How Does the Picture Get on the Screen? - Introduction to Computer Graphics
Animated buttons on smartphones, visual effects in computer games and even the weather map in the weather forecast of new channels: Nowadays no one can imagine a day without computer graphics. That’s why this module revolves around one part of computer graphics, programming shaders. Shaders are small preprogrammed computing units on graphic cards, which can be used during 3D scenes to alter them and apply visual effects.
At the beginning of the module the students occupy themselves with learning the basics of visualizing an object as a triangulated mesh. In an interactive teaching unit, the expression of form, orientation and position of and object with coordinate transformation is discussed. At this point, the students can display objects on the screen but something very important is still missing: the color. A RGB-LED-circuit (red-green-blue) is used to demonstrate how colors are displayed on screen and explain the RGB color model.
All throughout this module the students apply their knowledge to program small shaders. The use and power of shaders is demonstrated in two final assignments. The first assignment is the implementation of a program for local lighting which requires and encourages working independently. Since the second topic is currently very relevant it should be interesting to work on for the students, they will implement a program that created an illusion of depth using red-cyan-glasses.