Course description:

An introduction to the artistic and technical field of computer graphics and animation, focusing on basic 3-D modeling, shading, lighting, and rendering. Major concepts are introduced and applied in several “hands-on” projects leading up to a final project where overall course knowledge is applied. Students may choose a particular focus (ART, CSC, or FST) or some combination thereof for the final project.

Prerequisites: Computer competence (CSC 105 or equivalent).


Course Material:




Current announcements:

The schedule link above has been updated for the new project and quiz dates.


Project 2 is due Tuesday, March 23. Description is here.

Addendum to project 2.


Project 1 is due Thursday, February 26. Spend more time on this! (Larger grade!)


Homework 4: Maya NURBs Spaceship (Due Thursday, March 4)


PRMan should be working properly in 201-D now. It is faster than Aqsis, and we will be using it more later in the semester. To fix the problem with generating .tiff images that do not display properly (except using Adobe Photoshop), you may need to add a line to the PRMan configuration file (C:\Program Files\Pixar\prman-11.3.1\etc\rendermn.ini). [The config file is also accessible from Start-->Pixar-->PhotoRealistic Renderman 11.3.1-->configuration-->rendermn.ini.] Here's the line to add (can add right below /displaytype/file ...)

/display/tiff/compression packbits

This line will tell PRMan to use a more compatible version of storing pixels in the .tiff file to which you render.


Homework 3: Maya Polygon Spaceship (Due Tuesday, Feb. 17) --


Homework 2: Essential RenderMan Fast (Due Thursday, Feb. 5)

Read Chapters 9, 10, and 13. As in Hmwk # 1, for Part 1 complete the .RIB files in examples 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 13.1, change one thing in each and document the changes in a separate text file as before. For Part 2, download each of the teapot .RIB files below. Render each and then look at the text in the .RIB files. In your text document, write a brief paragraph about the construction of each teapot, how they differ, and also tell which one is more like the famous original Martin Newell, University of Utah teapot. Read over the history of the teapot at You should submit .RIB files, .TIFF or .JPG files for each image, and a text document including descriptions of the changes and teapots as described above.

Teapot #1

Teapot #2

Also, be reading over the first few chapters in the Maya Quickstart book to become familiar with the interface. Begin reading the chapters on modeling with polygons as well.


Diagram on 3-D CG Basics.

For the normal class period on Thursday, January 22 you will be given time to work on your first homework assignment. You may work using PRMan (or Aqsis) either in Bear 201-D (where PRMan should be working now) or on your own machine. Please complete the following and submit on Thursday, January 29 in class:

Homework 1: Essential RenderMan Fast

Read through Chapter 8 and complete each of these, changing one visible thing about each file (i.e. move a sphere, draw less sweep, etcetera). Enter each .rib file, render a .tiff file for each (you may wish to convert to .jpg files for space), and submit with a very brief description of what you changed in each .rib file and what that effected. (So you should be submitting at least 6 different .rib files, 6 different .tiff or .jpg files, and a write-up with a description of what you changed in each of the 6 .rib files. Submissions on CD-R or RW are desired. (You may also email a .zip file, if necessary, but please put "220 HMWK 1 YOUR NAME" (in CAPS) in the subject line to help prevent my losing it amongst hundreds of other messages.) Here are the .rib exercises:

7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.2, 8.3



Begin reading Essential RenderMan Fast, through page 34 at least. Give the first exercise in Ch. 6 a shot, either on campus using PRMan or at homse using Aqsis or one of the other renderers mentioned in Ch. 4. This shouldn't take long, so try some from Ch. 7 if you get a chance. These will be part of one of the first homework assignments.



ART/CSC/FST 220 currently meets in BR 165. Alias Maya 5 and Pixar's RenderMan are available in both BR 165, 202, and 201-D. In addition, the Adobe Digital Video Suite (including Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects) is installed on the Dell Machines located in BR 202. There are also two machines with firewire interfaces and additional hard-drive storage for projects. Digital video and still cameras are available for checkout from Ms. Thornton in the Computer Science Office on the first floor of Bear Hall. Film Studies may also have some equipment available (digital still cameras) on a limited basis.

BR 165 is open Sun-Thurs. 6:30-10 p.m. this semester.