COMP3080 - Computer Graphics

This database contains the 2017-18 versions of syllabuses. Syllabuses from the 2016-17 session are available here.

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

Code COMP3080 (Also taught as: COMPGV10)
Year 3
Prerequisites Successful completion of year 1 and 2 of the Computer Science programme
Term 1
Taught By Tobias Ritschel (66%) and Anthony Steed (33%)
Aims 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 The students will be able to define a virtual world and create images of it. They will know how to write a basic ray tracer, and use a graphics library such as OpenGl (or equivalent).


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.
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.

Radiosity method
Classical radiosity
Progressive refinement.

Parametric surfaces
Bezier Curves.
B-Splines Curves.

Method of Instruction

Lecture presentations and lab classes.


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Written Examination (2.5 hours, 75%);
  • Coursework Section (25%).

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 40% for all components combined;
  • Obtain a minimum mark of 30% in each component worth ≥ 30% of the module as a whole.




Reading list available via the UCL Library catalogue.