Exploring the Laplacian in Computer Graphics

EN 500.111.40

Fall 2023, 1 credit


Crane He Chen

Email: hchen136@jhu.edu

Website: http://cranehechen.com/

Office: Hackerman Hall 136

Office hours: by appointment


Th 9:00AM - 10:15AM, Homewood Campus, Bloomberg 178

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No prerequisites. Course is designed primarily for freshmen at Johns Hopkins University.

Course Information

This course provides a practical, hands-on introduction to computer graphics, serving as an inspiring stepping stone towards the advanced 3 credit course in Computer Graphics. Central to this study is the fundamental concept of "the Laplacian" in computer graphics, an important topic, but not addressed in the 3-credit course. This technology has many practical applications, including computer game modeling, animation, and visual effects in movie production. The concept will be illuminated from both an algebraic and geometric perspective, accompanied by real-life examples and practical exercises. This course is designed to offer an expansive understanding of the role of the Laplacian in computer graphics, further enriched by hands-on opportunities coding with C++.

Course Goals

Specific outcomes for this course are that


Learning Environment

Course Schedule

Date Lecture Slides Codebase / Other Resources
Week 1 Overview and motivation Introduction to USD
Week 2 Data Pelican,Lizard,Beetle, Rebel, HappyDragon, Ogre, Solution
Week 3 CMake HelloGraphics
Week 4 “The Laplacian" basics, 1D, 2D, 3D Laplace-Beltrami: The Swiss Army Knife of Geometry Processing
Week 5 “The Laplacian" for 3D models part1 Laplace-Beltrami: The Swiss Army Knife of Geometry Processing
Week 6 “The Laplacian" for 3D models part2 Differential Geometry: Mean Curvature Flow
Week 7 Lab extra gears for art: CubicStylization, MeshSimplification, SweptVolume; visualization tool: Polyscope
Week 8 Recording of Ruben Wiersma's Blender Lecture Blender Guru, physically based shading at Disney
Week 9 graphics research using the Laplacian the paper
Week 10 art contest + talk by Cary Philips (ILM), co-chatter: Hongyi Liu fxphd, befores & afters, the movie rabbit hole

Gallery of Art Contest