Rendering: Appearance Modeling in Vision and Graphics

Spring 2006

Course Information

Title :  E6161-01: Rendering: Appearance Modeling in Vision and Graphics,  Spring 2006

Time : Wednesdays, 1:10 pm  -- 3:00 pm

Location :  620 CEPSR, Schapiro Building

Credits :   3 credits

Pre-requisites : Background in Computer Science, Engineering, or Applied Math 

Web page :  


Prof. Peter N. Belhumeur


Office: 623 CEPSR, Schapiro Building

Phone: 212-939-7087

Teaching Assistant

Jinwei Gu

Phone: 212-939-7091

Office: 617 CEPSR
Office Hours: Monday, 9:30am-10:30am and Thursday, 2:00pm-3:00pm


This is a reading course on topics in computer rendering, focusing on appearance modeling in vision and graphics. The course is intended for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. We assume students have a background in computer science, engineering, physics, or applied math. There will be no homework assignments other than readings, class presentations, and a final project. There will be no exams. The readings will come from various texts and journals and will be assigned as the course progresses. In addition we will take a mid-semester trip to the Metropolitan Museum to view important works of painting and sculpture.


Fundamentals of Appearance

  • Cameras, Imaging, and Optics
  • Reflection, Refraction, Diffraction
  • Surface Reflection Mechanisms
  • Signal Processing framework for Reflection
  • Light Transport: Reflection, Radiosity, and Global Illumination
  • Modeling Illumination
  • 3-D Geometry
  • Textures and Spatially Varying BRDFs: BTF
  • Subsurface Scattering BSSRDFS
  • (Interreflections)
  • (Scattering and Volumetric Light Transport)
  • (Fluids)


Algorithms and Applications

  • Photometric 'Shape-from-X' algorithms
  • (Appearances of Transparent, Transluscent, Wet, Woven Surfaces)
  • (Appearances of Fluids - smoke, fire, water)
  • Image Mosaics
  • Image-Based Rendering
  • View Synthesis
  • Motion Estimation and Warping
  • Single and Multi-View Geometry
  • 3-D Reconstruction
  • Texture and Reflectance Modeling
  • Environment Matting and Compositing
  • Light Field Rendering
  • Face Analysis and Synthesis
  • Appearance-Based Face and Object Recognition


  • Class Presentations and Discussion 40%
  • Project 60%


Lecture Presentations and Reading Material


Parts of this course are similar to courses offered at CMU (Srinivasa Narasimhan), Stanford (Pat Hanrahan, Marc Levoy, Ron Fediw), UC San Diego (Henrik Wann Jensen), David Jacobs (UMD), David Lowe (UBC), UW Madison (Chuck Dyer), UWash (Steve Seitz), Utah (Pete Shirley), Rutgers (Kristin Dana), Cornell (Steve Marschner, Kavita Bala), Technion (Yoav Schechner), Princeton (Szymon Rusinkiewicz), MIT (Ted Adelson), Ko Nishino (Drexel), Rahul Swaminathan (Deutsch Telecom). The instructor thanks the instructors of these courses for the materials (slides, content) used in this course. In addition, several photographs and illustrations are borrowed from internet sources.


Museum Assignment

Museum Assignment


Final Project

Final Project Description


Syllabus + Assigned Reading Material  (to be updated throughout the course)


  • Class 1: Introduction PPT


  • Class 2: Basics of Imaging and Radiometry PPT


    • E. Trucco and A. Verri   Chapter 2 in Introductory Techniques for 3-D Computer Vision, pp. 15--26,  Prentice Hall.


    • F. X. Sillion and C. Puech   Chapters 1 and 2 in Radiosity and Global Illumination,   Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc. 1994.,




  • Class 3: Principles and Surface Reflection + Models for Specular Surfaces + Split Off-Specular Surfaces PPT


    • F. E. Nicodemus, J.C. Richmond and J.J. Hsia,  Geometrical Considerations and Nomenclature for Reflectance,   Institute of Basic Standards, National Bureau of Standards, October 1977.





  • Class 4: Models for Diffuse Surfaces + Models for Dust PPT + Measuring BRDFs PPT





  • Class 5: Scattering (Part I) PPT





  • Class 6: Scattering (Part II) + Measuring BRDFs PPT





  • Class 7: Textures and Texture Mapping PPT






    • J. Gu et al., Time Varying Textures, to be published, 2006. Presented by Jinwei Gu.



        Class 8: Metropolitan Museum Field Trip -- Meet Outside on Top Steps of Front Entrance at 12:00pm (Directions:


Museum Assignment is due on the day of the Field Trip (March 8th)



Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, ca. 1662
Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 16321675)



        Class 9: Guest Lecturer on Texutre (Jinwei Gu)



        Class 10: Multiview Geometry, Stereo, and Motion PPT


    • Richard Hartley and Andrew Zisserman, Multiple View Geometry in Computer Vision, Cambridge University Press, 2000.


    • Olivier Faugeras, Quang-Tuan Luong, and T. Papadopoulo, The Geometry of Multiple Images, MIT Press, 2001.





  • Class 11 :  View Morphing PPT and 3D Image-Based Modeling



    • S. Seitz and C. Dyer, View Morphing SIGGRAPH, pp. 21--30, 1996.





  • Class 12 :  Plenoptic Function and Light Field Rendering




    • S. J. Gortler, R. Grzeszczuk, R. Szeliski and M. F. Cohen   The Lumigraph,   SIGGRAPH, pp 43--54, 1996. Presented by Sharmila Gupta.







    • D. Mahajan, R. Ramamoorthi, and P. Belhumeur, A First Order Analysis of Lighting, Shading, and Shadows, to appear in TOG, 2006. Presented by Dhruv Mahajan.





  • Class 14 :  Class Presentations