Virtual Places


Pat Hanrahan
Rm 370 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-8530
Office hours: 11-12am Thu (Gates)

Teaching assistants

Maneesh Agrawala
Rm. 381 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-0618

Chris Stolte
Rm. 270 Gates Computer Science Building
(650) 723-3380


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


For many years the primary goal of image synthesis research was photorealism. Success was judged by a modified "Turing Test" - a side by side comparison of the real and the virtual image. As evidenced by today's blockbuster films such as Titanic, it is now very difficult to discriminate between computer-generated images and real photographs. However, for many years it has also been recognized that simulating the physical world should *not* be the only goal of image synthesis.

Recently several interesting new directions have emerged in computer graphics. These include the use of perceptual principles to display high dynamic range images on low dynamic range displays, and the emulation of traditional pen and ink drawing techniques to create illustrations that look hand drawn. In this special topics course, we will review this recent work. We will also read some classic essays on art and perception, and discuss how they relate to computer graphics. Finally, we will discuss how these artistic and perceptual techniques may be used to produce more effective illustrations and visualizations.


Prerequisites are CS348A (Computer Graphics: Mathematical Foundations) and CS348B (Image Synthesis Techniques). Enrollment is limited to 15.


Students are expected to read all the readings before class and participate actively in discussion. In addition, each participant is expected to do a project (which may be done with a partner) and write a short paper in the form of a conference submission. Discussion will count for 33% of your grade; the project for 66%.


Project Ideas