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COSC342 Computer Graphics

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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 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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COSC 242 and MATH 160
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Computer Science Adviser
Teaching staff

Lecturers: Dr Steven Mills
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.


Textbooks are not required 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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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 10:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-22
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-22