Computer Graphics 2 (CS-307) is by far my favourite module that I’ve taken at Swansea. I find the immediate applications of the theory really interesting and love the way coding graphics allows you to completely change the scene with just a few lines of code – results immediately visible. I’ve also had a keen interest in the games industry for a number of years, following a number of developers such as the legendary Peter Molyneux and smaller indie developers such as Mojang and Wolfire.
The Graphics module isn’t a direct application of games however but I still find it massively interesting. The software that the lecturer (Dr Mark Jones) has decided to give examples in is POV-Ray or the “Persistence of Vision ray-tracer”. Before the course, I must admit I’d not heard of it but it’s a very impressive ray tracer capable of very realistic scenes given enough time and effort (render time can be weeks for some of the more in-depth scenes). Some of the incredible projects people have made can be found in the Hall-of-fame.
Our coursework for the module is split into 3 parts:
- A simple scene rendered in POV-Ray to demonstrate basic scene description ability.
- An essay based on a complex function of our choice that’s available in POV-Ray. I have chosen to study “The use of fog in gaming”
- The third coursework is by far the most interesting to me. It is an open ended project requiring us to demonstrate a number of the computer graphics techniques taught in the course in POV-Ray. I intend to make a detailed interior of a house (possibly on an island or beach front).
If you are interested in writing your own scenes in POV-Ray simply visit the download page and get started :). Tutorials on the scene description language it uses (also called POV-Ray) can be found here.
Thanks for reading, check back soon to see how I got on with my first coursework.