Course News

Welcome to the web page for CS371, the undergraduate computer graphics course in the Williams College Computer Science department, taught by Prof. Morgan McGuire.

This page records course announcements and interesting web pages related to computer graphics. You may also be interested in following my Twitter blog about graphics and games.

12/20 - Course Completed!

See the Gallery pages on the Projects page for images of all the great work done by students in Fall 2010. The course will next be offered in Fall 2012.

11/4 - Project 8: Final Project Details Available Online

The Project 8: Final Project meta-specification describes deadlines and holidays relevant to your final project. Look at the 2008 and 2007 final project galleries for inspiration.

11/4 - Project 7: Interaction Specification Prototype Available Online

In Project 7: Interaction you'll build a subset of the simulation engine for a game. A major goal of this project is to practice scoping project work. Don't implement the specification as written--it is about three times as much work as you could realistically acommplish in a week. Instead, complete the first part of this project, which is selecting which parts you actually want to implement.

11/2 - Project 6: Real-Time Mapping Available Online

It's time to take that massive GPU processor out for a spin. In Project 6: Real-Time you'll implement a real-time rendering engine complete with dynamic lighting and shadows for video game levels...which will set you up nicely to make an actual game!

10/30 - Depth of Field Tricks

Fake model photography

10/14 - Negative Index of Refraction

A NewScientist article about "metamaterials" that can have a negative index of refraction.

10/6 - Server IP Address Changing

This server may be unavailable for a short time in the morning as we move it to a faster internet connection.

10/6 - Project 4: Photon Mapping Available Online

This is the big one. We enter the crux of the course this week by implementing Henrik Wann Jensen's 1996 algorithm in Project 4: Photon Mapping. You'll work in pairs and use the original scientific publications to guide your implementation. When done, you'll have created a photorealistic renderer than approximates the rendering equation for arbitrary scenes.

9/28 - Project 3: Recursive Rays Available Online

Turner Whitted's 1980 paper introduced recursive ray tracing as an elegant method for simulating light transport backwards from the eye. In Project 3: Recursive Rays, you'll implement his method for shadows and mirror reflections.

9/27 - Great Papers

I selected some historically significant papers for computer graphics, 1671-1996. Browse a few during the semester.

9/23/10 - Science Art

Scientific visualization is a subfield of computer graphics. Check out some great visualizations of complex data.

9/21/10 - Project 2: Eye Rays Available Online

You know how to model scenes, now take over the renderer itself in Project 2: Eye Rays.

9/14/10 - Project 1: Meshes Available Online

We need more than cubes! Create your own indexed triangle meshes in Project 1: Meshes. Pair programming assignments and group names were sent by e-mail last night.

9/08/10 - Project 0: Cubes Available Online

Write your first computer graphics program and learn to position models in 3D space in Project 0: Cubes.

8/15/10 - Some Great 3D Renderings

Here are some great 3D rendered images to inspire you while we wait for the semester to begin. By the end of the class you'll be able to write a renderer that can produce images like this--given the right input data. Part of why these images are so compelling is that they were rendered from models created by very talented artists.