teaching machines

CS 488: Lecture 25 – THREE.js

Dear students: Managers and experts like to tell their juniors not to reinvent the wheel. That’s because they are more interested in getting a product to market than in your learning. In an educational setting, our goals are very different. In a classroom, the product is you. If an activity helps you learn, then we […]

CS 488: Lecture 24 – Shadow Mapping

Dear students: Today is the culmination of many topics we’ve discussed earlier: perspective projections, projective texturing, and rendering to textures. It’s also a day I dread. We are talking about implementing shadows. Shadows are an important to realism. They communicate size and depth, and our visual system is accustomed to having them to reinforce or […]

CS 488: Lecture 23 – Framebuffer Objects and Billboards

Dear students: Normally we draw our objects directly into the framebuffer that shows up on our screens. Sometimes, however, we’d like to draw into some other raster, perhaps because we’re doing offline rendering or because we want to synthetically generate textures. To change the destination of our pixels in WebGL, we use framebuffer objects (FBOs). […]

CS 488: Lab 12 – Flashlight

Welcome to lab, which is a place where you and your peers complete exercises designed to help you learn the ideas discussed in the preceding lectures. It is intended to be a time where you encounter holes in your understanding and talk out loud with your peers and instructor. Your instructor will bounce around between […]

CS 488: Lecture 22 – Spotlights and Projective Texturing

Dear students: Today we examine two new lighting effects. First we focus light along a particular direction to produce a spotlight effect. Second we broadcast an image from a light source, just as our projectors broadcast input from a DVD player or our computer. Such textures are not bound to a particular object, like our […]

CS 488: Lecture 21 – Perspective

Dear students: Why do things farther away appear smaller? And how do we achieve that effect in our renderers? We answer these questions today as we explore the perspective matrix. How Real Eyes Work Our eyes are complex organs, and we will reduce them to an abstraction that is easier to model in code. In […]

CS 488: Lab 11 – Marble Torus

Welcome to lab, which is a place where you and your peers complete exercises designed to help you learn the ideas discussed in the preceding lectures. It is intended to be a time where you encounter holes in your understanding and talk out loud with your peers and instructor. Your instructor will bounce around between […]

CS 488: Lecture 20 – Perlin Noise

Dear students: Last time we examined value noise as a means of adding coherent randomness to too-perfect surfaces to make them feel more natural and less algorithmic. We continue that discussion today, but explore a different noise generation scheme invented by Ken Perlin. The Rise and Fall of Value Noise The algorithm for generating value […]

CS 488: Lecture 19 – Value Noise

Dear students: Algorithms produce visual content that is too perfect. We humans see the artifice and find it distasteful. When we explore the physical world, we see surfaces full of splotches and cracks. To achieve similar imperfections in algorithmic content, we introduce randomness. But pure randomness will take us to the opposite extreme of chaos. […]

CS 488: Lab 10 – 3D Modeling

Welcome to lab, which is usually a place where you and your peers complete exercises designed to help you learn the ideas discussed in the preceding lectures—but not this week. Your task in this lab is to work individually through some tutorials on 3D modeling. You pick the tutorials and the amount of them according […]

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