CS 430 Computer Graphics

If you send questions via e-mail, you should e-mail them to the TA and Professor Breen.

You can also get help with assignments in the Cyber Learning Center (10th floor of 3675 Market Street, inside CCI Commons).
Click here to see the TA hours. Click on "CS 430".

Course Page : http://www.cs.drexel.edu/~david/Classes/CS430

Recommended Textbooks:

  1. Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (3rd Edition), John F. Hughes, et al., Addison-Wesley, 2014; ISBN 978-0-321-39952-6
  2. Introduction to Computer Graphics, by James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, et al. Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1994; ISBN: 0201609215
Suggested Supplemental Texts:
  1. The Essentials of CAGD, by Gerald Farin and Dianne Hansford. AK Peters, 2000; ISBN: 978-1568811239

It is University policy that you read your official Drexel email; it is the course policy that you read it at least once per day.
I will regularly communicate to the class via e-mail.

Course Objective

Computer Graphics represents a vast technical field, ranging from mathematics and geometry topics to computer hardware and software engineering topics to rendering, animation and virtual reality, far more than can be comprehensively covered in a 10 week term. CS 430 Computer Graphics is designed to provide students with an introduction to the fundamental algorithms of computer graphics, as well as detailed coverage of the mathematics and implementation of 2D and 3D geometric transformations, line, curve and surface drawing. The course culminates with a focus on 3D viewing and visible surface algorithms.


Students are required to have taken CS 260 (Data Structures), and (Math 201 (Linear Algebra) or Math 261 (Linear Algebra) or Engr 231 (Linear Engineering Systems)). You will find this course extremely difficult if you do not have strong (B or better) linear algebra skills. Minimal review of linear algebra will be given in this class. Students are assumed to have excellent knowledge of programming. Students can use whatever programming language they wish (C, C++, Java, Python, etc.) for the assignments in this class with the following caveat: you will need to turn in both source code and a makefile or a script for testing and evaluation. Code must run as a single command-line process on the CS Department's Linux (tux) computers, without needing special libraries. Arguments passed to the command-line will parameterize assignments; hence you'll need to read command-line arguments (argc, argv) in arbitrary order and parse input files. This course is mathematically intense and implementationally challenging. You will be required to implement complex data structures and mathematical calculations as a regular part of your assignments.

Mask Requirement for the 2021 Fall Quarter

As of August 3, 2021, Drexel requires all students and employees to wear a mask in all on-campus public and shared spaces, including instructional and research settings, regardless of vaccination status. Specifically, masks are to be worn in classrooms, laboratories, lecture halls and seminar rooms. Students are not permitted to eat during class or otherwise remove their mask. If a student needs to remove their mask (to drink water etc.) they may step outside the class, to do so and then return to class. Please remember your mask to avoid class disruption. If a student does not wear a mask or follow other required health and safety guidelines in the classroom, the instructor will take the following steps:
  • Ask the student to please correct their behavior. This may involve determining if there is a reason why the student is unable to comply with the request; for instance, they may not have a mask. If a solution to the problem can be easily identified, and the instructor is able to assist the student in complying, such as directing them as to where to find a mask, they will do so.
  • If the student refuses to mask, the instructor will inform the student that they will be referred to Student Conduct and they will be asked to leave the class.
  • If the student still will not correct their behavior, the instructor should ask the student to leave the classroom.
  • In the unlikely situation that a student refuses to leave the classroom, the instructor may call Public Safety to have the student escorted from the class. After class, the instructor should send a report of the incident to Student Conduct.
As members of the Drexel community, we all play a role in supporting our collective health and safety. If you have questions or concerns about masking in class, please do not hesitate to ask. More information about masking is available at the link above and on the Drexel Response to Coronavirus website.

Course Grading Scheme
  • Assignments (85%)
  • Final exam (15%)
I intend to use the standard grading scale of 100→ 90 (A), 89→ 80 (B), 79→ 70 (C), 69→ 60 (D), else (F).
Also note that incompletes will not be given for this course.


You can write your programs using whatever language you would like, as long as they run on tux, the department's Linux cluster.

The output of your programs will be represented with a number of different formats.
You should use Postscript for assignments 1, 2 and 4, and the Extra Credit assignment. You should use ASCII Plain PBM for assignment 3 and Plain PPM for assignment 5 for your output images.

Here is description of how to draw 2D lines in Postscript.
Here is a Postscript file that draws several lines, using the default page size.
The description of the PBM format can be found here.
The description of the PPM format can be found here.
Here are a PBM file and a PPM file.
You should be able to view these images files in standard image display programs, e.g. 'Preview' in MacOS, and 'gs' (Postscript) and 'display' (PBM and PPM) on tux.

Students must work on the assignments individually. No geometry or graphics libraries may be used in the homework assignments.
You may use math libraries to represent and manipulate vectors and matrices, command line option processing libraries, and libraries to write PBM/PPM and Postscript files.
But they must be installed on tux!

Assignments that do not meet the program specifications EXACTLY will not be graded!
Any assignments that are returned to students because they do not meet the assignment specifications will be penalized with late points.

Assignment results will be assessed visually. I am not looking for any specific file output.

1 point per day (max of 5 points) will be deducted from late assignments.

The deadline for turning in all assignments is December 5.

You will be given a grade of 0 if an assignment is not turned in by this date.

The programming assignments should be submitted on the class Bb Learn page before 11:59 PM on the due date.

Academic Honesty

You must be the sole original author of all assignments and examination solutions in their entirety, unless the instructor explicitly instructs you otherwise in written directions on an assignment or exam. Collaborative work is a violation of academic honesty in this course. You are not to examine or use code belonging to someone else, nor may you let anyone else examine or copy your code.

Students found in violation of the Academic Honesty policy will receive an 'F' in the class. In the case of plagiarism, all parties involved will be equally penalized.

The description of the department's Academic Integrity Policy can be found here. If a student violates this policy, an Alleged Academic Misconduct Report will be filed with the college.

It is your responsibility to avoid violating the university's policy. If you are unclear as to what the policy means in a particular situation, ask the instructor for clarification before you hand anything in.

See the examples below for clarification of this policy.


The following are acceptable:
  • Using code provided in lecture: include comments that cite the source.
  • Using code provided in the class textbook: include comments that cite the source.
  • Code developed jointly with instructor or teaching assistants assigned to this course.
  • Discussing algorithms or possible approaches to writing your program, WITHOUT discussing particulars of the code.
  • Discussing how to resolve errors, WITHOUT discussing particulars of the code.
These are NOT acceptable:
  • You borrow a printed or electronic copy of a friend's assignment, and use it for "inspiration".
  • You give a printed or electronic copy of your assignment to somebody else.
  • You "find" a copy of somebody's program in the trash, on a lab machine, on their hard drive, on the web, etc., and use it for "inspiration".
  • You pay a "tutor" who writes the assignment for you.
  • You download code from the Web, and turn in some or all of it as your own assignment.
  • You and a friend together write one assignment, then create separate modifications to be handed in.
  • You and a friend write certain portions of the assignment individually, but collaborate on other portions of the assignment.
  • You work in a group that works out the detailed structure of the assignment and you turn it into a specific program.
The College of Computing and Informatics has a "2 Strikes You're Out" policy.
If you have two cheating infractions, you will be expelled from your CCI major.

Your source code for all programming assignments will be run through a plagiarism detection system. This program uses compiler techniques, which are invariant of syntax and style. If you are sharing/borrowing code with other classmates (from this or previous years), you will get caught.


There will be a final exam on the material from class that is not covered by the regular assignments.

The final exam will be held on Monday, December 6, 2021, 1PM to 3PM in 3675 Market Street, Room 1054-1055.

Final Exam Topics

Lectures Are Recorded

Recorded lectures can be viewed via the class Bb Learn page by following the "Echo360 Class Recordings" link.

The class Discord channel can be reached through this link.


Week 1 (September 20 - 24)
  • Reading Assignment
    • Hughes et al.: Chapters 1 & 3; Sections 7.1→7.7, 14.1→14.3, 17.1→17.3; Chapter 10
    • Foley et al.: Chapter 1; Section 3.9; Sections 5.1→5.4
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapter 1
  • September 20 - Lecture : Introduction 6 per page
  • September 22 - Lecture: Line Clipping / 2D-Transformations 6 per page

Week 2 (September 27 - October 1)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Hughes et al.: Chapter 11
    • Foley et al.: Sections 5.5→5.9, 3.1, 3.2
    • Farin and Hansford: Sections 2.1, 2.2
  • September 27 - Lecture: 3D-Transformations 6 per page
  • September 29 - Lecture: Lines 6 per page

Week 3 (October 4 - 8)

Week 4 (October 11 - 15)

  • Reading Assignment
  • October 11 - No class. Drexel is closed for the holiday.
  • October 13 - Lectures: Introduction To Curves 6 per page

Week 5 (October 18 - 22)

  • October 17 - Assignment 2 Due
  • Reading Assignment
    • Hughes et al.: Sections 22.4→22.7
    • Foley et al.: Sections 9.2.4→9.2.8
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapters 4 & 5
  • October 18 - Lecture: Drawing Bezier Curves 6 per page
  • October 20 - Lecture: B-splines and NURBS 6 per page

Week 6 (October 25 - October 29)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Foley et al.: Sections 6.1→6.4
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapters 10 & 11; Sections 13.1→13.6
  • October 25 - Lecture: Drawing NURBS 6 per page
  • October 27 - Lecture: Introduction to 3D Viewing 6 per page

Week 7 (November 1 - November 5)

  • October 31 - Assignment 3 Due
  • Reading Assignment
    • Hughes et al.: Sections 7.9, 7.10, 8.3, 8.4, 14.5, 23.1, 23.2; Chapters 13 & 25
    • Foley et al.: Sections 6.5→6.7; Sections 9.1, 9.3, 9.4;
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapters 6 & 7; Sections 2.3→2.6, 12.1→12.4, 13.7, 13.8
  • November 1 - Lecture: Math of 3D Viewing 6 per page
  • November 3 - Lecture: Surfaces 6 per page

Week 8 (November 8 - 12)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Hughes et al.: Sections 14.7, 22.6, 23.3→23.5, 24.1→24.5
    • Foley et al.: Chapter 10
    • Farin and Hansford: Sections 12.5, 12.6
  • November 8 - Lecture: Subdivision Surfaces and Solid Modeling
  • November 10 - Lecture: Solid Models 6 per page

Week 9 (November 15 - 19)

Week 10 (November 22 - 23)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Hughes et al.: Chapter 18
    • Foley et al.: Section 3.7, 3.14
  • November 22 - Lecture: Thick Primitives 6 per page
  • November 24 - No class. Drexel is closed for the holiday.

Week 11 (November 29 - December 3)

File last modified on November 28, 2021.