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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMP5822M High-Performance Graphics

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Prof Hamish Carr

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

We will assume a good standard of C++ programming, including use of classes, basic templates, and overloading. Knowledge of computer architecture, in particular the memory hierarchy. Knowledge of data structure and algorithms including but not limited to complexity analysis. Knowledge of mathematics including linear algebra, calculus, discrete mathematics, statistics, numerical analysis, etc. Knowledge of physics. Knowledge of Computer Graphics and OpenGL, hands-on experience with at least one Graphics User Interface library.


COMP5812MFoundations of Modelling and Rendering
COMP5821MGeometric Processing

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Building on the fundamentals of rendering covered in COMP5812M, this module covers motion in virtual environments, including animation, simulation, and specialised rendering effects, based initially on Parent, Computer Animation (3d ed).


Teach students all aspects of motion and animation in computer graphics, including
* principles of interpolation required for animation
* path-based motion control and animation
* object deformation and interpolation
* hierarchical kinematic modelling
* forward and inverse kinematics
* motion capture
* motion blending & retargeting
* spring animations, particle systems, rigid body simulations and rag-doll physics, modelling constraints based on collision detection
* fluid simulation, including water bodies, clouds & fire
* computational fluid dynamics & smoothed particle hydrodynamics
* modelling human & animal characters, including skinning, layering, muscle modelling & rigging
* standard human motions such as reaching, grasping, coordination and locomotion
* modelling clothing, fur and hair
* facial modelling, animation & lip-synching
* behavioural modelling, including flocking, autonomous & intelligent motion control & crowd behaviours
* principles of user controlled animation & motion planning

Learning outcomes
1. To gain the theoretical knowledge and underpinning mathematics and physics in all areas within computer animation.
2. To understand the standard practice in computer animation pipelines.
3. To know and be able to analyse commonly used algorithms and models for different animation applications.
4. To acquire in-depth knowledge and hands-on skills in implementing several key algorithms in mesh deformation, character animation and physical simulation.
5. To be aware of a broader context around computer animation techniques including behaviours, perception, artificial intelligence, etc.

Skills outcomes
* Shader programming (GLSL).
* Graphics performance profiling.
* Graphics programming in an industry-relevant toolset, e.g. Vulkan


* Interpolation of Motion
* Angular Interpolation with Quaternions, Slerp, and Splines
* Interpolation-Based Animation: Deformations, Shapes & Morphing
* Kinematic Linkages
* Motion Capture, Blending & Retargeting
* Physically-Based Animations: Springs, Particles, Rigid Bodies, Cloth
* Fluids: Liquids & Gases
* Human Figures: Skinning, Layering, Rigging, Human Motions
* Clothing, Fur & Hair
* Facial Modelling & Animation
* Behavioural Animation: Flocking, Autonomy & Crowd Behaviours

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours114.00
Total Contact hours126.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)264.00

Private study

Parallel/concurrent programming introduces students to new hardware and software concepts that are both complex in themselves, and significantly complicate the task of programming. Of the ~5 hours per week of private study, 2 hours should be dedicated to comprehending the underlying theory through studying material from the modules reading list. The remaining time will be spent carrying out practical programming exercises, both practical sheets and further exercises from the literature as indicated by the module leader.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The weekly supervised practical classes will provide feedback on students’ ability to deploy the new concepts covered in that week.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PracticalProgramming Task20.00
PracticalProgramming Task20.00
PracticalProgramming Task20.00
PracticalProgramming Task20.00
PracticalProgramming Task20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

This module will be reassessed by an online time-constrained assessment

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:20:48


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