Computer Graphics
Number: CSD 15-462
Instructor: Srinivasa Narasimhan
Teaching Assistants: Harry Gifford
Luo Yi Tan
Prasanth Somasundar
Office Hours:
Srinivas: By Appointment
Luo: Tues 8:00 - 10:00pm
Prasanth: Wed 8:30 - 10:30pm
Harry: Thurs 8:00 - 10:00pm
Time: TR 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm
Location: HH B131 (Lecture)
GHC 5205 (Office Hours)
Discussion Board: Piazza
(Email TAs if you did not receive invitation)


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. 3rd ed. Wellesley: A K Peters, 2009.

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
  • (15%) Project 3
  • (10%) 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 Piazza 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 08/27
Slides: Lecture 1 Slides
Name: OpenGL®
Date: Thurs 08/29
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 09/03
Slides: Lecture 3 Slides
Notes: Math notes
Name: Transformations
Date: Thurs 09/05
Slides: Lecture 4 Slides
Notes: Transformation notes
Name: Orthographic and Perspective Projection
Date: Tue 09/10
Slides: Lecture 5 Slides
Notes: Viewing notes
Name: Curves and Splines
Date: Thurs 09/12
Slides: Lecture 6 Slides
Notes: Splines Notes
Notes: Project 1 Due
Notes: Homework 1 Assigned
Homework: Homework 1 (Updated 9/15)
Solutions: Homework 1 Solutions
Name: Meshes and Surfaces
Date: Tue 09/17
Slides: Lecture 7 Slides
Notes: Subdivision SIGGRAPH Course
Notes: Subdivision Notes
Notes: Project 2 Assigned
Project: Project 2 Description
Project: Project 2 Handout
Name: Lighting and Shadows
Date: Thurs 09/19
Slides: Lecture 8 Slides
Name: Materials
Date: Tue 09/24
Slides: Lecture 9 Slides
Slides: Texture Mapping Slides
Ray Tracing
Name: Raycasting/raytracing
Date: Thurs 09/26
Notes: Homework 1 Due
Slides: Lecture 10 Slides
Name: Spatial Data Structures
Date: Tues 10/01
Notes: Project 2 Due
Notes: Project 3 Assigned
Slides: Lecture 11 Slides
Project: Project 3 Description
Project: Project 3 Handout
Midterm Exam
Name: Midterm Review
Date: Thurs 10/03
Name: Midterm Exam
Date: Tues 10/08
Indirect Lighting
Name: Radiosity
Date: Thurs 10/10
Slides: Radiosity Reading
Slides: Lecture 12 Slides
Name: Photon Mapping
Date: Tues 10/15
Slides: Lecture 13 Slides
Notes: Photon mapping reading
Name: Direct-Indirect Separation
Date: Thurs 10/17
Slides: Lecture 14 Slides
Name: Subsurface and volumetric scattering
Date: Tues 10/22
Slides: Lecture 15 Slides
Slides: Further reading
Name: Non-photorealistic Rendering & Visualization
Date: Thurs 10/24
Slides: Lecture 16 Slides
Notes: Project 3 new due date
Notes: Project 4 Assigned
Project: Project 4 Description
Name: Animation and Motion capture
Date: Tues 10/29
Slides: Lecture 17 Slides
Notes: Reading
Name: Differential Equations
Date: Thurs 10/31
Slides: Lecture 18 Slides
Notes: Reading: Differential Equation Basics
Notes: Reading: Implicit Methods
Name: Particle Systems
Date: Tues 11/05
Slides: Lecture 19 Slides
Graphics Hardware
Name: Guest lecture by Kayvon Fatahalian: Real-time ray tracing
Date: Thurs 11/07
Slides: Real-time raytracing
Name: Displays
Date: Tue 11/12
Name: Image processing
Date: Thurs 11/14
Slides: Lecture 20: Image Processing
Notes: Project 4 new due date
Notes: Project 5 Assigned
Project: Project 5 Description
Project: Project 5 Handout
Name: HDR Imaging + Tone Mapping
Date: Tue 11/19
Slides: Lecture 21 Slides
Name: Image Relighting
Date: Thurs 11/21
Name: Cool new research in Graphics
Date: Tues 11/26
Name: Thanksgiving
Date: Thurs 11/28
Name: More cool research in graphics
Date: Tues 12/03
Notes: Project 5 Due
Name: Final Review
Date: Thurs 12/05

Last updated: Aug 17, 2013