Week 1

Administrivia / Introduction / History / OmegaLib Tutorial



CS 526 Computer Graphics II focuses on current topics in Computer Graphics and often acts as a testing ground for new courses in this area here.

This term the course is going to focus on high resolution large format displays

How this class relates to to other similar / related CS courses

CS 422
User Interface Design Focus on developing effective user interfaces
Every spring
CS 424
Visualization & Visual Analytics
Focus on visualizing and interacting with different kinds of large data sets
Every fall
CS 426
Video Game Programming Focus on creating complete audio visual interactive (and fun) experiences Every spring
CS 488
Computer Graphics I Focus on the basics of how computers create images on screens, OpenGL Every fall
CS 522
Human Computer Interaction Focus on interaction and evaluation of interactive environments once every other year
CS 523
Multi-Media Systems Focus on the creation of Educational Worlds once every other year
CS 524
Visualization & Visual Analytics II
Focus on visualizing and interacting with 3D data sets
once every other year
CS 525
GPU Programming Focus on shaders and parallel processing once every other year
CS 526
Computer Graphics II Focus on current trends in computer graphics
once every other year
CS 527
Computer Animation Focus on creating realistic motion once every other year
CS 528
Virtual Reality Focus on immersion once every other year



40,000 BC - Cave paintings

1500 BC - Frescoes

1793 - Fixed 360 degree Panoramas - Robert Barker in Leicester Square, London - link

1840s - Moving Panoramas - John Banvard's Mississippi Panoramas - 3.6m (12 feet) high and 800m (2600 ft) long - link


1927 - the film 'Napoleon' used three cameras for the Triptych finale for greater impact - giving a 4:1 aspect ratio (3 x the standard 1.33:1 of the time) - link

1952 - Cinerama - three 35 mm film cameras and projectors giving at best a 146 degree field of view for films like How the West was Won or This is Cinerama - link

1970 - IMAX - standard screen is 22m by 16m (72 feet by 52 feet) with 65mm film - link

Its hard to compare an analog medium like film to a digital one but you can roughly say that digital 4K (roughly 4096 x 2160 pixels) is equivalent to 35mm film, depending a lot on the quality of the film stock and the shooting conditions, which is why SIGGRAPH had people giving talks on computer graphics with slides through much of the 1990s.

We also started seeing big screens in use at places such as NASA.

Then we move into a time where the imagery on the screens is more interactive

2005 LambdaVision wall at evl, which is very typical of the large high-resolution LCD wall setups

and these can be in other orientations like tables as in evl's LambdaTable - based off of the needs of communities that are used to working with very high resolution paper maps. People present information on walls but we are more used to interacting with information on tables.

Whether projection-based or flat screen-based it can take a cluster of computers to drive the larger versions of these displays.

Large format displays are often shown running a single visualization across the entire display, such as here when the ENDURANCE team was using a large wall at evl to look at quickbird satellite images of the lake they will be working at.


However the real power of these displays may come from showing multiple inter-related visualizations at the same time as in this photo from the ENDURANCE project at evl when data had been collected from the lake and now the quality of that data needs to checked. This would be done on a newer wall.

a couple years later the team came back again and we did similar work in the cave as shown below, now integrating multiple monoscopic and stereo windows, and including head and hand tracked visuals into the mix.


We will talk more about the various types of hardware next week and the software (both middleware and application level) that drives these kinds of displays the week after that.

It is also important to have a convenient way of moving data onto the display and interacting with it once it is there so we will talk about that.

We will investigate physiological issues in terms of how people view and interact with these displays. What does it take to provide 20/20 vision? How important is audio? How much physical motion is involved when interacting or even looking at all of the data on these kinds of displays?

We will also look at people collaborating using these displays, both co-located and remote collaboration. How are these kinds of spaces shared? How do people manage both public and private information.

and to make things more interesting we will hold the class meetings, project demonstrations, and paper presentations inside one of our large format high-resolution displays, the cave2. We will be trying various configurations during the class to see what works better.


We will collect Wireless MAC addresses from everyone so you can connect to our internal network on the next class. Please enter your information today so you will be able to connect on Thursday: http://tinyurl.com/nychzp8

Download the SAGE Pointer software - http://www.sagecommons.org/resources/sage-pointer-and-ui/
Create an image (jpg, pdf) with a photo of yourself, your name, and your interests related to this course
Next time at the beginning of class everyone will use their sage pointer to drag and drop their image onto the screen and give a brief 1 minute introduction so we can get to know each other a little bit.

so, for example I could show something like this:

We will all be using the SAGE software regularly in the class so be sure to bring a laptop with the sage pointer running with you to class each day.

Project 1 / SAGE Tutorial / OmegaLib Tutorial

First off, lets have everyone introduce themselves.

Point your sage pointer to lyra.evl.uic.edu to drag and drop your picture with info onto the cave-2 wall.

To get people ready for working on project 1 we are going to have a tutorial on OmegaLib, one of the pieces of software we use to drive cave2.

omegalib is available at https://github.com/uic-evl/omegalib
the wiki is a good starting point and in particular the section on python programming.

Here is google group for omegalib, which is a good place to post questions about the library: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/omegalib

Coming Next Week


We are going to focus on a few papers as a class during the course.

Before next class please read
The Future of the CAVE
DeFanti, T.A., et. al.

Each person should produce a 1 page PDF file critiquing the paper including your name, the title of the paper, a short paragraph summary of the paper, a  list of things you found interesting in the paper, and then what you think are the positives and negatives about the research.

In class on Tuesday everyone will use sage to drag and drop their file onto the wall and a subset of the students will be asked to talk more in depth about what you found in the paper

last modified 8/27/13