Realistic Image Synthesis

This advanced lecture discusses the mathematical concepts and algorithms that are used to simulate the propagation of light in a virtual scene. The topics include Monte Carlo sampling, various Global Illumination algorithms (from the basic Path Tracing algorithm to more advanced algorithms like Vertex Connection and Merging), and HDR imaging. In the practical exercises, the students implement some of the algorithms discussed in the lecture in a lightweight rendering framework.




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

Time and Location

  • Mondays 10h-12h
  • Thursdays 10-12h

Location: HS 001, Building E1 3


Final exam (oral): Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 9.00 - 17.00, E1 1, CG-Chair, Room E 18

Final re-exam (oral): Thursday, 27 September 2018, 9.00 - 14.00, E1 1, CG-Chair, Room E 18

Mailing list

  1. Register for this course’s mailing list here.
  2. Send an email to the list by using the address ris(email character)graphics cs uni-saarland de (and replacing spaces with dots).
  3. Please only send emails from the address you subscribed with!
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Lectures and assignments

Date Instructor Topic Slides Assignments
09/04/2018 Philipp Slusallek Introduction pdf  
12/04/2018 Karol Myszkowski Rendering Equation pdf  
16/04/2018 Karol Myszkowski Finite Elements and Radiosity pdf  
19/04/2018 Karol Myszkowski Perception pdf  
23/04/2018 Karol Myszkowski HDR & Tone Mapping pdf pdf
26/04/2018 Karol Myszkowski Perception-based Rendering pdf  
30/04/2018 Karol Myszkowski Modern Display Technology - Rendering Challenges pdf video  
03/05/2018 Gurprit Singh Probability Theory pdf  
07/05/2018 Gurprit Singh Monte-Carlo Integration pdf pdf
10/05/2018   Holiday    
14/05/2018 Philipp Slusallek BRDFs & Path Tracing pdf pdf pdf code
17/05/2018 Philipp Slusallek Bidirectional Path Tracing pdf  
21/05/2018   Holiday    
24/05/2018 Karol Myszkowski Density Estimation pdf pdf
28/05/2018 Karol Myszkowski Advanced Photon Mapping pdf pdf  
31/05/2018   Holiday    
04/06/2018 Karol Myszkowski Spatio-Temporal Sampling and Reconstruction pdf pdf code
07/06/2018 Gurprit Singh Advanced Sampling pdf  
11/06/2018   cancelled    
14/06/2018   cancelled    
18/06/2018 Philipp Slusallek VPL Methods pdf pdf  
21/06/2018 Philipp Slusallek Vertex Connection and Merging pdf pdf pdf
25/06/2018 Philipp Slusallek Path Guiding    
28/06/2018 Philipp Slusallek MCMC    
02/07/2018   EGSR    
05/07/2018 Philipp Slusallek Volume Rendering I    
09/07/2018 Philipp Slusallek Volume Rendering II    
12/07/2018 Philipp Slusallek High Performance Rendering    
16/07/2018 Gurprit Singh Reconstruction I    
19/07/2018 Gurprit Singh Reconstruction II    

General Regulations

  • Type: Special Lecture, Practical computer science
  • ECTS: 9 credit points
  • Practical assignments
    • Longer term projects
    • Not a rendering competition as in CG1
  • Assignments can be submitted by groups of up to 2 students.


The lecture is not bound to a specific book. The following list contains the most important books about image synthesis:

  • Pharr, Humphreys, Physically Based Rendering : From Theory to Implementation, Morgan Kaufmann
  • Shirley et al., Realistic Ray Tracing, 2. Ed., AK. Peters, 2003
  • Jensen, Realistic Image Synthesis Using Photon Mapping, AK. Peters, 2001
  • Dutre, at al., Advanced Global Illumition, AK. Peters, 2003
  • Glassner, Principles of Digital Image Synthesis, 2 volumes, Morgan Kaufman, 1995
  • Cohen, Wallace, Radiosity and Realistic Image Synthesis, Academic Press, 1993
  • Apodaca, Gritz, Advanced Renderman: Creating CGI for the Motion Pictures, Morgan Kaufmann, 1999
  • Ebert, Musgrave, et al., Texturing and Modeling, 3. Ed., Morgan Kaufmann, 2003
  • Reinhard, Ward, Pattanaik, Debevec, Heidrich, Myszkowski, High Dynamic Range Imaging, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2nd edition, 2010.
  • Myszkowski, Mantiuk, Krawczyk. High Dynamic Range Video. Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science. Morgan & Claypool Publishers, San Rafael, USA, 2008.

Here is a list of other reference materials you can use, grouped by topic: