University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Computer Graphics Applications

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Computer Information Systems

DESCRIPTION This study-unit starts off by giving a brief history of computer graphics. It introduces the concepts of computer graphics with a practical orientation, towards 3D figure customization, posing, ray-tracing and animation applications.

3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any three-dimensional surface of an object (either inanimate or living) via specialized software. This product is called a 3D model. It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physical phenomena. Software exists to allow the manipulation of 3d figure models and pose and customise them as required. Body shapes can be modified, skin textures can be used and clothing can be fitted. These tools allow the design and creation of unique digital art and animations using virtual people, animals, props, environments and scenery.

Other topics will include object representations, 3D viewing, lighting models (such models define how light interacts with the virtual scene) and shading (texturing etc), 3D figure and scene modelling, raytracing primitives (as used when creating scenes using raytracing) and object transformations(which include translation, rotation and scaling).

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of the study-unit are:
- To provide students with essential knowledge for the utilisation of computer graphics applications;
- To give a practical approach to this area of study;
- To create animations using different video formats and containers.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify and analyse the important features of graphics applications and tools;
- Explain and use lighting models and shading;
- Compose scenes made up of different elements and render them both as static images and animations;
- List, explain and compare Graphic File Formats;
- Explain depth files and particle systems.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Use 3D figure customisation posing and modelling software;
- Create Vertex Based and Edge Based Boundary Models;
- Use Raytracing software;
- Embed Flash Video Animations using standards;
- Generate content using L-Grammars;
- Represent Graphical Objects, Geometric Transformations and 3D viewing (SS);
- Optimise Graphics for the Web;
- Build a storyboard and perform linear interpolation (lerping) for animations.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- John F. Hughes et al, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice: Principles and Practices, Addison Wesley; 3 edition. ISBN-10: 0321399528, ISBN-13: 978-0321399526.
- Les Pardew, Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art, Delmar Cengage Learning; 2nd Revised edition. ISBN-10: 1435461207, ISBN-13: 978-1435461208.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Practicum

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Artefact Yes 15%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 85%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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