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The syllabus for Fall 2011 can be found over at BYU syllabus builder

Class will be 1:35 to 2:50 pm T, Th in 3024 JKB on the first day and then most likely in 1110 TMCB.

Dr. Jones' office hours are 11 to noon Monday and 3 to 4 Thursdays in 2224 TMCB. And by appointment.

No textbook


CS 658 for Fall 2011 will focus on natural effects as used in recent films. To get some context, we'll study the classic algorithms as well. I expect we'll cover L-systems, fractals, fluid animation using the Navier-Stokes equations and weathering algorithms.

Here's the planned topics in the order we'll cover them:

  1. Light. Including global illumination issues.
  2. Fluids. Including smoothed particle hydrodynamics.
  3. Terrain. Phenomenological versus causal.
  4. Plants. L-systems, particle based and photo based approaches.
  5. Atmosphere. Rendering twilight.
  6. Human performance capture.
The class involves a few canned projects and a semester project. The canned projects are designed to teach principles through experience with minimal wasted effort. I tried to err on the side making them too simple.

I'm not sure what we'll do for semester projects as the class is relatively small this time around. The class switched from Winter to Fall semester so it was just taught last semester. We'll talk about that on the first day of class.

You can look at last year's schedule2 to get an idea for what's in the class. Keep in mind that last year we covered a good bit of rendering topics, I don't plan to do that in 2010.

Prereqs for the class would be some experience with graphics (as you might find in CS 455 or similar), linear algebra and the ability to write code. Mostly you need to be interested in graphics and the topic. Everything else will come with time.

The final exam is scheduled for Friday April 16 from 3 to 6 pm.

Contact Mike Jones at


There is no required textbook for the class. The following books are optional and I will not assume anyone has them. They make good references and many are available in the library.

Using 1110 TMCB

On the client (your machine) connect to CS Wireless. The SPICIE server is on the desktop. Start it and get the IP address. Start the client on the local machine. Things seem to work best in "share window" mode.


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