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Interactive Graphics Systems (SGI)

Credits Dept.
7.5 (6.0 ECTS) CS


Person in charge:  (-)

General goals

This subject aims primarily to introduce students to the fundamentals of modelling objects and scenes. Particular attention is paid to triangular meshes, as they are the most commonly used tool in interactive graphics systems. Complementary goals are that students understand the applications and principles behind virtual reality and computer animation.

Specific goals


  1. Learn the main geometric and scene models used in an interactive graphic system. Learn the application of such models.
  2. Learn about: the main techniques for modelling solids; the complexity of such techniques; the main related algorithms.
  3. Learn the main algorithms related to the management and handling of triangle meshes: compression, simplification, creation.
  4. Learn the main VR concepts and applications, interaction devices techniques and immersive VR and techniques for speeding up interactive visualisations.
  5. Learn the basic principles of computer animation, and its applications.
  6. Learn the main textual coding formats for scenes and their use in a conventional browser.


  1. Design and programming of simple browsing applications for obtaining photo-realistic images using graphic libraries.
  2. Programming interactive graphic applications in different fields such as CAD (Computer-Aided Design), simple animations, and computer games.


  1. Ability to work in a group developing apps requiring VR (Virtual Reality) techniques for evaluation of scene design, application, and programming.
  2. Ability to evaluate the features of VR-dedicated hardware.
  3. Ability to work in a group designing video games and animations (this complements the "advanced visualisation" course).
  4. Ability to design systems, components and processes meeting certain needs, using the most appropriate methods, techniques and tools in each case.
  5. Initiative: Resolution, knowing how to take decisions and how to act in order to solve a problem.
  6. Adaptability: Knowing how to deal with new situations arising from organisational and/or technological changes.
  7. Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams.
  8. Ability to relate and structure information from various sources and thus integrate ideas and knowledge.
  9. Ability to draw up a well-structured technical document.
  10. Intellectual curiosity and openness.


Estimated time (hours):

T P L Alt Ext. L Stu A. time
Theory Problems Laboratory Other activities External Laboratory Study Additional time

1. Geometric modelling systems.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
4,0 0 2,0 0 4,0 3,0 0 13,0
Course presentation. Definition of a geometric modelling system. Applications. Geometric models: properties and classification (solids, surfaces, and volumes). Introduction to the structure of scenes.

  • Laboratory
    Triangulation of geometric models and visualisation in a graphic environment implemented in the VIG course.
  • Additional laboratory activities:
    Study of the material supplied and solution of the set exercises.

2. Schemes for representing solids.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
8,0 0 4,0 0 9,0 6,0 0 27,0
Propietats dels sòlids rígids. Esquema de representació per fronteres: exemples d'estructuració, algoritmes per a la creació per escombrat, per a la interrogació i per a realització d¿operacions booleanes. Altres esquemes: CSG, descomposició espaial, octrees.
  • Laboratory
    Presentation of the first practical assignment, which will comprise various sessions. The overall task will involve completing an application using recursive sub-division for creating objects and generating the corresponding triangle meshes.
  • Additional laboratory activities:
    Analysis of the exercise guidelines and the supplied software. Completing the application design and, if necessary, the programme. It is essential that students adequately prepare lab sessions outside class hours.

3. Triange meshes
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
15,0 0 10,0 0 6,0 9,0 0 40,0
Characteristics of triangle meshes. Creation techniques. Coding triangle meshes. Introduction to the simplification, edition, and softening of triangle meshes. Algorithms for coverting polyhedron into triangular meshes.

  • Laboratory
    Presentation of the requisite software and completion of the programming in the first practical session, generating and editing objects represented by triangle meshes. Algorithms for real-time mesh modification and re-meshing.
  • Additional laboratory activities:
    Analysis of the supplied software and the guidelines for these sessions. Completing the application design and, if necessary, the programme. It is essential that students follow the exercise guidelines make adequate preparation so that can submit technical and user manuals in the first practical session.

4. Virtual Reality
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
6,0 0 2,0 0 9,0 9,0 0 26,0
The architecture of a VR system. Applications. Specific peripherals and immersive projection. Stereoscopic vision. Peripherals for interaction. Interaction techniques. Introduction to visualisation acceleration techniques: levels of detail, visibility. Structuring scenes and calculating collisions.

  • Laboratory
    Use of various virtual reality systems. Immersion techniques using projection-based VR. Monitoring sensors (sight and hands). Implicit interaction devices. Use of modelling techniques: multi-resolution and occlusion culling.
  • Additional laboratory activities:
    Completion of the design for the mesh edition application, using the materials supplied for this purpose. Completing the programme (should this prove necessary).

5. Introduction to computer animation.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
6,0 0 8,0 0 6,0 9,0 0 29,0
Concept of computer animation. Applications. Classification of current techniques. Algorithms for animating rigid solids. Algorithms for morphing images. Introduction to deformable models.

  • Laboratory
    Presentation of the script for the third practical assignment will consist of completing an animation programme with wireframe-based triangle meshes.
  • Additional laboratory activities:
    Analysis of the practice guidelines and the supplied software. Completing the application design. This study is essential if students are to complete the practical sessions in the lab satisfactorily. Produce a user manual and submission of the third practical assignment.

6. Introduction to computer games.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
3,0 0 0 0 0 3,0 0 6,0
Application structure. Interaction requirements and scene structuring.

Total per kind T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
42,0 0 26,0 0 34,0 39,0 0 141,0
Avaluation additional hours 7,0
Total work hours for student 148,0

Docent Methodolgy

The teaching methodology will be based based on weekly theory classes (3 hours) and lab classes (2 hours). Course concepts will be introduced in the theory classes. Exercises will be used to consolidate these concepts, which will be further developed in the lab sessions.

The lab sessions basically involve the teacher presenting the guidelines for the practical work (split by sessions) and the concepts bearing on the software to be used. Students will complete the design and programming of the various applications bearing on the course contents. For this purpose, students will be provided with partially-programmed skeleton applications. The guidelines will be published beforehand. The exercises will be carried out by pairs of students.

Evaluation Methodgy

* A partial exam (Nota_parcial) with short questions and/or exercises, to be held during class hours.

* A final exam (Nota_examen) with short questions and/or exercises, to be held on the date indicated by FIB

A grade will also be awarded for practical work (Nota_pract). The grade will be based on continuous assessment of the course"s practical assignments. Submissions will be made through the course Web site. Students failing to submit an exercise will be awarded a nil grade for the work in question.

The course grade is based on the foregoing grades, according to the following formula:

Grade = 0,4 * Nota_examen + 0,3 *Nota_parcial + 0,3*Nota_pract

Basic Bibliography

  • Andújar, C., Brunet, P., Fairén, M., Navazo, I., Vinacua, A. Informàtica Gràfica. Un enfocament Multimèdia (Apunts de l'assignatura en CD)., CPET, 2002.
  • Alan Watt 3D computer graphics, Addison-Wesley, 2000.
  • Akenine-Möller, T. y Haines, E. Real-Time Rendering, A.K. Peters, 2002.

Complementary Bibliography

  • Alan Watt and Fabio Policarpo 3D games, Addison-Wesley, 2001-2003.
  • David Luebke ... [et al.] Level of detail for 3D graphics, Morgan Kaufmann, 2003.
  • Alan Watt, Mark Watt Advanced animation and rendering techniques : theory and practice, Addison-Wesley, 1992.
  • William R. Sherman, Alan B. Craig Understanding virtual reality : interface, application, and design, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2003.
  • Christoph M. Hoffmann Geometric and solid modeling : an introduction, Morgan Kaufmann, 1989.

Web links


Previous capacities

Compulsory course: Graphic Viewing and Interaction.

Students are recommended to take the optional GEOC to complement this one.


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