CSE168: Rendering Algorithms
Spring 2006

The webpage with the results from our Rendering competition is now available.


Matthias Zwicker
Office hours: Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm, 4114 EBU3B

Teaching Assistant

Wojciech Jarosz (cse168-ta(at)graphics.ucsd.edu)


MW 5:00-6:20pm, 2204 WHL

Discussion Section

Monday 10:00-11:00, EBU3B b250

Lab Hours

Monday/Thursday 11:00-12:30, EBU3B b250

Mailing List

Visit http://graphics.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/cse168 to view more mailing list options.


A webboard for the class has been set up. To access it go to http://webboard.ucsd.edu and use your network (e-mail) username and your PID as the password.



Peter Shirley, "Fundamentals of Computer Graphics", AK Peters 2002 [Errata]


Useful book on geometry, ray intersections, transformations etc.
Philip Schneider and David Eberly, "Geometric Tools for Computer Graphics", Morgan Kaufmann 2002

More advanced text on global illumination and photon mapping
Henrik Wann Jensen, "Realistic Image Synthesis Using Photon Mapping, AK Peters, 2001

Slightly dated, but still a very comprehensive overview of image synthesis
Andrew Glassner, "Principles of digital image synthesis", Morgan Kaufmann, 1995

Additional notes

Ray tracing document

Course Objective

This course will cover the basic algorithms used for computer graphics rendering. The course will have four programming assignments in which the students will implemeent a ray tracer with acceleration structures, and advanced rendering capabilities such as Monte Carlo ray tracing and photon mapping. At the end of the course the students should be able to write a ray tracer, able to handle different types of geometry efficiently, capable of choosing good acceleration structures, have basic knowledge of shading models such as the Lambert and Phong models, knowledge of texture and bump mapping techniques (possibly mipmap filtering), basic knowledge of sampling and filtering, global illumination and photon mapping, and an idea of more advanced topics such as programmable graphics hardware.


The ray tracing algorithm, camera models, geometry intersection, geometry tessellation, acceleration structures, shading models, texturing, bump mapping, sampling and filtering, and a brief introduction to advanced topics such as Monte Carlo ray tracing and/or programmable graphics hardware.


This is class is for 4 units. It will be graded based on four programming exercises (including a final project) and a midterm. The grading for the projects are: 1 (20%), 2 (20%), 3 (15%), 4 final project (30%), midterm (15%)

Programming Assignments

The miro base code is available for Windows and OSX/Linux. It includes a README.pdf that should help answer most questions you might have. If there's still something confounding, email Wojciech.

Programming assignment 1 [PDF] Due 4:30pm, Monday, April 17 (image gallery)
Programming assignment 2 [PDF] (new basecode) Due 4:30pm, Monday, May 1 (image gallery)
Programming assignment 3 [PDF] (new basecode, mip-mapping document, extras, bump textures) Due 4:30pm, Monday, May 15 (image gallery)
Programming assignment 4 [PDF] Due 7pm, Monday, June 12
For additional inspiration check previous years' entries:

Here are some other object files in OBJ format which you can use in your assignments:

Photon Map implementation from Realistic Image Synthesis Using Photon Mapping.

Useful Resources

Ray Tracing News


Date Topic Reading Slides
Week 1
April 3 Topics Overview, Introduction to Ray Tracing
Handout of Assignment 1
Chapter 1-5 (should be known material), Section 9.1, 9.2 pdf
April 5 Intersection algorithms, shading Section 9.3, 9.4, Section 8 pdf
Week 2
April 10 Reflection, refraction Section 9.5-9.7 pdf
April 12 Acceleration structures I Section 9.9, BVH paper pdf
Week 3
April 17 Acceleration structures II
Assignment 1 due, Handout of Assignment 2
BSP tree paper pdf
April 19 Textures Chapter 10 pdf
Week 4
April 24 Procedural Texturing Noise paper, Cellular noise paper pdf
April 26 Introduction to the Physics of Light Transport I Chapter 14, 16 pdf
Week 5
May 1 Introduction to the Physics of Light Transport II
Assignment 2 due, Handout of Assignment 3
Chapter 14, 16 pdf
May 3 Global Illumination Chapter 19, 20 pdf
Week 6
May 8 Photon Mapping I   pdf
May 10 Photon Mapping II   pdf
Week 7
May 15 Irradiance Caching
Assignment 3 due, Handout of Assignment 4
May 17 Midterm    
Week 8
May 22 Sampling and Anti-Aliasing   pdf
May 24 Camera Models and HDR imaging   pdf
Week 9
May 29 Holiday    
May 31 Participating Media and Subsurface Scattering   pdf
Week 10
June 5 Participating Media and Subsurface Scattering    
June 7 Radiosity   pdf
Week 11
TBA Rendering Competition
Final project due

Last update: April 20, 2006