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CS324 Computer Graphics

CS324 15 CATS (7.5 ECTS) Term 1


Option - All science third year students


CS131 Mathematics for Computer Scientists II or similar module

Academic Aims

Graphical presentation of models of the physical world is an important aspect of current and future applications of computers. Students are introduced to the basic concepts of manipulating and modelling objects in 2D, 3D and 4D. Techniques are introduced for realistically visualising models of objects in ways that exploit our visual senses.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, a successful student will:

  • understand the mathematics behind geometric transformations and techniques for modelling objects;
  • understand the techniques used to approximate the physical process of image generation; and
  • have an understanding of how these techniques are made available through graphical programming standards.


The module is intended not only to demonstrate the wonder of modern computer graphics but also shows how the graphics process works. Starting with an examination of the mechanisms by which we can get a single coloured spot of light on the screen the module pursues the development of graphics techniques and their associated interactive tools right up to the current state of the art. For the computer scientist and computer systems engineer unusual areas of software and hardware structure are revealed. For the potential user of graphics an insight is given into how the tools of graphic usage are created and thus how they may be exploited to advantage.

Topics covered include:

  • Graphics hardware
  • Rendering processes
  • Computational geometry of 2 and 3 dimensions
  • Modelling and projection of 3 dimensional structures
  • Spatial data structures
  • Colour and texture
  • Ray tracing
  • 'Fractal' processes in graphics
  • Demonstrations of graphics features will be given during the module.


  • Hearn and Baker, Computer Graphics with Open GL, Prentice-Hall.
  • Foley, Van Dam, Introduction to Computer Graphics, Addison-Wesley.
  • A wide selection of books is available.
  • A substantial set of slides and illustrations will be provided.


Two-hour examination (80%), coursework (20%)


30 one-hour lectures plus 8 one hour labs (2014/15)