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1. Intro: Course, GPU, Computer Grfx

1. Introduction. Course overview. What is computer graphics? GPU overview (1/31)

Harvard Extensions School, CSCI E-234 of Spring 2007.  OpenGL / GLSL, computer graphics.  Offline rendering vs. Interactive rendering, rise of GPU graphics.  App -> API -> driver -> GPU (driver sends commands to GPU).  Graphics Pipeline: App -> Cmd -> GPU, where GPU was: Geometry -> Rasterization -> Fragment -> Display.  Move from Fixed Function to Programmable Pipeline: VS -> RS -> FS (ogl FS = dx PS).  Vertex Shaders, Pixel Shaders => grfx more like Ray Tracing.  2011 updates…  dx10 added GS, dx11 added T* & CS.  Dx11 Pipeline: IA -> VS -> (HS -> TS -> DS) -> GS -> RS -> PS -> OM.  Or GPGPU such as OpenCL and DirectCompute (dx CS).  Modern API (software) has Unified Shader Model.  Modern GPU (hardware) has Unified Shader Architecture.

Topics: interactive 3d grfx, OpenGL grfx pipeline, special effects (bump maps, shadows, etc).  Ray tracing (off-line render).  Fundamentals (light, color, camera models, bezier splines, etc).  Books: OpenGL Programming Guide 4th Ed (red book) (isbn 0023548568), Computer Graphics Using OpenGL by Francis s. Hill Jr (isbn 0201604582), others suggested.  Weekly class 2 hours, weekly sections 2 hours (sadly, these weren’t on iTunes U).  Homeworks submit code C++, OpenGL, Visual Studio 2005, Windows, dx9 GPU.  Homework 1: subscribe to mailing list, send photo with interesting light properties (to discuss in lecture 2), download compile run hello world OpenGL.

Examples where computer graphics is used: movies & games (entertainment) & art, visualization & simulations, digital photography & video, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Virtual & Augmented Reality.  Some others he didn’t mention: education & training, user interfaces (3D GUI).  There’s probably plenty of other categories, or at least 3D apps that don’t fall into this narrow list of examples (what’s Google Earth – navigation?).

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