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Module ICP-3036:
Computer Graphics 3 Rendering

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Prof Jonathan Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

To present details of advanced computer graphics rendering, visualization and techniques used to create high quality 3D computer graphics applications. To allow students to improve their development skills and make consideration of alternative designs, especially using sketching and low-fidelity techniques, in the context of computer graphics and visualisation. And to enable students consider the future of computer graphics.

Course content

  • Strategies for alternative designs, and planning strategies for the development of graphic systems and using the Five Design Sheets methodology. Structured methods to critique graphics systems, and methods to summarise and simplify of ideas.

  • Computer animation pipeline and techniques for graphical storytelling, and immersed environments.

  • Technologies and algorithms for rendering realistic and creative environments. Including fundamental rendering algorithms and techniques for Computer Graphics, particularly z-buffer and ray tracing and how to make them efficient.

  • 3D modelling and model creation by different systems, e.g., procedural grammar systems and fractal modelling, and from data such as surface rendering algorithms subdivision surfaces and implicit models and volume data techniques, such as direct volume rendering and surface rendering algorithms.

  • Future possibilities in graphics, rendering, Virtual Reality.

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







To be able to analyse problem domains and define appropriate computing solutions, to prepare, plan and design, and create a computer graphics system that uses graphics.

Be able to demonstrate techniques to plan and design and basic implementation of a graphics system. Demonstrate a good level of design knowledge, able to consider alternatives, and categorise different ideas. Excellent knowledge of design processes, able to differentiate different ideas and discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Create, develop and deploy a software solution that uses computer graphics, and apply knowledge and skills to develop effective computer graphics systems. To demonstrate in-depth understanding of how to create real applications that need computer graphics.

Very good knowledge and ability to create and deploy an effective computing system. A comprehensive understanding of how to analyse and build computer graphics applications. Able to discuss and use a wide range of graphics techniques appropriate for the application. Good understanding of the issues involved in creating a computer graphics application.

To be able to critically reflect and evaluate to decide if a solution meets the criteria. To assess alternative solutions and defend the chosen solution.

Demonstrate good reflective design and implementation skills; able to argue on the most suitable solution. Demonstration of excellent critical analysis and reflective skills, able to assess alternative solutions and defend choices and alternatives. To reflect on the ideas and work done, to assess whether a solution may be suitable.

To perform research on an in-depth aspect of computer graphics. To summarise important information of the system, and prepare technical reports and communicate effectively graphical concepts and ideas.

Able to report in-depth explanation of examples, and summarise important information and detail ideas of future (potential) directions. Clear explanation of current systems, highlighting the salient information, and excellent critical discussion of potential future technologies for graphics. Able to present some examples of current graphics and explain ideas in the literature.

Explain, present and demonstrate understanding of graphics algorithms, including rendering, volume and surface visualisation algorithms, and virtual reality techniques. To be able to illustrate and explain the concepts, discuss their advantages and disadvantages and able to judge the best algorithm for the role and hypothesise how the algorithms/techniques will develop in the future.

Good understanding of the concepts of computer graphics. Able to describe the basic concepts of different graphics rendering algorithms Very good knowledge of computer graphics algorithms (from z-buffer to Ray tracing) and how they are applied. Able to comprehensively illustrate the algorithms and discuss how the future may unfold in graphics and VR. A demonstrable comprehensive understanding of computer graphics algorithms and in-depth knowledge of current algorithms and a sound ability make decisions of suitability and discussion over current and future algorithms and techniques in computer graphics rendering.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Topic Background Study

Background research and study of scenario.

COURSEWORK Design study

Deliver a design study report, with Five Design-Sheet and storyboard components, that presents your design ideas to explain the scenario through animation.

COURSEWORK Explanatory animation

Implement your explanatory animation that explains your scenario.

REPORT Reflective report

A balanced critical reflection of your work.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private study and skill development.


Lectures covering the core material and presentation of the information.

Supervised time in studio/workshop

Ongoing regular workshops, allowing students to develop their skills, work through exercises and demonstrate their progress.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Defining problems, managing design process and evaluating outcomes
  • System Design
  • Knowledge and understanding of computational modelling
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines

Courses including this module