MMS3802 Programming for 3d computer graphics - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

James Sofra


Berwick : James Sofra


This unit will consist of:

Brief introduction to 3D computer graphics: history, hardware and software and its application to the entertainment and multimedia industries. Provision of a working knowledge of the basic techniques and fundamentals of real-time 3D computer graphics programming. Provision of insight and basic working knowledge into the content development pipeline. Study of complex mathematics for 3D graphics: translation, rotation, scaling and projections. Use of the OpenGL graphics library. Introduction to advanced OpenGL functionality, hidden surface removal algorithms and data visualization.


Knowledge and Understanding

By the end of this unit students should have:


  • knowledge of the fundamental concepts and techniques used in the field of computer graphics.
  • knowledge of the history of computer graphics, concepts and technologies.
  • an understanding of modern hardware and software technologies used in computer graphics.
  • an understanding of the complex mathematics used when displaying 3D environments: matrices, vectors, transformations, trigonometry etc.
  • an understanding of the limitations and restrictions inherent in creating interactive 3D graphics.
  • an understanding of advanced techniques: lighting, clipping, texture mapping, shadows, transparency.
  • an understanding of various hidden surface removal algorithms and the associated data structures.
  • an understanding of data visualization, as it applies to the field of computer graphics.


Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

By the end of this unit students should have:


  • a flexible attitude toward computer graphics API/Library selection.
  • the confidence to attempt to gain an understanding of existing 3D applications and the reasoning behind their design.
  • the ability to understand and evaluate a problem from the content developer's (i.e. artist's) point of view whilst recognizing the limitations in their understanding and knowledge.


Practical Skills

By the end of this unit students should have:


  • the ability to design, develop and debug software applications written in C++ using OpenGL.
  • the ability to integrate 3D models from an existing 3D modelling package into their own 3D application.
  • the ability to create an application that displays a convincing, freely navigable, 3D environment. Including some advanced OpenGL techniques.



Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed MMS3801, or equivalent.

Unit relationships

MMS3802 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Multimedia Systems Programming major.

You may not study this unit and GCO3817, CSE3313 in your degree.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

Interactive Computer Graphics: A Top-Down Approach Using OpenGL (Fourth Edition), Edward Angel, Pearson Education

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

The software, which will be used for this unit includes:

  • Visual Studio .NET
  • OpenGL
  • GLUT 3.7
  • Winamp

Hardware requirements

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 6 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

To be advised

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for MMS3802 are:

The MMS3802 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.

Unit website

Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Introduction to Graphics Systems
2 Intro to OpenGL
3 Interaction
4 Matrix and Vector mathematics
5 Viewing Ass 1 Due
6 Shading
7 Texture Mapping
8 Buffers and Blending
9 Hierarchical Modelling
10 Graphics Visualisation
Non teaching week
11 Introduction to advanced graphics algorithms Ass 2 Due
12 Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 60% and an examination with a weighting of 40%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Obtain above 40% in both assessment components.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

The final mark will be calculated using a weighting formula:


final grade = (R*A* E)/((R-1)*A+E)

where A = overall assignment percentage, E = examination percentage, R = 100/assignment weight

If a student achieves a grade of 0% for assignments the final grade will be:


Final grade = E / 2.5

If a student achieves a grade of 0% for the examination the final grade will be:


Final grade = A / 2.5

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
OpenGL Game of Life 18/08/06 25%
OpenGL Winamp Visualisation 06/10/06 35 %
The exam is 2 hours long and is open book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 40 %

Assignment specifications will be made available On the MMS3802 Unit Web Site Assignment Page.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission to the MMS3802 web site on MUSO. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received/the date by which the the submission is to be posted.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% lose of marks per day.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by submission of an extension request form at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

You may contact your lecture via email for direct communication. General questions they may be of interest to other students (or that other student may be able to assist with) can be directed to the discussion groups on the MUSO web site for MMS3802.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Wendesday - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mr James Sofra
Phone +61 3 990 47216
Fax +61 3 8622 8999

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Jul 13, 2006