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.


Tutorials start on Monday, November 4th.

Session Tutor
Fri 10-12 Henrik Philippi
Thu 12-14 Julius Kilger
Mon 12-14 Joschua Loth

Location: E1 1, CG Chair, Room E 10


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 40% to pass)

Course Schedule

Date Lecture - Instructor Resources
14.10.2019 No lecture
17.10.2019 Introduction


21.10.2019 Introduction to Ray Tracing


24.10.2019 Spatial Index Structures I


28.10.2019 Spatial Index Structures II


31.10.2019 Transformations


04.11.2019 Light Transport


07.11.2019 Texturing


11.11.2019 Material Models


14.11.2019 Spectral Analysis and Sampling Theory


18.11.2019 Texture Filtering


21.11.2019 Cancelled
25.11.2019 Distribution Ray Tracing


28.11.2019 Human Vision System


02.12.2019 Color


05.12.2019 Color and HDR Imaging


09.12.2019 No lecture
12.12.2019 Mid-term exam
16.12.2019 Volume Rendering


19.12.2019 Rasterization


06.01.2020 Camera Transformation


09.01.2020 Clipping


13.01.2020 OpenGL / Graphics APIs I


16.01.2020 OpenGL / Graphics APIs II


20.01.2020 GLSL / Shader Programming


23.01.2020 Splines


27.01.2020 No lecture
30.01.2020 No lecture
03.02.2020 Rendering Competition deadline
06.02.2020 Wrap-up


20.02.2020 End-term exam

Rendering Competition

The 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.

This year also features a bonus BVH speed contest, which you can take part in by following the instructions in the rules sheet and downloading this zip archive.


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)
  • 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