CS 450 / 550 -- Introduction to Computer Graphics

Fall Quarter 2017


Lectures Projects Handouts Grades VHR Piazza

This page was last updated: October 17, 2017


What We Will Be Doing This Quarter

This course is designed to introduce you to the field of computer graphics in general. You will study 3D graphics basics, and will write programs using the industry-standard API called OpenGL.

The goals of this course are to leave you "career-ready" (i.e., both work-ready and research-ready) for graphics programming. This class will also set you up for taking our other computer graphics classes.

CS 450/550 topics include:

Graphics Thinking Comes First

The goal of this class, at least the first part of it, is to develop your "graphics thinking", that is, how to go from an idea in your head to actually getting the pixels of your idea on the screen. To get you to that state the quickest, we will start by using a part of OpenGL that has been deprecated, but is easier to learn and understand. (In OpenGL, "deprecated" doesn't mean "gone away", it means "not recommended for efficiency reasons".) Later on, you will learn the recommended (i.e., efficient) ways of using OpenGL.


CS 261 -- Data Structures

Learning Objectives

On completion of the course, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Explain the different coordinate systems used in computer graphics
  2. Describe the names and functions of the elements of the graphics pipeline, as well as the input and output of each stage
  3. Create a dynamic 3D scene using OpenGL
  4. Dynamically alter the viewing of a 3D scene
  5. Explain the elements of a computer graphics framebuffer
  6. Use OpenGL functions to create and apply single and compound transformations
  7. Use OpenGL to perform light-source shading
  8. Use OpenGL to perform texture mapping
  9. Explain the ways Vertex Buffer Objects can improve your display performance
  10. Create and use an OpenGL vertex and fragment shader
  11. Use the GLM computer graphics math library to create and apply transformations

In addition, those taking this course as CS 550 will also have demonstrated the ability to:

12. Read a computer-graphics-related research paper and write a 5-page analysis paper of it.

(I will make some papers available for you, or you can propose your own. It has to be a real research paper, though, not a blog post or just a web site. And, I need to pre-approve it.)

Here are Some Background Resources for You

Over the last couple of months, various faculty have been putting together mini-tutorials on topics that we (apparently) expect you to magically know, without us ever actually showing you. Here they are. We hope they help.


The class is being taught by Professor Mike Bailey.

Office: Kelley 2117 (2nd floor, south side)
E-mail: mjb@cs.oregonstate.edu
Phone: 541-737-2542

Office Hours:

Mondays 2:00 - 4:00 Kelley 2117
Tuesdays 2:00 - 4:00 Kelley 2114 (except for 10/17, when it will be 2117)
Fridays 2:00 - 4:00 Kelley 2117
    or, anytime my office door is open
    or, by appointment -- send email


The TAs for the course are Ali Alsalehy, Arash Shahbaz Badr, and Nirvik Das. We are fortunate to have gotten them -- all three have excellent computer graphics experience.


Ali's Office Hours:
Mondays 8:00 - 10:00 CGEL
Tuesdays 9:00 - 12:00 CGEL
Tuesdays 12:00 - 2:00 Kelley Atrium
Wednesdays 8:00 - 10:00 CGEL
Wednesdays 12:00 - 1:00 CGEL
Thursdays 12:00 - 4:00 CGEL


Arash's Office Hours:
Wednesdays 2:00 - 5:00 CGEL
Fridays 10:00 - 1:00 Kelley Atrium


Nirvik's Office Hours:
Wednesdays 9:00 - 12:00 CGEL
Thursdays 9:00 - 12:00 CGEL


There is no purchased textbook for this course. Course material will consist of handouts, web pages, and notes taken in class.
Warning! Just because you are getting class notes doesn't mean you can skip class. There will be lots of project hints and clarifications in class. Also, there will be quiz questions and test questions that come from things we talked about in class, but were not in the notes. Every year, there are some people who lose a grade level because they missed those questions on the quizzes or tests.

The Virtual Hand Raise (VHR)

It sometimes takes courage to ask a question in class. But, the worst thing of all is to not ask! So, this class also has the Virtual Hand Raise. Click here to get into it. It will allow you to send me a question or comment, completely anonymously. I will answer questions submitted this way by email to the class or in class.


If you need a place to do your programming assignments, you can get access to the Windows 10-based graphics systems in OSU's Computer Graphics Education Lab (CGEL) in Batcheller Hall 244.

Access to the CGEL is by your OSU ID card, which also acts as a card key. The first full week of classes, I will give the EECS Main Office a list of who is in this class, so that they can enable your cards for the CGEL.

Good References

Lecture Schedule

To see an Academic Year calendar, click here.

Class time is: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1:00 - 1:50.
Unless otherwise specified, all classes will be in Gilbert 224.

Cancelled dates: Oct 18, Oct 20, Nov 10, Nov 22, Nov 24

Note: this schedule is my best guess of where we'll be when -- it is only approximate.
  Date Topics
1 Sept 20 General course information. Alias web form. freeglut.
A very brief history of computer graphics.
2 Sept 22 The Graphics Process.
The Graphics Pipeline.
Coordinate systems: Model, World, Eye, NDC, Clip, Screen.
3D coordinate systems.
3 Sept 25 Geometry vs. topology. glBegin-glEnd.
Compound transformations.
Project #1.
4 Sept 27 Projections.
3D viewing.
Display lists.
sample program.
5 Sept 29 sample program.
Project #2.
The rasterizer.
6 Oct 2 Color: RGB, CMYK, HSV.
7 Oct 4 Framebuffer. Texture mapping.
8 Oct 6 Texture mapping. Project #3.
9 Oct 9 Lighting.
10 Oct 11 Lighting. Project #4.
11 Oct 13 Shaders
12 Oct 16 Shaders
The EECS Networking Night is tomorrow tonight!
13 Oct 18 Prof. Bailey out of town -- no class today
The STEM Career Expo is today, 11:00-4:00 in the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center. Be sure to go!
14 Oct 20 Prof. Bailey out of town -- no class today

15 Oct 23 Test #1 review.
Project #5.
16 Oct 25 Shaders
17 Oct 27 Test #1
18 Oct 30 Vertex Buffer Objects
19 Nov 1 Go over test answers
20 Nov 3 Geometric Modeling
21 Nov 6 WebGL
22 Nov 8 Realistic Rendering: Radisosity
23 Nov 10 OSU Veterans Day observance -- no class today
24 Nov 13 Realistic Rendering: Ray Tracing
25 Nov 15 Animation: physics, keyframing, functional
26 Nov 17 3D Printing.
27 Nov 20 Fun videos!
28 Nov 22 OSU Thanksgiving holiday -- no class today
29 Nov 24 OSU Thanksgiving holiday -- no class today
30 Nov 27 Stereographics.
31 Nov 29 Vulkan
32 Dec 1 Class Evaluations.
Test #2 review.
More Information.
T2 Dec 6 Test #2 Wednesday, December 6, 12:00 - 1:30.
(You can confirm this for yourself by going here.)


Project # Points Title Due Date
1 50 Draw Something Cool in 3D! Oct 2
2 100 Animate a Helicopter Oct 11
3 100 Texture Mapping Oct 18
4 100 Lighting Oct 30
5 100 Shaders Nov 8
6 100 Geometric Modeling Nov 17
7 60 WebGL Nov 27
FP 200 Final Project Dec 6, 23:59:59 -- No Bonus Days
550-only paper 100 Paper analysis Dec 6, 23:59:59 -- No Bonus Days

Project Turn-In Procedures

Bonus Days and Late Assignments

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make when they fly by."
-- Douglas Adams

Projects are due at 23:59:59 on the listed due date, with the following exception:

Each of you has been granted five Bonus Days, which are no-questions-asked one-day project extensions which may be applied to any project, subject to the following rules:

  1. No more than 2 Bonus Days may be applied to any one project
  2. Bonus Days cannot be applied to tests
  3. Bonus Days cannot be applied such that they extend a project due date past the start of Test #2.

Click here to get a copy of the Bonus Day Submission Form. Fill this out and turn it in the next class period after turning in your project.


Grades will be posted through this web page. To protect your privacy, they will be posted by your alias that you give me in the web form.

Click here to see the current grade posting.

CS 450/550 will be graded on a fill-the-bucket basis. There will be 8 projects, 10 quizzes (weeks 0-8, 10), and two tests. You get to keep all the points you earn.
The quizzes will be done via Canvas. They will open each Friday afternoon at 2:00 and close Sunday night at 23:59:00. Canvas is very unforgiving about due times -- don't push it.

... with the exception of Weeks #0 and #9:

Quiz #0 is due to me by 4:00 PM on Friday, September 29. Fortunately, it is not too hard:

  1. Get a 3"x5" index card (I'll give you one the first day of class).
  2. Print your name neatly at the top (holding the card horizontally).
  3. Also, printing neatly, tell me why you are taking this class. What do you hope to get out of being here?
  4. Be honest -- no sucking up!
  5. Bring the card to my office (Kelley 2117) sometime when I am there. (Don't throw it under the door and run away.)

There is no quiz for Week #9 (the week of Thanksgiving).

Those taking the class as CS 550 will also do an essay summarizing a research paper. (Those taking the class as CS 450 will get a free 100 points for this assignment.)

Your final grade will be based on your overall class point total. Based on an available point total of 1210, grade cutoffs will be no higher than:

Points Grade
1140 B+
1080 C+
1030 D+

Downloadable Files

Windows Visual Studio 2013 Sample2013.zip Un-zip and double-click on the .sln file
Windows Visual Studio 2015 Sample2015.zip Un-zip and double-click on the .sln file
Linux SampleLinux.tar Un-tar and type "make sample"


Don't print these until you are told to do so in the Announcements section.
Sometimes I will put notes out here that are not quite complete, just to show you where we are headed.

A Brief History of Computer Graphics 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
The Computer Graphics Process 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Getting Started with OpenGL Programming 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
GL Utility Toolkit (GLUT) 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Sample Program sample.cpp    
Display Lists 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Framebuffer 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Texture Mapping 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Lighting 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Shaders 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Geometric Modeling 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
Vertex Buffer Objects 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp
A Brief Introduction to Casting Shadows with OpenGL 1pp 2pp 4pp 6pp

Class Rules

Students With Disabilities

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at http://ds.oregonstate.edu.. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Religious Holidays

Oregon State University strives to respect all religious practices. If you have religious holidays that are in conflict with any of the requirements of this class, please see me immediately so that we can make alternative arrangements.

Other Useful Online Graphics Information