Class Information

Student Work

Course Objective

This course emphasizes the review and understanding of current computer graphics, interaction, and virtual environment research techniques and problems. Research-level topics are based on recent ACM SIGGRAPH papers and special effects techniques, through student-led discussions and both oral and visual presentations. A software project is required.

Time: Monday + Wednesday : 10:30am-12:00pm
Location: Towne 309


Dr. Stephen H. Lane (shlane _at_
  • Office Location: Graduate Research Wing 168

Course Format and Requirements

The course will be comprised of primers, lectures, student presentations and the authoring tool group project. Each student will be responsible for presenting one primer and at least two SIGGRAPH papers to the class. At least one paper is to be selected from the current SIGGRAPH Conference proceedings. In addition to the primer and SIGGraph paper presentations, authoring tool-related presentations will include design reviews and project milestone demonstrations.


Grading will be based as follows:

- Maya Programming Projects(10%)
  • Hello Maya Project
  • LSystem in Maya Project
  • LSystem Extensions with Python Project

- Student Presentations (40%)
  • Primer Presentation
  • SIGGRAPH Paper Presentation

- Authoring Tool (50%)
  • Quality of the Authoring Tool Design Document (15%)
  • Features and Functionality Implemented in the Authoring Tool (35%)
    Correspondence between the target feature set of the design document and that of the final implementation, as well as achievement of scheduled milestones also will be taken into account in the final grading.

Primer Topics

  • Real-Time Physics
  • Physically-Based Locomotion Control
  • Optimization-Based Animation Methods
  • Character Skinning Techniques
  • Clothing Simulation
  • Deformation and Fracture Models
  • Artificial Life (Plants and Animats)
  • Crowd Simulation
  • Advanced 3D Modeling (Parametric and Implicit Surface Methods)
  • Water and Fluid Simulation
  • Smoke, Fire and Explosion Simulation
  • Image-based Modeling and Rendering
  • Rendering and Lighting (BRDFs, Subsurface Scattering, etc)
  • Global Illumination (Ray tracing, Radiosity and Photon Mapping)
  • Hair and Fur (Shaders)
  • Procedural Modeling of Buildings and Cities
  • Hair Simulation
  • Motion Editing, Segmentation and Classification


Complete Maya Programming Volume I
by David Gould

Maya Python for Games and Film: A Complete Reference for Maya Python and the Maya Python API
by Adam Mechtley, Ryan Trowbridge