COMPSCI 715 : Advanced Computer Graphics


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An advanced look at current research issues in computer graphics. Typical topics include: ray-tracing acceleration methods; radiosity; subdivision surfaces; physically-based modelling; animation; image-based lighting and rendering; non-photorealistic rendering; advanced texturing. The precise content may vary from year to year. Consult the department for details. Recommended preparation: COMPSCI 373 or equivalent, and 15 points at Stage II in Mathematics.

Course Overview

COMPSCI 715 Advanced Computer Graphics is designed to train students to develop cutting-edge computer graphics and AR/VR technologies and to evaluate them and communicate results. The course is most suitable for students interested in novel computer graphics algorithms and applications and who consider a career involving developing computer graphics and virtual reality software and/or doing research in this field. Knowledge of introductory computer graphics (e.g. COMPSCI 373) is an advantage but is not required as long as students are willing to self-learn the required basic concepts.

The course will include an advanced look at current research issues in computer graphics. Typical topics are listed below, although the precise content may vary from year to year.

The course comprises three key components:

  • A project implementing and analysing a solution to a computer graphics research problem.
  • A report describing the investigated research problem, its solution and its evaluation.
  • Lectures teaching research skills and selected topics relevant to the projects.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: Approval of the Academic Head or nominee

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and apply the state-of-the-art of selected computer graphics subjects (such as game technology and Augmented and Virtual Reality). (Capability 1)
  2. Develop and demonstrate research skills required to solve a novel problem in computer graphics, evaluate it, and communicate the results. (Capability 1)
  3. Evaluate the literature on selected computer graphics technology, identify gaps in the research, and develop a solution and critically analyse it. (Capability 2)
  4. Identify, develop and apply suitable algorithms and technologies to solve research problems in computer graphics. (Capability 3)
  5. Be able to communicate knowledge about the state-of-the-art in a research subject, gaps in the research, your proposed solution for it and the results you obtained. (Capability 4)
  6. Develop ethical awareness about conducting research, learn to solve problems independently and to work as part of a team. (Capability 5)
  7. Develop and demonstrate social and environmental responsibilities, e.g. the importance of "Vision Matauranga" when conducting research and applications of computer graphics technologies to benefit society. (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Project 35% Individual Coursework
Presentations 20% Individual Coursework
Discussions 5% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

For more information and to find contact details for the CompSci 373 Tuākana coordinator, please see

Key Topics

The following list contains typical topics taught in CS715. The exact list of topics depends on selected group projects and usually only a subset of the  topics below is taught.
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Serious games
  • Procedural modelling
  • Visualisation
  • Ray-tracing acceleration methods
  • Radiosity
  • Subdivision surfaces
  • Physically-based modelling
  • Animation
  • Image-based lighting and rendering
  • Non-photorealistic rendering
  • Advanced texturing

Special Requirements

The course is project-based. Projects are assessed individually, but are conducted in a team and, hence, meetings with team members will be necessary.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, each week you can expect:

  • 3 hours of lectures, presentations and team meetings
  • 1-2 hours of reading and thinking about the content
  • 8-9 hours of work on writing source code and reports

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

The course is available for students who have to work remotely and, in that case, physical attendance will be replaced with online meetings.
Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including lectures/team meetings/presentations to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including presentations and team meetings will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
There will not be any tests or exams.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Recommended research papers will be announced after research projects have been selected.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

SET results were not available yet at the time the DCO had to be submitted. Student feedback suggested that the Unity lecturer were very useful and we will attempt to offer them again based on the availability of teaching staff. We have a limited number of HMDs and will try to purchase more in time for the 2023 CS715 course.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2022 09:29 a.m.