CS 488/688: Introduction to Computer Graphics

Fall 2016

Welcome to the home page for CS488/688, the introductory computer graphics course in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. This course focuses on 3D graphics, although it does discuss some aspects of user interface design. CS488/688 has a fairly heavy project component and should not be taken in conjunction with other heavy project courses.

Course logistics for Fall 2016

Craig S. Kaplan (see also)
DC 2110
Office hours: Mondays, 3:00–4:00 (or by appointment)
Teaching Assistants
Jumyung "JC" Chang
Office hours: Mondays, 10:00–11:00 in DC 3594

Xiang Fang
Office hours: Wednesdays, 2:00–3:00 in MC 3007

Boris Kravchenko
Office hours: Fridays, 2:00–3:00 in MC 3007

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30–12:50, DWE 3518
MC 3007 (There are no scheduled lab times. The lab is available 24 hours a day for students enrolled in CS 488/688. The code to open the lab will be provided in class.)
Midterm: Thursday, October 27th, 11:30am-12:50pm in DWE 3518 (in class). The midterm covers everything up to the end of Hidden Surface Removal, and is worth 14% of your final grade.
Final: TBA
Course Outline
The course outline contains general information about the course, including the marking scheme, in a format mandated by the Registrar's Office.
These books are recommended but not required. The Davis Centre library has these and other useful books for loan at the reserve desk.
Getting help
We're using Piazza for questions and discussions of class-related material. You should have been signed up at the start of the term, but you can sign up manually if necessary.

Fall 2016 Readings

The readings in the official course notes are out of date, as we change textbooks and new editions come out. Here is a selection of readings for this term's offering. "CGPP" and "CGOGL" refer to the textbooks Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice and Computer Graphics with OpenGL, respectively.

  • Module 2: Introduction
    • CGPP: Chapter 1, Section 3.1, Section 15.1, Section 15.2, Section 16.3
  • Module 5: Geometries
    Module 6: Affine Geometry and Transformations
    Module 7: Windows, Viewports, NDC
    • CGPP: Sections 7.1–7.7, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
  • Module 9: Projections and Projective Transformations
    • CGPP: Sections 10.13, Chapter 13, Section 36.5
  • Module 11: Polygons
    • CGPP: Sections 7.10
  • Module 12: Hidden Surface Removal
    • CGPP: Chapter 36
  • Module 13: Hierarchical Models and Transformations
  • Module 15: Colour and the Human Visual System
  • Module 16: Reflection and Light Source Models
    • CGPP: Sections 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.5, Chapter 27 (advanced)
    • My slides
  • Module 18: Ray tracing
  • Animation

Fall 2016 Assignments

General information about CS 488/688

Start by visiting the old home page for the course, where you'll find lots of other useful information and links.

  • The website open.gl is a great starting point for programming in modern OpenGL, featuring a sequence of well written tutorials.
  • See also the longer sequence of tutorials at learnopengl.com, which go into more detail about specific topics.
  • Song Ho Ahn also has a number of useful tutorials that explain concepts in 3D computer graphics, especially as related to the OpenGL graphics pipeline.
  • Visit docs.gl for the best OpenGL API reference.
  • You might also want to look at Terence's OpenGL tutorial slides.
  • The Graphics Codex is a highly detailed overview of core topics in computer graphics, with lots of sample code and well documented equations. It's available online and as an app for iOS. The website includes very detailed programming projects. You might also want to look at the syllabus for Morgan McGuire's graphics course at Williams College, which covers lots of great topics and techniques related to procedural generation.
  • Peter Shirley has written some fun, short, tutorial-style e-books to help you build ray tracers. The approach they use doesn't map perfectly onto our Assignment 4, but might neverthess provide some useful ideas, and inspiration for the final project. Separately, he has made the tray tracing chapter from his main textbook available for free online. It provides lots of useful formulas.

If you are familiar with other resources or websites that would be of general use to students in this course, please send them to us and we might add them here.