Computer Graphics
Number: CSD 15-462
Instructor: Nancy Pollard
Teaching Assistants: Kai Kang(kaik1)
Yu Mao(ymao1)
Sohail Sidique(ssidique)
Office Hours:
Pollard: By Appointment
Kai: Friday 6-8pm
Yu: Thursday 8-10pm
Sohail: Tuesday 8-10pm
Time: MW 10:30 am - 11:50 am
Location: HH B131(Lectures)
Discussion Board: Piazza
Final: TBD


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:
(15213 and 21240 and 21259) or (15213 and 21241 and 21259) or (18202 and 18213)
Once you've completed 15-462, you may be interested in other courses offered by the Carnegie Mellon Graphics Lab.


There is no required textbook for 15-462, though a variety of books may provide good supplementary material:
Pete Shirley and Steve Marschner with Michael Ashikhmin, Michael Gleicher, Naty Hoffman, Garrett Johnson, Tamara Munzner, Erik Reinhard, Kelvin Sung, William B. Thompson, Peter Willemsen, and Bryan Wyvill Fundamentals of Computer Graphics. A K Peters, 2009 [ On Amazon ]
John F. Hughes, Andries van Dam, Morgan McGuire, David F. Sklar, James D. Foley, Steven K. Feiner, and Kurt Akeley Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice [ On Amazon ]
Matt Pharr and Greg Humphreys Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation [ On Amazon ]
This book (PBRT) is the book for learning about modern ray tracing techniques. It has a great website with full source code online for an advanced physically-based ray tracer. It even won an oscar for its impact on the film industry!
Assignments & Grading

  • (15%) Project 1 SVG Renderer
  • (15%) Project 2 Mesh Editor
  • (20%) Project 3 Pathtracer
  • (15%) Project 4 TBD
  • (15%) Midterm Exam
  • (20%) Final Exam
You will be given a total of 5 "late days" You can only use them on the first three assignments. If you run out of latedays, we will take 10 out 100 off from any late assignments. No assignment will be accepted more than three days past the deadline

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: Course Introduction
Date: Mon 01/11
Slides: Lecture 1 Slides
Name: Drawing a Triangle(+ Introduction to Sampling)
Date: Wed 01/13
Slides: Lecture 2 Slides
Name: No class MLK day
Date: Mon 01/18
Name: Triangle "inside test" and Transforms
Date: Wed 01/20
Slides: Lecture 3 Slides
Notes: Project 1 Out
Notes: Project 1
Name: More Transforms
Date: Mon 01/25
Slides: Lecture 4 Slides
Name: 3D Rotations And Projection
Date: Wed 01/27
Slides: Lecture 5 Slides
Name: Barycentric
Date: Mon 02/01
Slides: Lecture 6 Slides
Name: Textures
Date: Wed 02/03
Slides: Lecture 7 Slides
Name: Graphics Pipeline
Date: Mon 02/08
Slides: Lecture 8 Slides
Name: Guest Lecture - Jim McCann, Disney Research
Date: Wed 02/10
Name: Intro to Geometry
Date: Mon 02/15
Slides: Lecture 9 Slides
Name: Curves, Surfaces and Meshes
Date: Wed 02/17
Notes: Project 2 Out
Notes: Project 2
Slides: Lecture 10 Slides
Name: Geometric Processing
Date: Mon 02/22
Slides: Lecture 11 Slides
Name: More Geometry Processing
Date: Wed 02/24
Slides: Lecture 12 Slides
Name: Midterm Review
Date: Mon 02/29
Slides: Midterm Review
Name: Midterm Exam
Date: Wed 03/02
Name: Spring Break
Date: Mon 03/07
Name: Spring Break
Date: Wed 03/09
Light, Rendering, and Materials
Name: Measuring Light: Radiometry and Cameras
Date: Mon 03/14
Notes: Project 3 Out
Slides: Lecture 14 Slides
Notes: Project 3
Name: Numerical Integration and Quadrature
Date: Wed 03/16
Notes: Project 2 Due
Slides: Lecture 15 Slides
Name: Reflection and Materials
Date: Mon 03/21
Slides: Lecture 16 Slides
Name: Accelerating Geometric Queries
Date: Wed 03/23
Slides: Lecture 17 Slides
Date: Mon 03/28
Name: Global Illumination
Date: Wed 03/30
Slides: Lecture 18 Slides
Name: Advanced Sampling and Rendering
Date: Mon 04/04
Slides: Lecture 19 Slides
Name: High Performance Ray Tracing
Date: Wed 04/06
Slides: Lecture 20 Slides
Notes: Project 4 Out
Notes: Project 4
Name: Project 3 Due
Date: Fri 04/08
Name: Intro to Animation
Date: Mon 04/11
Slides: Lecture 21 Slides
Name: Dynamics and Integration
Date: Wed 04/13
Slides: Lecture 22 Slides
Color and Image Processing
Name: Theory of Color
Date: Mon 04/18
Slides: Lecture 23 Slides
Name: Image Processing Basics
Date: Wed 04/20
Slides: Lecture 24 Slides
Name: The Light Field and Computational Cameras
Date: Mon 04/25
Slides: Lecture 25 Slides
Final Exam
Name: Final Exam Review
Date: Wed 04/27
Notes: Project 4 Due
Slides: Review Slides
Name: Final Exam
Date: Mon 05/02
Notes: Location: Wean 7500

Last updated: Apr 27, 2016