Advanced Computer Graphics

Module aims

In this module you will have the opportunity to:

  • Be introduced to modern techniques in realistic computer graphics and image synthesis
  • Find out about image-based techniques for photorealism, recent developments in global illumination, and techniques for material appearance capture and rendering
  • Be briefly introduced to up-to-date machine learning approaches for realistic computer graphics   

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • use advanced methods to compute high dynamic range (HDR) images
  • model complex environmental illumination to determine direct illumination on a surface
  • compute surface reflectance with various parametric BRDF models
  • compute synthetic images using a Monte Carlo path tracer
  • critically evaluate approaches for appearance acquisition with respect to quality and practicality

Module syllabus

  • High dynamic range imaging and image based lighting/ relighting
  • Basics of radiometry and surface reflectance
  • Monte Carlo sampling and rendering with direct and global illumination
  • Scattering: in participating media, subsurface scattering in skin, and in hair fibers
  • Measurement of surface reflectance
  • Machine learning approaches for realistic rendering

Teaching methods

The module is motivated by modern developments in photorealistic computer graphics, particularly image based techniques for achieving photorealism, and aims to introduce the fundamental concepts and techniques employed in modern image synthesis combining computation with optics and digital photography. In addition to material prepared by the instructor, you will also be expected to read selected research papers for each major topic. The objective is to prepare you to pursue research into realistic computer graphics, as well as apply and develop modern rendering solutions to industry problems in visual effects and games.

Classroom sessions will include traditional lectures and some supervised problem solving, which are designed to reinforce understanding. These problems are not assessed, although specimen solutions will be provided. Past exam paper questions will also be included in the problem sets in order to help prepare you for the final exam. Additionally, the two courseworks will also be extensively discussed in class both to initially explain what is expected to be implemented, and afterwards to explain any common mistakes in understanding or implementation.

The Piazza Q&A web service will be used as an open online discussion forum for the module.

Assessments

There will be two coursework exercises designed to reinforce the material covered in lectures and give you hands-on experience on topics such as HDR, image based lighting, Monte Carlo sampling, and rendering. You can either work on your own or as a pair (with individual responsibilty for subproblems). These courseworks together count for 30% of the marks for the module. There will be a final written exam, which will test both theoretical and practical aspects of the subject. This exam counts for the remaining 70% of the marks.

There will be detailed feedback on the coursework exercises which will include written feedback on your submissions and class-wide feedback explaining common pitfalls and suggestions for improvement.

Reading list

Module leaders

Dr Abhijeet Ghosh