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SCAD VSFX 502-01 - Syllabus

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Syllabus School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts, Department of Visual Effects, SavannahVSFX 502 - Programming 3-D Models and Shaders Section: 01 CRN: 10824Mission of the College:The Savannah College of Art and Design exists to prepare talented students for professional careers, emphasizing learningthrough individual attention in a positively oriented university environment.Course Description:Students taking this course are introduced to the RenderMan Scene Description Language (RIB) and the RenderManShading Language (RSL). Pixar's RenderMan is a widely used rendering technology used for feature animated and specialeffects film production. The basics of python and MEL scripting are also covered. Course Goals: The following course goals articulate the general objectives and purpose of this course:Students will:1. Learn concepts of 3-D computer graphics that underpin the use of industry standard tools such as Maya2. Gain exposure to industry standard scripting languages3. Learn to write shaders using the RenderMan Shading LanguageStudent Learning Outcomes: The following course outcomes indicate competencies and measurable skills that studentsdevelop as a result of completing this course: 1. Students will demonstrate understanding of, and the ability to use, the format and structure of RenderMan's scenedesciption Rib files. These are produced by applications such as Maya and Houdini. 2. Students will demonstrate understanding of, and the ability to use, the fundamentals of writing shaders using theRenderMan Shading Language (RSL) appropriate to an introductory graduate level. This includes an understandingof data types and their use for global, instance and local variables. 3. Students will demonstrate understanding of, and the ability to use, the core library of RSL functions for themanipulation of surface color and illumination.Schedule of Classes:Key events including assignments, projects due dates/exam dates:Fall 2011Malcolm KessonOffice building, room: Montgomery 435Phone: 912-525-8557Office hours: Monday / Wednesday 1:30 PM - 2:30 PMEmail: [email protected]/Room: MONTGO 223 Meeting Times: Monday / Wednesday11:00 AM - 1:30 PMClass 1:Mon,September12, 2011 Discussion of course objectives and the two types of student assessment, namely,"completion exercises" and "graded projects". Overview of the RenderMan graphicssystem. Introduction to the web-based "work-in-progress"portfolio and use of a templateweb page.Class 2:Wed,September14, 2011 Check the student web pages for the completion of the self image exercise. Introduction tothe basics of the RenderMan scene description protocol.Class 3:Mon,September19, 2011 Elaboration on the use of light source, surface and displacement shaders. Application oftextures to surfaces and the use of depth map shadows.Class 4:Wed,September21, 2011 Use of archive RIB files and the management of level-of-detail.Class 5:Mon,September26, 2011 Overview of using RenderMan with Maya, its computing environment and the scriptinginterfaces provided by Pixar. Overview of RIB insertion points.Class 6:Wed,September28, 2011 Introduction to MEL scripting, datatypes, syntax and documentation. The use of MEL willbe confined to the writing of procedures for use with post-transform and pre-shape RIBinsertion. Class 7:Mon,October 3,2011 Use of "rman" scripts to implement simple interfaces within Maya. Class 8:Wed,October 5,2011 More MEL and "rman" scripting exercises and challenges. Class 9:Mon,October 10,2011 Introduction to the RenderMan shading language - syntax, datatypes and documentation.Initially the students will be show traditional shader writing techniques. Class 10:Wed,October 12,2011 Further work developing the basic concepts of writing surface shaders. Testing shadersusing simple RIB files. Class 11:Mon,October 17,2011 Further development of surface shading techniques. Importing shaders into Maya and therole of SLIM appearance scripts in defininghow shaders appear in Maya's HyperShadeeditor. Class 12:Wed,October 19,2011 Introduction to writing displacement shaders. Class 13:Mon,October 24,2011 Introduction to writing light source shaders. Class 14:Wed,October 26,2011 Introduction to modern approaches of writing class-based shaders.Class 15:Mon,October 31,2011 Further exposure to the concepts and techniques of writing class-based shaders. Class 16:Wed,November2, 2011 Introduction to generating custom secondary outputs, so-called "arbitary output variables". Class 17:Mon,November7, 2011 More shader writing exercises and challenges. Class 18:Wed,November9, 2011 Introduction to python scripting and its use with RenderMan.Class 19:Mon,November14, 2011 Further work dealing with python and RenderMan.Class 20:Wed,November16, 2011 Final check of student web pages. Student feedback/appraisal of the course.Grading Opportunities:Your overall course grade will be computed according to the following breakdown:Assignment WeightPreparation of portfolio web pages 10%Application of level of detail to efficiently animate a large collection of plants. 20%Implementation of six displacement shaders to produce procedurally definedpatterns.20%Implementation of a class-based shader that implements both surface anddisplacement shading techniques.20%Student defined independent project. 30%Total Weight 100%Grading Standards RangeLetter grade: A = excellent 90 —100 % Letter grade: B = good 80 — 89 % Letter grade: C = * 70 — 79 % Letter grade: D = * 60 — 69%Letter grade: F = failing 0 — 59%*Refer to the student handbooks and departmental standards for minimal acceptance for passing grade.Course Information:Field Trip(s):Field trips will be scheduled outside of the regular class hours; these will be announced as the quarter progresses.Extra Help Session(s):These will be scheduled on a weekly basis outside of regular class hours.Course Materials:Required Text(s):None.Recommended Text(s):“The RenderMan Shading Language Guide” Cengage Learning Rudy Cortes, Saty Raghavachary ISBN: 10-1584504323Learning Python By Mark Lutz O’Reilly ISBN 10: 0-596-51398-4 | ISBN 13: 9780596513986In Silico - 3D Animation and Simulation of Cell Biology with Maya and MelBy Jason Sharpe, Charles Lumsden and Nicholas WoolridgeMorgan KaufmannISBN 978-0-12-373655-0Required Material(s):A notebook and pen.College Policy:Academic Integrity: Under all circumstances, students are expected to be honest in their dealings with faculty, administrative staff and fellowstudents.In class

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