CSE 457 Introduction to Computer Graphics
Autumn Quarter 2001



Time: MWF at 2:30pm-3:20pm

Place: EE1 045

Instructor: Zoran Popovic (zoran@cs)


Ian Li (ianli@cs)
Dutch Meyer (dmeyer@cs)
Luke Meyers (luke@cs)
Chris Twigg (Head TA) (cdtwigg@cs)


  • Data structures (CSE 326)
  • A good working knowledge of C and C++ programming
  • Linear algebra
  • Some mathematical sophistication
  • (No prior knowledge of graphics is assumed.)

Required text

  • CSE 457 Course Reader, available for about $36 at the Suzallo Library copy center.

Supplemental texts

  • Foley, van Dam, Feiner, Hughes. Computer Graphics Principles and Practice, Second Edition in C. Addison Wesley, 1996.
  • Alan Watt, 3D Computer Graphics, Third Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2000.
  • Woo, Neider, Davis, and Schreiner. OpenGL Programming Guide, Third Edition. Addison-Wesley, 1999.
  • Andrew S. Glassner. An Introduction to Ray Tracing. Academic Press, 1989.
  • Edward Angel, Interactive Computer Graphics: A top-down approach with OpenGL, Second Edition. Addison Wesley, 2000.

Copies of the supplemental texts are in the graphics instructional lab.  Please, please do not remove these books from the lab under any circumstances.


The breakdown is subject to change as a whole and adjustments on a per-student basis in exceptional cases. This is the general breakdown we'll be using:

Projects: 60%
Homeworks: 17%
Class activity: 3%
Final Exam: 20%

Projects will be done in teams of two with room for extra credit as described in the next section.

Homeworks are to be completed individually.  Though you may discuss the problems with others, your answers must be your own.

There is no midterm.  The final is closed book.


CSE 457 is taught using the graphics instructional lab consisting of roughly 15 Windows 2000 workstations. The lab is located in Sieg 228.

There will be four projects. You'll work or in teams of two for the projects.  You are encouraged to change partners for each project -- each time you work with someone you have not worked with before in the class, you will receive a bell's worth of extra credit. Each project will require you to extend some skeleton project with new features to create a working graphics application.

Project #1: Impressionist:
An interactive impressionistic paint system, similar in spirit to Paul Haeberli's The Impressionist.
Project #2: Modeler:
A viewer in which to construct a hierarchical articulated model using OpenGL.
Project #3: Trace:
A program to create photorealistic raytraced images, complete with computation of shadows, reflections, and transparent effects.
Project #4: Animator:
An extension of project #2 which includes animation curves on geometry. Create a 3D animation of your articulated model!
You will have approximately two weeks for each project.

Projects will be graded during in-person sessions with one of the TAs on the day that the project is due. During the grading session, a TA will run the project to make sure that it conforms to the guidelines. The TA will then quiz individual members of the team to determine how well they understand the structure of the code, the design trade-offs, and the implemented algorithms. One grade will be assigned for all members of the team for the project's implementation. Separate grades will be recorded for each team member's "knowledge of the project."  Beyond the required extensions to the base project, you are strongly encouraged to attempt bells and whistles, which translate into (a bounded number of) extra credit points.  Click here for more information on project grading.

In addition, for each project both team members will be required to create an artifact, a final polished example (e.g., an image or model) demonstrating your application, hopefully of some artistic merit. Extra credit will be given for the nicest artifacts, as determined by class vote.

Project and Homework Turn-in & Late Policy:

Assignments are due at the beginning of lecture on the due date. Late assignments are marked down at a rate of 33% per day (not per lecture), meaning that if you fail to turn in an assignment on time it is worth 66% for the first 24 hours after the deadline, 33% for the next 24 hours, and it is worth nothing after that. In addition, no extra credit for bells and whistles will be awarded for any late assignment.

Exceptions will be given only in extreme circumstances and only in advance.

design and maintenance by Ian Li CSE 457 Introduction to Computer Graphics
Autumn Quarter 2001
  Last modified: Wednesday, 03-Oct-2001 10:48:49 PDT