Virtual Places


Pat Hanrahan
Rm 370 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-8530
Office hours: 7:00-9:00pm Mon (Sweet Hall), 11-12am Thu (Gates)

Teaching assistants

Maneesh Agrawala
Rm. 381 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-0618
Office Hours: 1-2 Tues (381 Gates), 7-9 Wed (Sweet Hall)

James Davis
Rm. 376 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-1604
Office Hours: 5:30-7:30 Mon (Sweet Hall), 11-12 Tues (376 Gates)

Matt Pharr
Rm. 372 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 725-3708
Office Hours: 4-5 Thursday (374 Gates), 7-9 Wed (Sweet Hall)


Ada Glucksman
Room 368 Gates Computer Science Building
(next to Pat Hanrahan's office)
(650) 725-3724
Office hours: Mon-Fri, 9:00 to 4:30


This course provides a broad overview of the basic concepts of computer graphics and imaging. Both 2d raster graphics and 3d graphics will be covered. Topics from imaging include color theory, tone reproduction, quantization, dithering and halftoning, basic signal processing and sampling, aliasing and antialiasing algorithms, and scan conversion of lines and polygons. Topics from 3d graphics include projective geometry, representations of curves and surfaces, animation, modeling and viewing transformations, hidden surface removal algorithms, reflection models and illumination algorithms. In addition the general features of graphics hardware and system architectures will be covered.


CS 248 assumes no prior knowledge of computer graphics. However, most students taking CS 248 have had some exposure to graphical user interfaces and interaction techniques, usually through CS 108. We assume solid programming skills in C (or C++) on a UNIX workstation and a knowledge of basic computer algorithms and data structures. We also assume a basic knowledge of calculus and linear algebra (one college-level course of each), and basic familiarity with 2D and 3D geometry. Exposure to digital signal processing or Fourier analysis is useful, but it is not required.


The following textbooks are required for the course:
J. Gomes, L. Velho, Translated by S. Levy,
Image Processing for Computer Graphics,
Springer, 1997.

E. Angel,
Interactive Computer Graphics,
Addison-Wesley, 1997.

And the following books are optional:
J. Neider, T. Davis, M. Woo,
The OpenGL Programming Guide, Version 1.1, 2nd Edition
Addison-Wesley, 1997

J. Hartmen, J. Werneke,
The VRML 2.0 Handbook,
Addison-Wesley, 1996.

Copies of these books are available in the textbook and general computer science sections of the campus bookstore. These books will be on reserve in the Math and CS Library.

Additional material not covered in the texts will also be made available. This consists of several papers and notes for several of the lectures. Slides of the lectures will also be made available via the CS 248 Home Page.


In addition to regularly scheduled readings, the workload for this course consists of four programming assignments and two exams. The evening examinations will be on campus; SITN students must come to campus for these exams.

The tentative list of programming assignments is:

Each assignment will require you to produce a working program, some test images and examples of the program in operation, a commented on-line copy of your source code, and a brief (1-2 pages) description of the system. Assignments are due by 5:00pm on the day indicated. All submissions will be done on-line; We will describe the submission process in a later handout.


Evaluation criteria: Each of the four programming assignments will count as 15% of your grade, for a total of 60%. The midterm and final exams will each account for 20% of your grade. Grading criteria on the assignments will vary: typical criteria are correctness (as judged by the test cases, images produced, or running the program), and efficiency and programming style. Several assignments will have the opportunity for extra credit.

Collaboration: Each assignment must be done individually. Working in groups is not allowed
except for assignment 2.

Late assignments: Since there are many topics covered in this course, it is important not to fall behind. Thus, all assignments should be completed on time. However, we realize that there are often unforeseen circumstances that make it difficult to turn in all work on time. Therefore, you will be allowed four weekdays of grace during the quarter, an average of one day per assignment. Once your four days are used, late assignments will be penalized 10% per weekday. No assignments will be graded if they are more than 1 week late,

SGI Laboratory

Hardware: To do the assignments you will have access to the Stanford Graphics Laboratory located in the basement of Sweet Hall. Room 029 contains 14 Silicon Graphics Indigo XZs (100Mhz R4000 processor, 60K polygons/sec, 24-bit frame buffer, and CD-quality digital stereo audio) named raptor1 through raptor14, and Room 026 contains 18 Silicon Graphics Indigo2 Extremes (150 Mhz R4400 with similar graphics capabilities) named firebird1 through firebird14, Students in CS 248 have non-exclusive priority access to this laboratory, whose door is protected by a combination lock.

All students with leland accounts automatically have accounts on these machines. Home directories on these machines are shared with other Stanford Computing Clusters using AFS. If you do not have a leland account, follow these instructions.

Software: To help focus your attention on the key ideas in each assignment, we will provide support libraries and datasets for each assignment. These tools and datasets will be installed on the machines in Sweet Hall, under the directory /usr/class/cs248.

Using other platforms: If you prefer working in your dorm room or workplace, and have access to a machine there, you are welcome to do the assignments on your own machines. However, your code must still use OpenGL, and in the end it is your responsibility to insure that it is copied and tested on the SGI machines in Sweet Hall. To help those working remotely, we will make available source for the support libraries that are used for each assignment. You are free to copy that source and port it to your environment, if you wish. However, we make no guarantees concerning the portability of this software. Please, if you improve the portability of the support code, return the source to us so that we may incorporate your changes into the future versions of the software. Extraordinary improvements to the support libraries will also be rewarded with special credit.

CS248: Introduction to Computer Graphics, Pat Hanrahan, Winter 98