COMP0027 Computer Graphics

This database contains the 2018-19 versions of syllabuses.

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

Academic session



Computer Graphics



Module delivery

1819/A6U/T1/COMP0027 Undergraduate

Related deliveries

1819/A7P/T1/COMP0027 Postgraduate

Prior deliveries




FHEQ Level


FHEQ credits



Term 1

Module leader

Ritschel, Tobias


Steed, Anthony

Ritschel, Tobias

Swapp, David

Module administrator

Ball, Louisa


To introduce the fundamental concepts of 3D computer graphics and give the students all the knowledge needed for creating an image of a virtual world from first principles.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  1. define a virtual world and create images of it;
  2. write a basic ray tracer, and use a graphics library such as OpenGl (or equivalent).

Availability and prerequisites

This module delivery is available for selection on the below-listed programmes. The relevant programme structure will specify whether the module is core, optional, or elective.

In order to be eligible to select this module as optional or elective, where available, students must meet all prerequisite conditions to the satisfaction of the module leader. Places for students taking the module as optional or elective are limited and will be allocated according to the department’s module selection policy.

Programmes on which available:

  • BSc Computer Science (Year 3)
  • MEng Computer Science (Year 3)
  • MEng Mathematical Computation (Year 3)


In order to be eligible to select this module, students must have:

  • passed BSc/ MEng Computer Science (Years 1 and 2) at UCL; or
  • passed MEng Mathematical Computation (Years 1 and 2) at UCL.



  • The painter's method.

Creating an image using ray tracing

  • Ray casting using a simple camera.
  • Local illumination.
  • Global illumination with recursive ray tracing.

Specifying a general camera

  • World / image coordinates.
  • Creation of an arbitrary camera.
  • Ray tracing with an arbitrary camera.

Constructing a scene

  • Scene hierarchy.
  • Transformations of objects / rays.
  • Other modelling techniques.

Acceleration Techniques

  • Bounding volumes.
  • Space subdivision.

From ray tracing to projecting polygons

  • Graphics pipeline.
  • Transforming the polygons to image space.
  • Sutherland Hodgman clipping.
  • Weiler Atherton clipping.

Polygon rasterization/Visible surface determination

  • Scan conversion.
  • Z-buffer.
  • Interpolated shading.
  • Texture mapping.
  • Back face culling.


  • Shadow volumes.
  • Shadow buffer.
  • Shadow mapping.
  • Soft shadows.

The nature of light

  • Transport theory, Radiance, luminance, radiosity.
  • The radiance equation.
  • Photon mapping.
  • Monte Carlo integration.

Radiosity method

  • Classical radiosity

Parametric surfaces

  • Bezier Curves.
  • B-Splines Curves.

An indicative reading list is available via


The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, written and programming exercises, and project work.


This module delivery is assessed as below:



Weight (%)



Written examination (2hrs 30mins)







In order to pass this Module Delivery, students must:

  • achieve an overall weighted Module mark of at least 40.00%;

AND, when taken as part of BSc Computer Science; MEng Computer Science, and MEng Mathematical Computation:

  • achieve a mark of at least 30.00% in any Components of assessment weighed ≥ 30% of the module.

Where a Component comprises multiple Assessment Tasks, the minimum mark applies to the overall component.