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CMPSC 458: Fundamentals of Computer Graphics

This course challenges students to learn the approaches and mathematical techniques that allow a computer to digitally render a scene, as well as advanced methods of image analysis yielding more realistic textures and environments. Topics include transformation, projection, illumination models, shading, hidden lines/surface elimination, viewing, color, raytracing, physics-base graphics, and image based redering, in particular image-based texture synthesis.

Textbook: Fundamentals of Computer Graphics by Shirley Marschner et al.

The course includes four projects:

  1. Heightmap: An image serves as the heightmap for a virtual terrain. Students use OpenGL to render the surface of the terrain in an interactive window allowing real-time movement, camera rotation, and terrain scaling.
  2. Rollercoaster: Catmull-Rom splines are used to interpolate between points in a provided text file. Students use OpenGL to dynamically build a rollercoaster and render physically-accurate camera movement along the track to match any provided series of control points.
  3. Raytracer: Students need a strong understanding of 3D geometry and object-oriented programming to create a program which renders a scene with accurate shadows, reflections, refractions, material properties, and texture mapping given a text file describing the positions and properties of lights, triangles, spheres, and the camera in a scene. OpenGL is not used; raytracing is done with mathematical operations and object-oriented techniques alone.
  4. Texture Synthesis: Many applications simply tile an input texture to cover a larger area, but many techniques exist which provide more realistic results, generating larger textures that look as if they are made of the same material as the input. Students will read leading research papers in this field and either implement one of they methods they like or develop a method of their own. In the fall of 2015, we now allow students to create a project based off of out motion capture data optained from LPAC's motion capture lab.

Fall 2015 Highlights

Prof: Dr. Yanxi Liu

TA: Christopher Funk

Spring 2009 Highlights

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Prof: Dr. Yanxi Liu

TA: Chen-Ping Yu

Teaching Intern: Kyle Brocklehurst

FALL 2009 Highlights

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Prof: Dr. Yanxi Liu

TA: Kyle Brocklehurst

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