CS497: Real Time Computer Graphics

Fall 2001
2:00-3:15 Tue/Thu in 106B3 Engineering Hall

Prof. Michael Garland (Instructor)
3215 DCL
Office Hours: Thursday 3:30–4:30
Andrea Whitesell (Secretary)
3120 DCL

Class Web site: http://graphics.cs.uiuc.edu/~garland/class/realtime/


Many of the most common computer graphics applications — games, visual simulation, virtual environments, design visualization, etc. — rely on advanced algorithms to achieve the real time, interactive display of visually complex environments. In this course, we will explore some of these advanced techniques in geometric modeling, rendering, and simulation. The course will concentrate on current and recent research. Special emphasis will be placed on hierarchical geometric representations of surfaces that enable efficient processing of large datasets. Students should have taken the prerequisite course (CS 318) or have an equivalent background. An existing knowledge of OpenGL is assumed.


Papers    This course is a research seminar; it is focused on reading and understanding papers drawn from the research literature. We will generally cover 1-2 papers per class. These papers will be handed out in advance, and you will be expected to have read them before coming to class. For each paper, you will be expected to send me a brief summary prior to class. First, you should describe the key points of the paper in 2-3 sentences. Then, you should write down the biggest question you have about the paper; this may be something you didn't understand or that you feel the authors didn't adequately address. E-mail this little write-up to me at garland+summary@cs.uiuc.edu and put the corresponding class date in the subject line. Your summary is due by 12:00 p.m. of the day on which that paper is being discussed.

Presentations    Each of you will be expected to give 1 or more in-class presentations on the papers we will be reading during the course — the exact number will depend on enrollment. Presentations should be about 30 minutes long and should cover the most important material described in the paper. These presentations account for a significant part of your final grade. I expect more than just an outline of the paper. For instance, you should take the time to read any important related papers so that you can explain how this method fits into the overall scheme of things. Failure to do this will result in a grade with which you are not satisfied.

Projects    There will be 3 programming project assignments over the course of the semester. The first 2 will be individual projects where the implementation goals are specified by me. The final project will be a group term project. You will work in groups of 2-3 on a project of your choosing. I will provide some suggestions for possible projects, but you will be free to come up with your own as well. In either case, I must approve the details of the project you intend to pursue.


Final grades in this course will be based on in-class participation and performance on the course projects. There will be no exams. Grades in the individual areas will be weighted as follows:

Class Participation10%
Paper Presentation(s)20%
Individual Project #115%
Individual Project #220%
Group Term Project35%

I will total grades as indicated by the weighting scheme above. Each student will have earned some percentage of the total possible points. This percentage will determine a minimum guaranteed grade, as indicated in the following table:

% Total      Minimum Grade
90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
58-69 D
This table indicates minimum guaranteed grades. I may select more generous ranges if appropriate (e.g., by lowering all cut-offs by 2 points).

Please remember that students are bound by the University honor code on academic integrity in regard to all work related to this course. Any student found to be violating this code will be subject to disciplinary action.

Computer Facilities

This course will be using the Windows NT workstations located in the CSIL labs in rooms 1265 DCL and L416 DCL. All the machines in 1265 and those machines in L416 labeled as graphics machines have 3-D graphics accelerators. Other CSIL machines do not have 3-D graphics hardware and will probably be too slow to comfortably run your projects. I recommend using the machines in 1265 as they have superior graphics cards to those in L416. If you registered for this course, an account should have been created for you on these machines.

Last modified: Thu Aug 23 09:35:29 CDT 2001