    • When an Asteroid breaks, do something with the directions of the new pieces
    • Apply gravitational forces to make flying more difficult
  • Concave polygons with software tessellation (GRAD)
Showing all of the above will give you a passing grade. For full marks, you should have a working game.
Anne Nygard 2016 Cody M Licorish 2015Project 2: Whitted-Style Ray Tracer

For our final project, you'll construct a ray-tracer, the basic image creation technique for feature animation and special effects. You'll be provided an interactive, 3D OpenGl application to preview your rendered scene. This will leverage all topics covered in the course including: 3D transformations, texture mapping, lighting, shading, reflection, and refraction. Things you need to show:

  • A Ray Traced Sphere
  • A Ray Traced Polygon
  • A Diffuse Surface
  • A Refractive Surface
  • A Reflective Surface

Website last updated August 22, 2016