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Harvard Intro to Computer Graphics

This section will be for my notes on CS E-234 of Spring 2007 (January 31, 2007 through May 16, 2007) – the 13 videos (~2 hours each) are from iTunes U.  My plan is to watch the lectures slowly-over-time in 45 min sessions while jogging on an elliptical.  Then take some paper notes, maybe do some extra reading, maybe write some code, and put some notes here.  This is pretty basic (fundamental) stuff, so I’m hoping to review and retain a lot of details (concepts, math, etc).

This website is mentioned in video lecture 1 ( http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~cscie234/ ).  However, that currently (2011/12) is a newer version of the class that doesn’t match the Spring 2007 iTunes U lecture videos.  After skimming through various related websites, I eventually found the lecture slides here ( http://vcg-harvard.org/e234/#lectures ).

I didn’t find a newer version of these videos, but I don’t think the (almost) 5 year time gap is actually that bad.  Some significant things have changed…  New stages of the pipeline (Geometry Shader, Tessellation), new hardware.  The emphasis on GP-GPU (OpenCL, DirectCompute, etc) has increased.  New software tools (RenderMonkey is now kind of old / outdated) (OpenGL 3.x 4.x, DirectX 10 11)…  However, the basic fundamentals (GPU pipeline, math, physics of light, 3d algorithms, etc) aren’t much different.

In closing, I will list the 13 lecture topics (note, the last two weren’t in iTunes U):
1. Introduction. Course overview. What is computer graphics? GPU overview (1/31)
2. Illumination. What is light? The BRDF. Vectors and dot products. The Phong BRDF model (2/7)
3. Transformations I: Linear Transformations. Multiple Transformations (2/14)
4. Transformations II: Viewing & Projections. Camera models. Viewing Transformation. Projection Matrix. OpenGL Transformation Pipeline. (2/21)
5. Rasterization. The z-Buffer. Texture Mapping. Environment mapping (2/28)
6. Advanced Texturing Mapping I: Bump mapping. Coordinate vectors, basis, and frames. Tangent space (3/7)
7. Advanced Texture Mapping II: Multi-texturing. Projective texture mapping. Shadow mapping (3/14)
8. Makeup for Section 7 (projective texture mapping) (3/21)
9. Hierarchical Modeling and Animation. Hierarchical Modeling. Stick Person and Scene Graphs. Animation. Traditional Cel Animation. Keyframing. Motion Capture. Physical Simulation. Motion Synthesis (4/4)
10. Color theory. Vision and color. Optical illusion examples (4/11)
11. Ray Tracing I. Introduction to Ray Tracing. Ray generation. Ray intersections. Shadows. Reflections. Refractions. Writing a ray trace (4/18)
12. Ray Tracing II. Bounding boxes. Regular grids. BSP trees. Monte Carlo ray tracing. Photon Mapping. Radiosity (4/25)
13. Advanced Topics and Fun Stuff: 3D Face Modeling, Font Rendering, and Color Management (5/2)
14. Final class presentations (1 of 2) (5/9)
15. Final class presentations (2 of 2) (5/16)

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