Computer Graphics
Number: CSD 15-462
Instructor: Srinivasa Narasimhan
Teaching Assistants: Chun How Tan
Derek Basehore
Office Hours:
Srinivasa: By Appointment
Chun How: Mon 8-10pm
Derek: Wed 8-10pm
Time: TR 1.30 pm - 2.50 pm
Location: HH B131 (Lecture)
GHC 5205 (Office Hours)
Bulletin Board: cmu.cs.class.cs462
(Instructions here.)


This course provides a comprehensive introduction to computer graphics modeling, animation, and rendering. Topics covered include basic image processing, geometric transformations, geometric modeling of curves and surfaces, animation, 3-D viewing, visibility algorithms, shading, and ray tracing.



The programming assignments in this course will be written in C++ and require knowledge of mathematics involving matrices, vectors, etc. Therefore successful completion of the following courses is required:

15-213/18-243 Introduction to Computer Systems

and either

18-202 Mathematical Foundations of Electrical Engineering

or both

21-241 Matrix Algebra, and
21-259 Calculus in Three Dimensions

Once you've completed 15-462, you may be interested in other courses offered by the Carnegie Mellon Graphics Lab.


There are two required textbooks for 15-462 this semester:

Shirley, Peter et. al. Fundamentals of Computer Graphics. 2nd ed. Wellesley: A K Peters, 2005.

OpenGL® Architecture Review Board. OpenGL® Programming Guide. 6th ed. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2007.

An older edition of the OpenGL® Programming Guide (covering the OpenGL® 1.1 specification) may be found online here and should be sufficient for the purposes of this course. However, the printed text may be of interest as it is newer than the online version and covers the OpenGL® 2.1 specification.

Assignments & Grading

  • (7.5%) Homework 1
  • (7.5%) Homework 2
  • (10%) Project 1
  • (10%) Project 2
  • (10%) Project 3
  • (15%) Project 4
  • (15%) Project 5
  • (10%) Midterm Exam
  • (15%) Final Exam
You will be given a total of three "late days" for the semester. You may use these late days to extend the deadline of any programming or written assignment without penalty. Once all three late days have been used, further extensions will only be granted at the instructor's discretion and may incur a grading penalty.

Note: Please use the Bulletin Board as a primary resource rather than emailing TAs directly. It will yield a more timely respones as all the TAs will be browsing it and your question may even have been answered already!


Note: This syllabus may change during the course. Keep checking back.

Name: Introduction
Date: Tue 08/30
Slides: Lecture 1 Slides
Name: OpenGL®
Date: Thurs 09/01
Slides: Lecture 2 Slides
Reading: Red Book Ch. 1 and 2
Notes: Project 1 Assigned
Project: Project 1 Description
Project: Project 1 Handout
Name: Math for Computer Graphics
Date: Tue 09/06
Slides: Lecture 3 Slides
Notes: Math notes
Name: Transformations
Date: Thurs 09/08
Slides: Lecture 4 Slides
Notes: Transformation notes
Name: Viewing/Camera
Date: Tue 09/13
Slides: Lecture 5 Slides
Notes: Viewing notes
Name: Curves and Splines
Date: Thurs 09/15
Slides: Lecture 6 Slides
Notes: Splines Notes
Notes: Project 1 Due
Notes: Homework 1 Assigned
Homework: Homework 1
Solutions: Homework 1 Solutions
Name: Texture Mapping + GLSL Shader language
Date: Tue 09/20
Slides: Lecture 7 slides
Name: Meshes and Surfaces
Date: Thurs 09/22
Slides: Lecture 8 Slides
Notes: Subdivision Nodes
Notes: Project 2 Assigned
Project: Project 2 Description
Project: Project 2 Handout
Name: Shading/Light
Date: Tue 09/27
Slides: Lecture 9 Slides
Name: Materials
Date: Thurs 09/29
Notes: Homework 1 Due
Slides: Lecture 10 Slides
Name: Non-photorealistic Rendering & Visualization
Date: Tue 10/04
Slides: Lecture 11 Slides
Name: Illusions
Date: Thurs 10/06
Notes: Project 2 Due
Notes: Project 3 Assigned
Project: Project 3 Checkpoint Description
Project: Project 3 Description
Project: Project 3 Handout
Ray Tracing
Name: Raycasting/raytracing
Date: Tue 10/11
Slides: Lecture 12 Slides
Name: Spatial Data Structures
Date: Thurs 10/13
Slides: Lecture 13 Slides
Notes: Project 3 Checkpoint Due
Midterm Exam
Name: Midterm Review
Date: Tue 10/18
Name: Midterm Exam
Date: Thurs 10/20
Indirect Lighting
Name: Radiosity
Date: Tue 10/25
Slides: Radiosity Reading
Slides: Lecture 14 Slides
Name: Photon Mapping
Date: Thurs 10/27
Slides: Lecture 15 Slides
Notes: Photon mapping reading
Notes: Project 3 Due
Notes: Project 4 Assigned
Project: Project 4 Description
Project: Project 4 Handout
Notes: New toy model
Notes: New toy screenshots
Name: Direct-Indirect Separation
Date: Tue 11/01
Slides: Lecture 16 Slides
Name: Animation and Motion capture
Date: Thurs 11/03
Slides: Lecture 17 Slides
Notes: Reading
Name: Differential Equations
Date: Tue 11/08
Slides: Lecture 18 Slides
Notes: Reading: Differential Equation Basics
Notes: Reading: Implicit Methods
Name: How GPU works
Date: Thurs 11/10
Slides: Lecture 19 Slides
Name: Particle Systems
Date: Tue 11/15
Notes: Reading: Particle System
Notes: Project 5 Assigned
Project: Project 5 Description
Project: Project 5 Handout
Project: Project 5 Assets
Project: Project 5 Handout with Visual Studio Solution
Project: Spring clarification
Name: Image processing + HDR Imaging + Tone Mapping
Date: Thurs 11/17
Slides: Lecture 20: Image Processing
Notes: Project 4 New Due Date
Notes: Homework 2 Assigned
Notes: Homework 2
Solution: Homework 2 Solution
Solution: Homework 2 Problem 2 Solution
Name: HDR Imaging
Date: Tue 11/22
Slides: Lecture 21: HDR imaging
Name: Thanksgiving
Date: Thurs 11/24
Name: Displays
Date: Tue 11/29
Notes: Homework 2 Due
Name: Cool new research in Graphics
Date: Thurs 12/01
Notes: Project 5 Due
Miscellaneous and Final Exam
Name: Final Review
Date: Tue 12/06
Slides: Project showcase
Name: Final Exam
Date: Thurs 12/08

Last updated: Dec 07, 2011