Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Interactive Computer Graphics is about the techniques and technologies used to generate synthetic digital imagery in real-time. The main focus of the course will be 3D photorealistic rendering and the current, practical rendering methods used in games and other applications.

The topics we will cover include:

  • Geoemetric modeling
  • Mathematics for animation and rendering
  • Shading and programmable shaders
  • Rasterization
  • Physics simulation
  • Global illumination

We will learn how to implement 3D web applications using WebGL and JavaScript. WebGL shares many of the same characteristics as Vulkan, Direct3D, and other popular low-level graphics APIs, so the skills you learn should be transferable.


We recommend the following courses and skills:

  • CS 225 - prior general programming experience
  • Math 225 or Math 415 - basic linear algebra, especially 3D transforms


Lecture is held in 1404 Siebel Center on MWF 9-9:50am

Discussion Sections

We will not use discussion sections this semester…you only need to attend lecture.


See the Assignments page for more details.

4 Credit Option

If you are taking the course for 4 credits, you will complete an extra project which will consist be your choice of one of the following:

  • Implement a video game using Unity or Unreal Engine.
  • Implement an information visualization application using D3.js or VTK.js.
  • Complete a short research project that would could, but does not have to, be submitted as a poster and 2 page paper to a computer graphics conference. You can see some of the submissions to SIGGRAPH 2019 here.

You may work in teams of up to 4 people on the project. More information about how to propose the project will provided by week 3 of the semester.


This class will have three midterm exams and no final exam. The third midterm will be just before finals. Each exam is 50 minutes long and will be held in the CBTF. You will need to make a reservation in the CBTF to take the exam.

  • Midterm 1: Sep 24 - Sep 26
  • Midterm 2: Oct 29 - Oct 31
  • Midterm 3: Dec 9 - Dec 11

All exams are closed-everything (no book, notes, calculator, etc.). See the CBTF policies for more detail.You are responsible for all material covered in lectures and assignments.For DRES accommodations see CBTF DRES Students


We will post grades on Compass 2g.

We weight grades as follows:

  3 credits 4 credits
MP 1 15% 10%
MP 2 15% 10%
MP 3 15% 10%
MP 4 10% 10%
Midterm Exam 1 15% 15%
Midterm Exam 2 15% 15%
Midterm Exam 3 15% 15%
4 Credit Project   15%

You can expect the cutoffs to be approximately as follows 98 - 100: A+
93 - 98: A 90 - 93: A- 87 - 90: B+ 83 - 87: B 80 - 83: B- 77 - 80: C+ 73 - 77: C 70 - 73: C- 60 - 70: D Below 60: F

Extra Credit

During 10 lectures during the semester we will work on a set of group problem-solving exercises. Each of these events is worth 0.5% extra credit towards your total course grade. This is an opportunity to earn 5% extra credit in total. Also, you will learn things, so you should definitely attend.


There is no book for the class. Notes and other materials will be posted online. We do have some suggested books if you need help figuring things out:

Fundamentals of Computer Graphics 4th Edition by Steve Marschner, Peter Shirley

Fundamentals of Computer Graphics 4th Edition by Steve Marschner, Peter Shirley
Deals with the theoretical and mathematical aspects of computer graphics. Very readable.
UIUC Library E-book link

WebGL Programming Guide: Interactive 3D Graphics Programming with WebGL by Kouichi Matsuda and Rodger Lea

WebGL Programming Guide: Interactive 3D Graphics Programming with WebGL
by Kouichi Matsuda and Rodger Lea
A bit old now, but pretty easy to read with decent example code.
UIUC Library E-book link


We will use Piazza for answering questions and administering the course.

Click the header to join/view the forum. You do not need a passcode.

Course Staff

See the schedule for office hours.

  • Professor Eric Shaffer, Siebel 2209