CSC3201 : Graphics

  • Module Leader(s): Dr John Shearer
  • Owning School:
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce students to the main principles and algorithms underlying the implementation of computer graphics software.
To illustrate the application of such techniques.
To provide students with a basis for understanding the current computer graphics research literature.

Outline Of Syllabus

Overview of hierarchically structured graphics systems: the modelling/viewing pipeline, application program interface, device interface, the role of graphics applications packages (OpenGL) (1 week).
Defining the world: co-ordinate geometry in 2- and 3-D, homogeneous co-ordinates, geometric transformations. Object representations, modelling. (2 weeks).
Understanding and managing variable render durations, and its importance for animation and simulation (1 week).
Implementing graphics display software: primitives and attributes, windows and viewports, clipping, the viewing transformation, and transformations. (2 weeks).
Physical display device characteristics: vector vs. raster, refresh vs. storage, colour vs. monochrome, dumb vs. smart; specification of an abstract device. (1 week).
Displaying the image: scan conversion algorithms for lines, polygons, areas. (2 weeks).
Interaction: logical types, physical device characteristics, device simulation; interactive techniques, user interfaces. (2 weeks).
Realism: visible surface determination, illumination and shading, texture. (2 weeks).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:3011:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion181:0018:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical181:0018:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work181:0018:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study171:0017:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M20implementing a simple interactive graphics scenario (15 hours)
Practical/lab report1M30implementing a complex interactive graphics scenario (20 hours)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination demonstrates that students understand the underlying theory and standard methods, can apply them and can show how they might be extended or applied in slightly novel situations.
The coursework ensures that students understand and can implement (parts of) the standard graphics pipleine, as well as providing familiarity with one of the standard graphics applications libraries.

N.B. This module has both an “Exam Assessment” and an “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If either Assessment has a failing mark below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.