Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Rendering – Introduction

Overall Course Objectives

Rendering is to use a mathematical model on a computer for creating a digital image that looks like the real three-dimensional world. Computer animation for movies and games are classical examples where rendering is essential. Visualization of architecture and products under development (digital prototypes) is another important application area. It is also an advantage to use computer graphics rendering techniques for visualizing 3D simulations or measurements. Furthermore, it is increasingly more common to generate datasets consisting of synthetic images for machine learning.

The course objective is to introduce the ray tracing techniques commonly used in computer graphics systems for general/off-line rendering (photorealistic images, material appearance modelling, computer animation, scientific visualization, mapping techniques) as well as providing some experience with developing algorithms and implementing parts of such systems. In particular, the objective is to acquaint the participants with algorithms for simulating light-material interaction and to implement parts of a graphics system that can render relatively complicated objects, scenes, and illumination conditions.

Learning Objectives

  • Implement ray tracing and associated Monte Carlo sampling techniques.
  • Implement shaders for rendering surfaces.
  • Explain and apply BRDF solutions for describing light-material interaction.
  • Simulate visual effects that appear in a global illumination context (reflection, refraction, colour bleeding, caustics).
  • Explain and analyze rendering techniques and choose the best suited method for a given visualization assignment.
  • Use simple sampling techniques for anti-aliasing and soft shadows.
  • Use texture mapping (mapping an image to a surface) to highten the level of visual detail.
  • Accelerate rendering techniques using spatial data structures and graphics cards (GPU).
  • Use radiometric concepts to describe how light energy is emitted, reflected, and transmitted from one surface to another.
  • Use a rendering tool for physically based rendering of the appearance of a material and explain the path tracing it is based on.

Course Content

Visual effects: direct illumination, shadows, reflection, refraction, colour bleeding, caustics, texture.
Methods: ray tracing, photon mapping, path tracing, texture mapping, radiosity.
Core elements: building computer graphics systems for rendering, radiometry and photometry, light-material interaction (BRDF, BTDF), acceleration data structures, 3D projection (camera and texture), GPU acceleration.

Recommended prerequisites

01002/01004/01005/01006/02101/02102/02100/02393/02635, Programming experience (C++ is used in the course, other experience can be used as a starting point)

Teaching Method

Lectures, (lab) exercises, project



It is possible to take this course alongside 02561 Computer Graphics. The two courses complement each other. However, this course can also be attended independently.
Bachelor students with an interest in computer graphics can attend the course.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 02562
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Wed 13-17

7.500,00 DKK