Stanford CS248A, Winter 2024
Computer Graphics:
Rendering, Geometry, and Image Manipulation

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to computer graphics, focusing on fundamental concepts and techniques, as well as their cross-cutting relationship to multiple problem domains in interactive graphics (such as rendering, geometry, image processing). Topics include: 2D and 3D drawing, sampling, interpolation, rasterization, image compositing, the GPU graphics pipeline (and parallel rendering), geometric transformations, curves and surfaces, geometric data structures, subdivision, meshing, spatial hierarchies, image processing, and image compression.

Basic Info
Time: Tues/Thurs 1:30-2:50pm
Location: NVIDIA Auditorium
Instructor: Kayvon Fatahalian
See the course info page for more info on policies and logistics.
Winter 2024 Schedule
Jan 09
A look at the breadth of graphics applications, simple drawing of lines and points
Jan 11
Drawing a triangle via point sampling, point-in-triangle testing, aliasing, Fourier interpretation of aliasing, anti-aliasing
Jan 16
Definition of linear transforms, basic geometric transforms, homogeneous coordinates, transform hierarchies, perspective projection
Jan 18
Texture coordinate space, bilinear/trilinear interpolation, how aliasing arises during texture sampling, pre-filtering as an anti-aliasing technique
Jan 23
Z-buffer algorithm, image compositing, end-to-end 3D graphics pipeline as implemented by modern GPUs
Jan 25
Properties of surfaces (manifold, normal, curvature), implicit vs. explicit representations, basic representations such as triangle meshes, bezier curves and patches
Jan 30
Half-edge mesh structures, mesh operations such as tessellation and simplification
Feb 01
Closest point, ray-triangle intersection, ray-mesh intersection, the relationship between rasterization and ray tracing
Feb 06
Acceleration structures such as bounding volume hierarchies, K-D trees, uniform grids
Feb 08
Definition of radiometric quantities, the light field, BRDFs, light transport via reflection, integrating energy reflecting from surfaces
Feb 13
More on reflection models (specular reflection, transmittance), numerical estimation of illumination, Monte Carlo integration
Feb 15
Estimating direct lighting due to various types of light sources and BRDFs
Feb 20
Brute force path tracing, Russian roulette, challenges of variance
Feb 22
Modern Real-Time Rendering Techniques
Shadow mapping, reflections, ambient occlusion, precomputed lighting, deferred shading, real-time raytracing trends and innovations
Feb 27
Volume Rendering and Gaussian Splatting (and Applications to Learning and Capture)
Scene representations (sparse volumes, gaussian splats) for volumetric rendering, applications to NeRFs and modern scene capture
Feb 29
Theory of Color
How the eye works, representing color, brightness, and chromaticity
Mar 05
Image Compression
non-linear encodings, chroma subsampling, JPG image compression
Mar 07
Rendering for Virtual and Augmented Reality
VR Headset hardware, how head-mounted displays cause challenges for renderers, resolution and latency requirements, judder, foveated rendering
Mar 12
GPU Hardware and Parallel Rasterization
Design of modern GPUs, how rendering is parallelized onto GPUs
Mar 14
Course Summary + Current Graphics Research
Course wrap up, discussion of ongoing graphics research at Stanford
Programming Assignments
Jan 26 Assignment 1: Write Your own SVG Renderer
Feb 9 Assignment 2: MeshEdit: A Mini 3D Triangle Mesh Editor
Feb 27 Assignment 3: Path Tracer
Mar 19 Self-selected Final Project
Practice Exercises
Jan 23 Practice Exercise 1
Jan 30 Practice Exercise 2
Feb 6 Practice Exercise 3
Feb 13 Practice Exercise 4
Feb 20 Practice Exercise 5