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COSC342 Computer Graphics

Display technology and algorithms, principles of modelling 3D, image synthesis from 3D models, texture, lighting and animation.

This paper offers an introduction to the techniques for creating and handling pictorial data in computers.

Paper title Computer Graphics
Paper code COSC342
Subject Computer Science
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,858.95

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COSC 242 and MATH 160
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Computer Science Adviser
Teaching staff
Lecturers: Dr Steven Mills and Dr Stefanie Zollmann
Paper Structure

The topics covered in this paper are as follows:

  • Image representation and colour models
  • Two-dimensional image rendering, drawing lines, filling, antialiasing
  • Transformation of geometry in two and three dimensions
  • Three-dimensional modelling and visualisation
  • Ray tracing, path tracing and other techniques for portraying realism
  • The graphics pipeline and shaders for real-time rendering


  • Two assignments 20% each
  • Final exam 60%
Teaching Arrangements

There are two 1-hour lectures per week and one 2-hour lab per week.

There is no prescribed text book for this paper.
Course outline
View the course outline for COSC 342
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
This paper will enable students to:
  • Gain a high level understanding of computer graphics and the related fields of computer vision and image processing
  • Implement algorithms for drawing basic geometric shapes
  • Represent 2D and 3D objects in a computer's memory
  • Apply transformations to 2D and 3D objects, including producing 2D displays of 3D geometry
  • Write software that displays graphics (e.g. using OpenGL)
  • Develop a ray tracer that renders diffuse and specular lighting, as well as mirror reflections and shadows
  • Understand basic colour theory

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 10:00-11:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22