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.




  • Julius Kilger


  • Programming experience with C++

Time and Location

  • Tuesdays 8h-10h
  • Fridays 12-14h

Location: HS 001, Building E1 3


Final exam (oral): TBD

Final re-exam (oral): TBD

Mailing list

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Lectures and assignments

Date Instructor Topic Slides Assignments
09.04.2019 Myszkowski Intro pdf 
12.04.2019 Myszkowski Rendering Equation pdf 
16.04.2019 Myszkowski Radiosity pdf 
19.04.2019 Holiday
23.04.2019 Myszkowski HDR and Tone Mapping pdf  pdf 
26.04.2019 Myszkowski Perception
30.04.2019 Singh Probability Theory
03.05.2019 Singh MC Integration
07.05.2019 No Lectures (Conference)
10.05.2019 No Lectures (Conference)
14.05.2019 Myszkowski Advanced Displays
17.05.2019 Myszkowski Perceptual Display
21.05.2019 Singh Advanced Sampling
24.05.2019 Singh Spatio-temporal Sampling
28.05.2019 Slusallek BRDFs and Path Tracing
31.05.2019 Slusallek Bidirectional Path Tracing
04.06.2019 No Lectures
07.06.2019 Slusallek Virtual Point Lights
11.06.2019 Myszkowski Density Estimation
14.06.2019 Myszkowski Advanced Photon Mapping
18.06.2019 Slusallek Vertex Connection and Merging
21.06.2019 Slusallek Path Guiding
25.06.2019 Slusallek Markov Chain Monte Carlo
28.06.2019 Slusallek AnyDSL
02.07.2019 Singh Machine Learning I (Introduction)
05.07.2019 Singh Machine Learning II (Reconstruction I)
09.07.2019 No Lectures (Conference)
12.07.2019 No Lectures (Conference)
16.07.2019 No Lectures
19.07.2019 Singh Machine Learning III (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, Jakob, 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: