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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Postgraduate Course: Computer Animation & Visualisation (Level 11) (INFR11067)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaInformatics Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionTwo major topics of Visualisation and Computer Animation are covered in this course.

Visualization is a cognitive process using the powerful information processing and analytical functions of the human vision system. It has always been a major factor in scientific progress and now, with the assistance of computer graphics, it extends our vision system from sub-atomic to interstellar dimensions and allows geometric representations and simulations of any multidimensional dataset. The fundamental objective is to acquire new knowledge rather than generating pictures. This part is very practical and techniques will be illustrated with applications in the scientific, engineering and medical domains. The increasingly important field of information visualisation and visual data-mining will also be covered.

The computer animation part will focus mainly on technological aspects for 3D computer animation for applications such as games and virtual environments. Techniques of character animation such as synthesizing their body movements, facial expressions and skin movements, and behaviors in crowded scenes, and how to compress such data will be first covered. Other topics which are essential to create natural scenes, such as physically based simulation for clothes, fluids and particles will also be covered.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Computer Graphics (Level 11) (INFR11021) AND Human-Computer Interaction (Level 11) (INFR11017)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Computer Animation & Visualisation (Level 10) (INFR10039)
Other requirements For Informatics PG and final year MInf students only, or by special permission of the School. Some previous knowledge of 3D geometry, 3D computer graphics, and simple programming or scripting will be an advantage.

Computer Graphics (Level 11) and Human-Computer Interaction (Level 11) are natural components of any computer animation / visualisation course and they are recommended (but not required) as companion courses.
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class Week 1, Tuesday, 16:10 - 17:00, Zone: Central. DHT Faculty Rm South
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
1 - Describe different representations of 3D objects, and evaluate their suitability for a given visualisation application;
2 - Discuss structural properties of data and the influence they have on choice of visualisation algorithm;
3 - For a particular visualisation problem, assess the suitability of different visualisation algorithms;
4 - Design and construct a visualisation application, taking into account relevant application requirements and choosing appropriate representations, algorithms and tools;
5 - Explain the kinds of animation that can be generated from the application of inverse kinematics or spacetime constraints to control characters;
6 - Describe a range of character animation techniques, comparing their usefulness for different applications;
7 - Synthesize animations of characters moving around, changing their facial expressions and controlling them in crowds;
8 - Use physically-based simulations to animate the movements of clothes, fluids and particles.
Assessment Information
Written Examination 70
Assessed Assignments 30
Oral Presentations 0

The course has a single written exam, and two assessed coursework assignments of equal weighting: one on volume data visualisation and the other on character animation.

Assessment of outcomes 1-3, 5 and 6 will be primarily through the written examination, supported by parts of the coursework assignments. Outcomes 4, 7 and 8 will be assessed through coursework.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus * Visualisation: definition and motivation.
* Data representation: geometric abstractions; volume and surface representations, interpolation.
* Fundamental algorithms: colour mapping; contouring; glyphs; volume rendering.
* Advanced algorithms: flow visualisation, vector visualisation, tensor visualisation.
* Information visualisation: networks and trees; document visualisation.
* Advanced topics of Computer Graphics: Visualisation of environments, data processing.
* Character Animation techniques: keyframe animation, inverse kinematics, facial animation, PD-control, flocking, crowd simulation.
* Motion capture technologies: optical, magnetic, mechanical, gyrosensors.
* Optimization-based techniques: space-time constraints, Laplacian distance shape deformation.
* Physically based animation techniques: fluid animation, hair animation, cloth simulation, deformable objects.

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Not yet available
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list * Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics), Richard Parent
* SIGGRAPH computer animation course
* Shroeder, Martin & Lorenson, 'The Visualization Toolkit', 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, 1998. The primary text for the course.
* Spence 'Information Visualization', Addison-Wesley, 2001. Good for the topic of information visualisation.
* Lichtenbelt, Crane & Naqvi, 'Introduction to Volume Rendering', Prentice Hall, 1998.
* Shroeder, Martin & Lorenson, 'The Visualisation Toolkit User's Guide', Prentice Hall,
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Lectures 20
Tutorials 0
Timetabled Laboratories 0
Non-timetabled assessed assignments 24
Private Study/Other 56
Total 100
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Michael Rovatsos
Tel: (0131 6)51 3263
Course secretaryMiss Kate Weston
Tel: (0131 6)50 2701
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