CS 430 Computer Graphics

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

Click here to get the TA hours. Click on "CS 430" to see which other TAs can provide help with this class.

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

Recommended Textbooks:

  1. 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
  2. Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (3rd Edition), John F. Hughes, et al., Addison-Wesley, 2014; ISBN 978-0-321-39952-6

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 through detailed coverage of the mathematics and implementation of 2D and 3D line, curve and surface drawing, as well as geometric transformations. 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.

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.

You should use the ASCII Plain PBM (for assignments 1 --> 4 and the Extra Credit assignment) and Plain PPM (for assignment 5) file formats for your output images.
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 'display' 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 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.

Final Exam Topics

Lectures Are Recorded

Class lectures will be live-streamed through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and will also be recorded.
Recorded lectures can be accessed through the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra link on the class Bb Learn page.
Click on the three horizontal lines on the upper left.
Then click on "Recordings" to access the lecture recordings.


Week 1 (September 21 - 25)

Week 2 (September 28 - October 2)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Foley et al.: Section 3.9, Chapter 5
  • September 28 - Lecture: Line Clipping / 2D-Transformations 6 per page
  • September 28 - Lecture: 3D-Transformations 6 per page

Week 3 (October 5 - 19)

Week 4 (October 12 - 16)

  • No class. Drexel is closed for the holiday.

Week 5 (October 19 - 23)

  • October 18 - Assignment 2 Due
  • Reading Assignment
    • Foley et al.: Sections 9.2→9.2.3
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapters 3, 4, 5 & 9
  • October 19 - Lectures: Introduction To Curves 6 per page
  • October 19 - Lecture: Drawing Bezier Curves6 per page

Week 6 (October 26 - October 30)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Foley et al.: Sections 9.2.4→9.2.8
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapters 10 & 11; Sections 13.1→13.6
  • October 26 - Lecture: B-splines and NURBS 6 per page
  • October 26 - Lecture: Drawing NURBS 6 per page
  • Reading Assignment
    • Foley et al.: Sections 6.1→6.4

Week 7 (November 2 - November 6)

Week 8 (November 9 - 13)

  • Reading Assignment
    • Foley et al.: Sections 9.3, 9.4; Chapter 10
    • Farin and Hansford: Chapters 6, 7 & 12; 13.7→13.8
  • November 9 - Lecture: Surfaces 6 per page
  • November 9 - Lecture: Subdivision Surfaces and Solid Modeling

Week 9 (November 16 - 20)

Week 10 (November 23 - 27)

Week 11 (November 30 - December 4)

File last modified on October 9, 2020.