CSCI-315: Computer Graphics

Fall 2011

This course is an introduction to computer graphics. The first half of the course will cover the traditional computer graphics rendering pipeline (scan conversion, windows and clipping, transformations, viewing, projections, lighting, texture mapping, etc.) While we will mostly focus on the fixed-function pipeline, we will also touch upon recent developments in programmable shading. The second half of the course will focus on data visualization: the use of computer graphics to convey information. We will explore how to use layout, color, and animation to convey an compelling story about a data set. We will also study how to convey the shape of 3D objects using line drawings, shading, and texturing. This is a programming-intensive course, including at least three small C++ programming assignments and one six-week group final project. (No prior knowledge of C++ is necessary; we assume only that you are an experienced Java programmer at the level of CSCI 261.)

Contact Info

Instructor: David Akers
Lectures: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 1:00-1:50 (TH 399) **
Labs: ** Most Tuesdays, class will be in TH 409 for lab
Phone: 879-3126
Office: Thompson 600 (tower)
Office Hours: Mon 3:00-3:50 pm, Tues/Thurs/Fri 2:00-2:50 pm, and by appt.





Week Topic Reading Lab Assignment
8/29 Introduction, display devices

Essential Math Handout

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 1 (Intro to OpenGL) (link to 2nd edition)

Lab 1 Asmt 1 (soln)

Scan conversion, OpenGL

No class Monday (Labor Day)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 2 (State Management and Drawing) (link to 2nd edition)

OpenGL Red Book, Appendix A (Basics of GLUT) (link to 2nd edition)

Lab 2 (soln)  
9/12 Animation, windows and clipping, display lists, transformations

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 7 (Display Lists) (link to 2nd edition)

OpenGL Red Book, Appendix C (Homogeneous Coodinates and Transformation Matrices) (link to 2nd edition)

9/19 Transform hierarchies, 3D viewing and projection, lighting OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 3 (Viewing) (link to 2nd edition) Lab 3 (soln) Asmt 2 (soln)
9/26 Lighting, texture mapping

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 5 (Lighting) (link to 2nd edition)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 9 (Texture Mapping) (link to 2nd edition)

 Lab 4  

3D modeling, collision detection, color

(No class Friday - do the lab on your own.)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 11 (Tesselators and Quadrics) (link to 2nd edition)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 12 (Evaluators and NURBS) (link to 2nd edition)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 4 (Color) (link to 2nd edition)

Lab 5 Asmt 3 (soln)

Transparency, raytracing

Exam Thursday — in class (solutions)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 6 (Blending) (link to 2nd edition)

OpenGL Red Book, Chapter 15 (The OpenGL Shading Language) (not in 2nd edition)--

10/17 Programmable shading

No class Monday or Tuesday (Fall Break)
Ray-tracing: Graphics for the Masses, Paul Rademacher, 1997. (html)    
10/24 Purpose of data visualization, data and image models

Decision to launch the Challenger, In Visual Explanations. Edward Tufte, 1997. (pdf)

Chapter 1 (Information Visualization) In Readings in Information Visualization. S. Card et al., 1999. (pdf)

  Final Project

Perception/cognition, effective use of space

Monday: Layering and Separation, Chapter 3 in Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. (textbook)

Monday: Small multiples, Chapter 4 in Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. (textbook)

Thursday: Perception in Visualization, C. Healey, 2009. (html)

Friday: Escaping flatland, Chapter 1 in Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. (textbook)

Friday: Narratives of space and time, Chapter 6 in Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. (textbook)


Effective use of color and interaction

Guest lecture: Jock Mackinlay, Tableau Software (Friday)

Monday: Color and information, Chapter 5 in Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. (textbook)

Thursday: Tight Coupling of Dynamic Query Filters with Starfield Displays, Ahlberg and Shneiderman, 1994. (html) (video)

Thursday: Visual Queries for Finding Patterns in Time Series Data, Hochheiser and Shneiderman, 2002. (pdf)

  Asmt 4
11/14 Student presentations
No reading this week.    Asmt 5
11/21 Conveying object shape

No class Thursday or Friday (Thanksgiving)

Monday: Suggestive contours for conveying shape. D. DeCarlo et al., 2003. (pdf) (images)

Monday: Conveying Shape and Features with Image-Based Relighting, Akers et al. 2003. (pdf)

11/28 Macro/micro readings, evaluation, animation

Monday: Macro/micro readings, Chapter 2 in Envisioning Information, E. Tufte. (textbook)

Thursday: Evaluating Information Visualizations: Issues and Opportunities, J. Stasko 2006. (pdf)

Friday: Tricks to Animating Characters with a Computer, J. Lasseter, 1994. (html) (video)

Friday: Animated Transitions in Statistical Data Graphics. J. Heer and G. Robertson, 2007. (pdf) (video)

12/5 Graphics and data visualization research, final thoughts


Monday: Exploration of the Brain's White Matter Pathways with Dynamic Queries, Akers et al. 2004. (pdf)

Monday: CINCH: A Cooperatively Designed Marking Interface for 3D Pathway Selection, Akers 2006. (pdf)

12/12 Final exam week
Dec 14 (Wednesday) 12:00pm-2:00pm
Tableau's data visualization software is provided through the Tableau for Teaching program.