Introduction to Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling

Lecturer: Brian A. Barsky (UC Berkeley, USA).

About the lecturer | Course Summary | Slides | Assignment

About the lecturer: Brian A. Barsky is Professor of Computer Science and Vision Science, and Affiliate Professor of Optometry, at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. He is also a member of the Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, an interdisciplinary and inter-campus program, between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (F.A.A.O.). Professor Barsky has co-authored technical articles in the broad areas of computer aided geometric design and modeling, interactive three-dimensional computer graphics, visualization in scientific computing, computer aided cornea modeling and visualization, medical imaging, and virtual environments for surgical simulation. He is also a co-author of the book An Introduction to Splines for Use in Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling, co-editor of the book Making Them Move: Mechanics, Control, and Animation of Articulated Figures, and author of the book Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling Using Beta-splines. Professor Barsky also held visiting positions in numerous universities of European and Asian countries. He is also a speaker at many international meetings, an editor for technical journal and book series in computer graphics and geometric modelling, and a recipient of an IBM Faculty Development Award and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. Further information about Professor Barsky can be found at

Course summary: This course will provide an introduction to the foundations of three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics as well as computer aided geometric design and modeling. Computer graphics is concerned with the creation of images using the computer. Although the images are two-dimensional (2D), they are usually based on three-dimensional scenes. The transformation from 3D to 2D generally involves perspective, and this will be discussed in this course. The objects in the scene are modeled mathematically. This involves computer aided geometric design (CAGD) and geometric modeling which studies techniques which have applications beyond computer graphics, such as fabrication and manufacturing. This course will discuss some of the basic concepts of CAGD and will introduce some mathematical formulations for representing smooth curves and surfaces. Part of the process in computer graphics is to generate images of these geometric models and this involves the physics of light, since image creation involves the interaction of light and objects. This course will introduce the concepts of diffuse and specular reflection and present the basics of light reflection and rendering. The physics of light also relates to color, and how humans see color involves the human vision system, topics that will also be addressed in the course. The course will emphasize principles and fundamentals, not programming and implementation. It is intended to be an introduction and assumes only a basic mathematical background but not prior background in computer graphics. Students with no previous experience in computer graphics are welcome. In addition to presenting the basic concepts of computer graphics, Professor Barsky will give an additional seminar describing an overview of his research.

Seminar: The BLUR Project at Berkeley: Algorithms for Computer Generated Imagery, Computational Photography, and Aiding Human Vision

The multidisciplinary BLUR project at UC Berkeley combines computer graphics with optics, optometry, and photography. This research investigates mathematical models to describe the shape of the cornea and algorithms for cornea measurement, scientific and medical visualization for the display of cornea shape, mathematics and algorithms for the design and fabrication of contact lenses, simulation of vision using actual patient data measured by wavefront aberrometry, photo-realistic rendering algorithms for generating imagery with optically-correct depth of field, view camera simulation. This talk will present an overview of rendering algorithms for simulating depth of field found in photographs and of vision-realistic rendering algorithms for simulating a subject's vision. Recent work on correcting visual aberrations with computational light field displays will also be briefly introduced.

Assignment: You can find the problem set here. Please send the solutions to Bartosz Klin by Monday, June 16.