CS481 Advanced Computer Graphics

3 + 0
  • None
Jonathan Metzgar
Duckering 543
Office Hours
By Appointment
Meeting Time
CHAP 104
Course Website
Required Texts
Ray Tracing in One Weekend by Peter Shirley

Course Description

Hardware, software and techniques used in computer graphics taken from topics such as volume rendering, particle systems, shading, image processing, computer aided design, video effects, animation and virtual environments.

Tentative Schedule

    • Alaska Civil Rights Day (no classes, most offices closed)
    • Last day for student- and faculty-initiated drops with refund (course does not appear on academic record)
    • Deadline for adding classes and late registration; 5 p.m. in person, midnight at UAOnline
    • Last day for tuition and fee payment; 5 p.m. in person, midnight at UAOnline
    • Deadline for UA Foundation and privately funded scholarship applications
    • Deadline to apply for spring 2018 graduation
    • Spring break (no classes)
    • University holiday (most offices closed for spring break)
    • Last day for student- and faculty-initiated withdrawals (W grade appears on academic transcript)
    • Last day of instruction
    • Final Examination: 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Grading Policies

Weight Description
20% Class Project
20% Midterm Examination
20% Final Examination
40% Homeworks

Grades will be assigned based on the following percentage intervals:

[90%, 100%)

[80%, 90%)
[70%, 80%)
[60%, 70%)

[50%, 60%)

Course Outcomes

Our focus this semester is real-time rendering and ray tracing. We will focus on learning “graphics from scratch” and try to understand computer graphics with a strong theoretical basis. The student will be ready to participate in advanced discussions about physically based rendering, path tracing, global illumination and more.

At the end of the course, each student will be able to show proficiency in the following areas:

  • Implement rendering algorithms using TypeScript and WebGL 1.0
  • Implement a real-time path tracer supporting parametric objects, triangular meshes, texture maps, and physically based BRDFs
  • Implement and understand physically based BRDFs
  • Implement common real-time rendering algorithms including bump mapping and shadow mapping
  • Apply scientific process and technical writing skills with a research paper
  • Apply software engineering skills to design a portfolio website to show individual homeworks and final project

Students are recommended to use Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Node.js (for typescript and lite-server), TypeScript, and WebGL.


Students are expected to be at every class meeting on time, and are responsible for all class content, whether present or not. If absence from class is necessary, in-class work (other than quizzes) and homework may be made up only if the instructor is notified as soon as possible; in particular, absences due to scheduled events must be arranged ahead of time. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with according to UAF procedures. Students in this class must pay the CS lab fee.

UAF academic policies http://www.uaf.edu/catalog/current/academics

CS Department policies http://www.cs.uaf.edu/departmental-policies/

Disabilities Services:

The UAF Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and ensures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. I will work with the UAF Office of Disability Services (208 WHITAKER BLDG, 474-5655) to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities.