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


Thursdays 14:15 - 15:45

Location: E10, Building E1 1


Final exam (written): 20.08.2019, 10:00 - 13:00, E1 3, HS 002

Final re-exam (oral): 19.09.2019, 13:00 - 16:00, E1 1, Room E18

Matriculation number Time
****780 13:00 - 13:30
****464 13:30 - 14:00
****886 14:00 - 14:30
****216 14:30 - 15:00
****595 15:00 - 15:30

Mailing list

  1. Register for this course’s mailing list here.
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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 pdf 
30.04.2019 Singh Probability Theory pdf 
03.05.2019 Singh MC Integration pdf 
07.05.2019 No Lectures (Conference)
10.05.2019 No Lectures (Conference) pdf 
14.05.2019 Hyeonseung Yu Modern Display Technology pdf 
17.05.2019 Myszkowski Perceptual Display pdf  video  pdf 
21.05.2019 Singh Advanced Sampling pdf 
24.05.2019 cancelled
28.05.2019 Grittmann BRDFs and Path Tracing pdf  pdf zip 
31.05.2019 Slusallek Bidirectional Path Tracing pdf 
04.06.2019 No Lectures
07.06.2019 Slusallek Virtual Point Lights pdf pdf  pdf 
11.06.2019 Myszkowski Density Estimation pdf 
14.06.2019 Singh Volume Rendering pdf 
18.06.2019 Slusallek Vertex Connection and Merging pdf pdf 
21.06.2019 cancelled pdf zip 
25.06.2019 Slusallek Path Guiding pdf pdf 
28.06.2019 Singh Spatio-temporal Sampling pdf pdf 
02.07.2019 Singh Machine Learning I (Introduction) pdf 
05.07.2019 Singh Machine Learning II (Reconstruction I) pdf 
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) pdf 

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: