Department of Computer Science
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Course Title: Computer Graphics
Course Number: CS-4731
Term B, 2006

Meeting Info: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri. 09:00-09:50am,
Fuller Labs (FL), Room 320

Instructor: Prof. Robert W. Lindeman
E-Mail: gogo at
Telephone: x6712

TAs: Amanda Jamin (ajamin at

Fan Wu (wuf at

Textbook: Hill, F.S., Computer Graphics Using Open GL Second Edition, 2001, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-02-354856-8

Read each chapter during the week it is assigned. The books discuss much more than I can cover in class, and I will cover things not in the books. You must come to class prepared!

Course Objectives:

This course is designed to give you an appreciation for the complexity involved in representing scenes (called modelling) and then drawing them using the computer (called rendering). The topics covered here have been the source of much excitement in the field of CS, in part due to the instantaneous feedback you get while creating programs that do these sorts of things, partly because of the trade-offs one must make in order to balance realism with modelling and rendering time, and partly because of the ability to "show off" what you have created to others.

There are several objectives for this course:


50% Assignments
25% Midterm Exam
25% Final Exam


Attendance is required. If you have an unavoidable need to be absent from the lecture, you do not need special permission, but you are responsible for the work covered even if you are not in class.


The assignments for this course consist of several programming problems. The programming assignments are designed to supplement the theoretical foundations established in the lecture with practical experience. The assignments for this course are very demanding, and will require a lot of time. On the flip side, most people enjoy the assignments in this course, so it should be okay.

Here is a link to instructions for downloading and installing MinGW, which is a good way to write portable code under Windows. If your code compiles and runs under Windows using MinGW, there is a good chance it will also do so on CCC.

Each assignment is to be done individually, though discussion about different approaches is encouraged (more about this below).

Late Policy:

Assignments are due at the specified date and time.
Late assignments will be penalized 10% for each 24-hour period after the due date/time. Whether an assignment is 3 hours or 20 hours late, it will be graded down by 10%. You will be given adequate time to complete each assignment, if you start when it is assigned. Assignments will be turned in electronically, and the date/time received will be used to determine any late penalty. PLEASE do not miss class in order to finish up an assignment.


All exams will be closed book and closed note. If you read the book, keep up with the assignments, ask questions in class, and study hard, you should have no problem with the exams. Participation in the exams is mandatory. See the instructor if you expect not to be available on the exam dates.

Office Hours:

You do not need an appointment to come to office hours; just show up and take your turn. Office hours (the lecturer's and the TAs') are an important way for you to get help or to discuss anything you have on your mind. We are there to help you; that is an important part of our jobs. Please make good use of these hours. You are cheating yourself if you do not. The table at the bottom shows the times of the office hours.

Discussion Boards:

There is a place on MyWPI for this course, and you are encouranged to post your questions there, and to look for answers there. We will be using this heavily during the course for clarifications, corrections, etc. Please take advantage of this as well.


Questions and discussion are highly encouraged throughout the lecture hours. The best way to reach the instructor is by using e-mail.

Class Conduct:

This course is intended for serious students. Participants will be expected to adhere to all rules of professional behavior. As such, students are expected to discuss their work with each other, but are also expected to do the work by themselves. Any breach of professional ethics as evidenced, for example, by copying exams or assignments, downloading code from the Internet, cooperating in more than discussions and study groups, misusing computer resources, or using outside help of any kind, will be considered adequate reason for an NR in the course. It is to be emphasized that knowledge of material and professional behavior are tied together; failure in one of them negates any excellence in the other. Students who stay in the course past the first three days agree to adhere to the strictest rules of professional behavior.

The official WPI statements on Academic Honesty can be accessed at Those who have any doubt about what that means, and fail to gain that understanding after a discussion with the instructor, are encouraged to drop this class. Remember this warning - any breach of ethics will give you an NR.

Course Schedule:

Week Dates Lecture Topic Book Chapters Projects
1 10/24-10/27 Intro. Get your feet wet in OpenGL. 2D systems, Window-to-viewport mapping Ch. 1-2, 3.1-3.3 Tue. 10/24: Project 5 ASSIGNED
Fri. 10/27: Project 1 ASSIGNED
2 10/30-11/03 Points, Scalars, Vectors, 3D modeling, Fractals Ch. 4.2-4.4, App. 2, Ch. 9 Mon. 10/30: Project 1 Prep Work DUE
Fri. 11/03: Project 1 New Stuff DUE
Fri. 11/03: Project 2 ASSIGNED
3 11/06-11/10 Meshes, 3D Transformations and coordinate systems Ch. 6.1-6.2, Ch. 5.2-5.5 Mon. 11/06: Project 5, part 1 DUE
Thu. 11/09: Project 2 Prep Work DUE
Sat. 11/11: Project 5, part 2 DUE
4 11/13-11/17 The synthetic camera, View volume and projection, Illumination, Shading
MIDTERM EXAM: Fri. 11/17
Ch.7.1-7.4, 8.1-8.3 Tue. 11/14: Project 2 New Stuff DUE
Tue. 11/14: Project 3 ASSIGNED
5 11/20-11/21 Texturing
Ch.8.4-8.6 Mon. 11/20: Project 5, part 3 DUE
6 11/27-12/01 Hidden-surface removal, Shadows, Curves Ch. 13, 10 Tue. 11/28: Project 3 DUE
Tue. 11/28: Project 4 ASSIGNED
7 12/04-12/08 Raster graphics, Color spaces Ch. 11, 12 Mon. 12/04: Project 5, part 4 DUE
8 12/11-12/14 Ray tracing
FINAL EXAM: Thu. 12/14
Ch. 14.1-14.7 Mon. 12/11: Project 4 DUE

Schedule for office hours

Note: All TA office hours will be held in "The ADP Lab" (FL-B16). Prof. Lindeman's office hours will be in his office in FL-144.

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 CS 4731
CS 4731

CS 4731
CS 4731

11:00 Lindeman



ADP Lab (FL-B16)

3:00 Amanda
ADP Lab (FL-B16)
ADP Lab (FL-B16)
ADP Lab (FL-B16)




ADP Lab (FL-B16)




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