CS 5610/6610 - Spring 2018
Interactive Computer Graphics

Instructor:Cem Yuksel (Office hours: by appointment, MEB 3116)
Time:Tuesday & Thursday @ 2:00pm - 3:20pm
Location:WEB L110
Contact:cs6610@googlegroups.com (includes instructor & TAs)
TA: Daqi Lin
Office Hours: Mondays 1pm to 5pm (MEB 3423)
Fridays 1pm to 5pm (MEB 3419)


This course covers the fundamental concepts of interactive (and real-time) rendering. The topics covered in this course are directly related to any application domain that displays 3D information, ranging from video games to interactive visualization. This is a project-heavy course with multiple programming assignments.

Interactive rendering often relies on the GPU hardware to perform most of the rendering-related tasks. Therefore, this course will cover topics related to GPU programming for interactive rendering. The examples that will be covered in this course will use the OpenGL API and the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL), but students are permitted to use other fundamental graphics API like Direct3D or Vulkan for their projects.

The Canvas page for the course will be primarily used for project submissions, announcements, and discussion board.

Course Objectives

The main objective of this course is to introduce students the fundamental concepts of interactive rendering in computer graphics. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:
  • Understand the stages of the interactive graphics rendering pipeline,
  • Effectively use OpenGL and GLSL,
  • Write complex GPU shaders, and
  • Implement modern interactive rendering methods.

Schedule (subject to change)

WeekDateTopicProject Deadlines
1Jan 9— No Class —
Jan 11Rendering Algorithms
2Jan 16The Graphics Pipeline
Jan 18Introduction to GLUT
3Jan 23Introduction to Modern OpenGLProject 1 deadline - Hello World
Jan 25Introduction to GLSL
4Jan 30Lights and ShadingProject 2 deadline - Transformations
Feb 1The Rendering Equation
5Feb 6TexturesProject 3 deadline - Shading
Feb 8Textures (cont.)
6Feb 13Render to TextureProject 4 deadline - Textures
Feb 15Selection
7Feb 20Environment MappingProject 5 deadline - Render Buffers
Feb 22Reflections
8Feb 27ShadowsProject 6 deadline - Environment Mapping
Mar 1Shadow Mapping
9Mar 6Geometry ShadersProject 7 deadline - Shadow Mapping
Mar 8Q&A Session
10Mar 13Tessellation Shaders [1]Final Project Proposal deadline
Mar 15Bump, Normal, Displacement, and Parallax Mapping
11Mar 20— Spring Break —
Mar 22— Spring Break —
12Mar 27Global Illumination and Ambient Occlusion
Mar 29Light Mapping and Soft Shadows
13Apr 3Transparency and Alpha BlendingFinal Project Progress Report deadline
Apr 5Volume Rendering
14Apr 10Deferred Shading
Apr 12— No Class —
15Apr 17Compute Shaders
Apr 19— No Class —
16Apr 24Final Project PresentationsFinal Project deadline - Final Project
Apr 26


Students must submit their source codes for each project through Canvas. Students are highly encouraged to use C++ for their projects.

Deadlines and Late Submissions: The deadline for each project is at noon (12:01pm) on the date indicated on the schedule (see above). Late submissions suffer a 20% penalty and an additional 20% penalty is applied at each following class start time. Therefore, a project that is submitted two weeks after its deadline can only receive up to 20% of its total points. If a project is submitted more than two weeks later than its deadline, it will receive no points. To accommodate special circumstances, first three late penalties (i.e. up to 60% late penalty) of each student will be omitted. No late submission is accepted for the final project without prior permission from the instructor.

Project submissions are handled through canvas.

All projects are individual projects. Group projects are not permitted. Therefore, each student must write his/her own code. Collaboration between students is encouraged, but code sharing is not permitted. External libraries and source code can be used only for additional functionalities that are not core parts of the projects, and they should be clearly indicated in comments within the source code and in the project report.

Failure to follow these rules may lead to a failing grade. Academic misconduct will not be tollerated. See the Academic Misconduct Policy of the School of Computing for details.


Project 15 points
Projects 2-710 points
Final Project Abstract5 points
Final Project Progress Report10 points
Final Project20 points
TOTAL100 points

University of Utah Disability Accommodation Policy

The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice should be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 801-581-5020 (V/TDD), http://disability.utah.edu/. CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.


  1. Nießner, M., Keinert, B., Fisher, M., Stamminger, M., Loop, C. and Schäfer, H. 2016. Real-Time Rendering Techniques with Hardware Tessellation. In Computer Graphics Forum, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 113-137.