Mathematics for 3D Graphics

Fall 2008




  • final project, due 12/16/2008 at 5.00 pm: project description: math396_final.pdf

  • The midterm exam will take place on Oct. 23rd during regular class time at our usual location, JR254. You are allowed to bring one page (one side of an 8.5 x 11 in. sheet of paper) with notes. No calculators. Here is a review sheet with practice problems.

  • open lab hours

    • Monday

    9.00 - 10.50 and 3.30 - 7.00

    • Tuesday

    9.00 - 1.45 and 5.00 - 7.00

    • Wednesday

    9.00 - 10.50 and 12.15 - 7.00

    • Thursday

    9.00 - 1.45

    • Friday

    9.00 - 10.50 and 12.15 - 3.00

  • class starts on Tues., Aug. 26th

  • reading assignment: chapter 0 - the rendering pipeline


  • instructor: Jorge Balbás, Santa Susana (SN) 125, (818) 677 4772, jorge.balbas -at-

meeting times and office hours

  • lecture: Tu 5.30 - 7.20 at JR 202

  • computer lab: Th 5.30 - 7.20 at JR 254

  • office hours: TuTh 11.00 - 12.30 at SN 125

about the course

  • course overview. This course explores some of the fundamental mathematical concepts and algorithms for computer animation and scientific data visualization. It is intended to provide students with a solid background on techniques from scientific computation, signal processing, linear algebra, and geometry that are commonly employed for character modeling and rendering, and to introduce them to software applications for digital animation that are built upon these concepts. Topics covered include: vectors, matrices, transformations, 3D engine geometry, curves and surfaces, ray tracing, illumination, and visibility determination.

    read more ...
  • pre-requisites: MATH250 or MATH262 and COMP106/L or COMP110/L

  • textbooks

    required text:

    reference texts:

    I have placed the following texts on reserve at the library

  • course materials (lecture notes, lab notes, slides, etc.)

  • grading policy view


Written homework will be assigned and collected in class (and posted here) each week on Tuesday. Students may work together in groups and discuss the homework problems with each other, but each student should write up and submit their own solutions. The homework should be written neatly. Please staple the sheets together.

computer labs

Programming assignments will be handed (and posted here) following each computer lab on Thursday and collected the following Thurs. Typically, these assignments will consist of a list of problems -related to the topics discussed in class and lab that week- to be solved using matlab and/or some modeling/rendering tasks to be performed with pixie or blender. While group work is encouraged, each student is expected to write his/her own code and to submit a report with his/her own results and conclusions.


Here are some links to online materials and references relevant to the course. If you know of anything worth posting here, please email it to me.

math and scientific computing






software for 3D graphics


UNIX / Linux




3D graphics and sci. visualization



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