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Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Computer Graphics

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


DEPARTMENT Computer Science

DESCRIPTION The central processing unit (CPU) has traditionally been considered as the main component on which computation is carried out in a system. However, recent advances in graphics processing units (GPU), which has shifted from a fixed function rendering pipeline to a fully programmable rendering pipeline have tremendously increased the potential of the GPU. This unit revolves around the programming of GPUs in order to efficiently synthesise images in real-time. This unit provides a foundational understanding of key topics in computer graphics which will eventually lead to further study at masters level in the area.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are to provide students with a good understanding of the subject of computer graphics and equip them with the skills required when building visualisation components. In order to be in a position to design and develop such interactive systems students are presented with basic raster graphics algorithms, geometric transformations, viewing in 3D, object representation and hierarchies, visible surface determination, illumination and shading, advanced modelling techniques and graphics hardware.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- explain the mathematics behind geometrical transformations and planar geometric projections;
- describe geometric modelling, hierarchical structure networks, optimising display of hierarchical models and retained-mode graphics packages;
- apply the concepts of visible surface determination, including algorithms such as the z-Buffer;
- describe illumination and shading models for polygons, shadows, transparency and the rendering pipeline.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- write programs that efficiently visualise data in two and three dimensional views, implement object hierarchies for scene organisation and visible-surface determination, and implement illumination and shading models for realistic environment rendering;
- use established 3D engines and immediate mode APIs.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics - Eric Lengyel
- Real-time Rendering - Thomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines
- Computer Graphics - Foley, van Dam, Feiner, Hughes

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students taking this study-unit are assumed to have knowledge of the material covered in the following study-units:
- CPS1000 or CPS1011;
- CPS2004.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Project and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 40%
Examination (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Keith Bugeja
Sandro Spina

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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