This course provides the theoretical and practical foundations for computer graphics. It gives a wide overview of topics, techniques, and approaches used in various aspects of computer graphics with a focus on image synthesis and rendering, including texturing, shading, aliasing, sampling, and many more. After introducing the two basic algorithms for image synthesis, ray tracing and rasterization, it discusses the physical foundations of ray tracing in greater depth. As part of the practical exercises, the students incrementally build their own ray tracing system, which they will then use to generate a high-quality rendering for the end-of-term rendering competition.


Teaching Assistants



  • Programming experience with C++
  • Basic knowledge of linear algebra and analysis




Register for the course via the LSF online system.

Mailing List

Information relevant to the course (such as updates, corrections, etc…) will be posted on the mailing list.

  1. Students registered for the course must sign up for the mailing list.
  2. Go on the webpage: https://mail.cg.uni-saarland.de/mailman/listinfo/cg1
  3. Provide your name and student e-mail address (it ends with stud.uni-saarland.de).
  4. Press the subscribe button.
  5. You will receive a message with a confirmation of the subscription.

In order to send a mail to the mailing list, use the following address: cg1 at cg.uni-saarland.de. You can ask or answer questions about the course or the assignments on this mailing list.


The assignments will be posted under the course schedule. They include a mix of theoretical and programming exercises.

The paper copies for the theoretical parts of the assignments will be collected at the beginning of the lecture on the due date. The programming parts must instead be sent by email to your respective tutors. You can also send the scans of your paper copy by mail to your tutor if your are unable to attend the lecture.

The code submitted for the programming part of the assignments is required to reproduce the provided reference images, and the submission ought to include the mandatory generated images. The submission should also contain a creative image show-casing all extra-credit features that have been implemented.

The projects are expected to compile and work out of the box on the machines in the CIP-pool students’ lab in order to give the tutors a guaranty that the code will run on machines that both them and the students have access to.


  • 10% Rendering Competition
  • 20% Mid-term exam (minimum 40% to pass)
  • 30% Assignments
  • 40% Final exam (minimum 50% to pass)

Course Schedule

Date Lecture - Instructor Resources
22.10.2018 Introduction


25.10.2018 Introduction to Ray Tracing


29.10.2018 cancelled due to faculty retreat
01.11.2018 Holidays
05.11.2018 Spatial Index Structures


08.11.2018 Spatial Index Structures


12.11.2018 Transformations


15.11.2018 Light Transport


19.11.2018 Material Models


22.11.2018 Texturing


26.11.2018 Spectral Analysis and Sampling Theory


29.11.2018 Texture Filtering


03.12.2018 Distribution Ray Tracing


06.12.2018 Volume Rendering


10.12.2018 Mid-term exam
13.12.2018 cancelled
17.12.2018 Human Vision System


20.12.2018 Color


07.01.2019 Color and HDR Imaging


10.01.2019 Rasterization


14.01.2019 Camera Transformation


17.01.2019 Clipping


21.01.2019 OpenGL / Graphics APIs


24.01.2019 GLSL / Shader Programming


28.01.2019 cancelled - RC support session
31.01.2019 Splines


04.02.2019 Advanced Rasterization (Shadows, AO, etc.)


07.02.2019 Wrap-up


Rendering Competition

Rendering Competition is a final showcase of how the ray tracing engine that was developed throughout the course can be used to render interesting images.

The competition rules can be found here: pdf

Every submission will be graded based by its artistic merit.


The course does not follow a particular book, but suggested readings include:

  • Matt Pharr and Greg Humphreys, Physically Based Rendering, 3rd Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 2016 (available online)
  • Shirley et al., Realistic Ray Tracing, 2. Ed., AK. Peters, 2003
  • Peter Shirley, Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, 4th Edition, AK Peters, 2015
  • John Hughes et al., Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2013
  • Andrew S. Glassner, An Introduction to Ray Tracing, 1st Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 1989, is available online

Some articles on acceleration structures:

Possible Follow-Ups

SoPra, HiWi-Jobs, Diploma, Bachelor and Master’s Thesis