COMPGV10 - Computer Graphics

This database contains 2017-18 versions of the syllabuses. For current versions please see here.

Code COMPGV10 (Also taught as: COMP3080 Computer Graphics)
Year MSc
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

  • Polyhedra.
  • 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.
  • Clipping.

Polygon rasterization/Visible surface determination

  • Scan conversion.
  • Z-buffer.
  • Interpolated shading.
  • Texture mapping.
  • OpenGL.
  • Back face culling.
  • 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
  • Substructuring.
  • 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%) comprising
    • Seminar (10%)
    • Individual Essay (30%)
    • Group Project (60%)

To pass this module, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all components combined.

The examination rubric is:
Answer THREE questions out of FIVE. All questions carry equal marks.


Reading list available via the UCL Library catalogue.