Advanced Computer Graphics - SS 2014

This course will introduce students to advanced and more complex methods and techniques of computer graphics. Some of the topics that were touched upon in the Bachelor course "Computer graphics" will be covered in more depth. In addition, more topics will be covered that were not touched upon in the Bachelor's course. This apporach will both broaden and deepen students knowledge about the field of computer graphics.

This course is for you, if you want to acquire ...

Prerequisites are:

  1. A little bit of experience with C/C++ ; note that we will need just "C with classes" during this course.
  2. Knowledge of the material of the Bachelor course "Computer graphics" (if you didn't manage to attend that course, you can easily recap that material for yourself).
  3. Algorithmic thinking (and, hopefully, some pleasure when thinking about algorithms)

Some of the envisioned topics (these can change during the semester):

  1. Data structures and the theory of boundary representations (meshes);
  2. Advanced methods for texturing (more realistic ;
  3. Generalized barycentric coordinates and parameterization of meshes;
  4. Advanced shader programming (special effects);
  5. Culling techniques (real-time rendering);
  6. Ray-tracing (photo-realistic images);
  7. Alternative object representations (modeling);
  8. Anti-aliasing (improvement of quality)



The following table contains the topics and the accompanying slides (it will be filled step-by-step).

Week Topics Slides Assignments Frameworks
1. Organization;
Ray-tracing 1 (principle, camera models, lighting model, secondary rays, refraction, Fresnel terms, attenuation, dispersion, intersection ray-polygon, intersection ray-triangle, ray-box, ray-sphere)
Sheet 1
2. Lab meeting (discussion of solutions of last week's exercise, presentation of the new assignments)
Sheet 2
Raytracing Framework
3. Ray-tracing 2 (ray-tracing height fields, numerical robustness, distribution ray-tracing, anti-aliasing, soft shadows, glossy-matte reflection, depth-of-field, motion blur).
Modelling 1 (Implicit surfaces, root finding with Laguerre's method, quadrics, metaballs, generalization)
4. Lab meeting (discussion of solutions of last week's exercise, presentation of the new assignments).
Modelling 2 (instancing, constructive solid geometry, fractals).
Acceleration Data Structures 1 (taxonomy, light buffer, beam and cone tracing, 3D grids, mailbox technique, traversal and storage)
PDF 1 PDF 2 Sheet 3
5. Acceleration Data Structures 2 (recursive grid, hierarchical uniform grid, proximity clouds, octree, 5D ray octree, kd-trees, kd-tree traversal, construction, SAH, efficient storage of kd-trees, bounding volumes, bounding volume hierarchies, BVH traversal, construction of BVHs, median cut heuristic, plane sweep along PCA with SAH) PDF 1 PDF 2 Sheet 4
ADS Framework
7. Advanced Shader Techniques (procedural textures in the shader, value noise for procedural textures, gradient noise, light refraction, the geometry shader, examples, rendering shells and fins, rendering silhouettes) PDF
8. Tone Mapping (HDR imaging, image histograms, histogram stretching, histogram equalization, tone reproduction by Ward, Weber-Fechner law, perceptually-based tone mapping, generating histograms on the GPU) PDF Sheet 5 Asteroid Framework
9. Advanced texturing methods (seams, texture atlas, cube maps, polycube maps, concept of environment mapping, spherical environment mapping, parabolic environment mapping, cube env mapping, parallax mapping, view-dependent displacement mapping, VDM with self-shadowing) PDF1 PDF2
10. Culling 1 (Bottlenecks in the rendering pipeline, kinds of culling, backface culling, normal masks, clustered backface culling, hierarchical clustered backface culling) PDF Sheet 6 Brick & Cluster Framework
11. Culling 2 (occlusion culling, batched occlusion culling, naive wait-and-draw algorithm)
Boundary Representations 1 (definitions, orientation, 2-manifold, homeomorphism, OBJ file format)
12. Boundary Representations 2 (doubly-connected edge list, mesh traversal in DCEL, Euler equation, platonic solids, Euler characteristic) PDF

You can download some of the shaders that were discussed in class, plus some some very simple ones (discussed in the Bachelor course).


The following textbooks can help review the material covered in class:

Please note that the course is not based on one single textbook! Some topics might even not be covered in any current textbook! So, I'd suggest you first look at the books in the library before purchasing a copy.

If you plan on buying one of these books, you might want to consider buying a used copy -- they can often be purchased for a fraction of the price of a new one. Two good internet used book shops are Abebooks and BookButler.

Grades and Points achieved by the Assignments

For taking part in a so-called "Fachgespräch" (mini oral exam), you need a grade from the assignments >= 4.0 . You can get this by doing the exercises (assignments). You need at least 30% in total of all points of all asignments to achieve a grade of 4.0 .

Some Additional Literature You Might Want for Deeper Insights

Gabriel Zachmann
Last modified: Thu Jul 24 13:55:16 CEST 2014