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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryTwo 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.
Course description * 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: Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Based Systems, Data Structures and Algorithms, Developing Technologies, Graphics and Sound, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Computer Graphics (Level 11) (INFR11021)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to all Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.

Some previous knowledge of 3D geometry, 3D computer graphics, and simple programming or scripting will be an advantage.
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 76 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 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.

You should expect to spend approximately 24 hours on the coursework for this course.

If delivered in semester 1, this course will have an option for semester 1 only visiting undergraduate students, providing assessment prior to the end of the calendar year.
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Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
1 - Describe different representations of 3D objects, and give examples of their application;
2 - Discuss structural properties of data and the influence they have on choice of visualisation algorithm;
3 - Describe a selection of different visualisation algorithms, and explain their features;
4 - Implement a simple visualisation application using an object-oriented visualisation toolkit;
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, and give examples of their application;
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.
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,
Additional Information
Course URL
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Course organiserDr Mary Cryan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5153
Course secretaryMiss Claire Edminson
Tel: (0131 6)51 4164
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