SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHW222992
Module Leader Sarah Dargie
School School of Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Digital Design Technologies
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Advanced 3D modelling and basic texturing, lighting and rendering skills.

Summary of Content

This modules enables students to specialise in a selected area of interest in 3D Visualisation and Animation, in order that they are able to apply advanced rendering and animation techniques and build on the 3D modelling and animation skills previously gained within the programme. Students will explore advanced rendering and compositing techniques and also explore real time rendering technology, for example current developments within 3D game engines and their application. Students will be expected investigate the different requirements for key sectors within the 3D computer animation industries such as Architectural Visualisation, Computer Games and Visual Effects.


The syllabus will cover the following areas: Pre-production planning and pre-visualisation techniques. Creation of materials and textures with respect to colour, specular highlights, transparency, luminosity, bump texture and other mapping techniques. HDR image based lighting techniques. Real time rendering technologies. Normal mapping techniques for simulating detail. Ambient Occlusion shader techniques. Texture baking for lighting and shadow. Global Illumination and Radiosity techniques. Particle systems and creating visual effects

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:Research, investigate and apply advanced rendering techniques with respect to textures, materials, lighting and rendering.Demonstrate an understanding of current advanced lighting and rendering techniques including image based lighting and photorealistic render production using current typical industry standard rendering engines.Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Direct3D material shaders and rendering techniques for developing real time rendering solutions.Critically analyse current developments in 3D rendering technology and the application of these technologies within specific industry sectors, for example, Computer Games, Architectural Visualisation and Visual Effects.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The course will be presented as a programme of lectures supported by tutorials and associated practical lab work. Students are directed to planning skills throughout the course, further enhance their creative and technical skills through practise and improve communication skills through oral presentations, group based discussions and critique sessions. Tutorials and laboratory exercises will help students develop their technical skills using industry standard tools and improve techniques through practise. Will further explain, elaborate and put in to practise certain concepts covered in the lecture material. Lectures, lab exercises and video tutorials will be made available for the students on GCU Learn. Additional online digital video material will enhance support via GCU Learn and encourage flexible student learning and encourage students to engage with alternative digital resources. Student will receive formative feedback throughout the programme, further feedback and grades will be provided for the coursework assignment undertaken as part of the module.

Indicative Reading

Howard. Jack, "Practical HDRI" 2008, Rocky Nook, ISBN 9781933952321 Brooker. Darren, "Essential CG Lighting Techniques with 3ds Max" 2008 ISBN 9780240521176 Wright. Steve, "Digital Compositing for Film and Video" 2006, Focal Press, ISBN 9780240807607 Hunter. Fil et al, "Light: Science and Magic - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting" 2007, Focal Press, ISBN 9780240808192 Justin Stenning (2014) Direct3D Rendering Cookbook , : Packt Publishing. ISBN 1849697108 Jennifer O'Connor (2010) Mastering Mental ray: rendering techniques for 3D & CAD professionals , Indianapolis, Ind: Wiley. ISBN 0470563850 Jamie Cardoso (2013) Crafting 3d Photorealism: Lighting Workflows in 3ds Max, Mental Ray and V-ray , : 3dtotal Publishing. ISBN 0956817157 Jeremy Birn (2013) [Digital] Lighting and Rendering , : Pearson Education, Limited. ISBN 0321928989 Tomas Mf6ller, Eric Haines, Naty Hoffman (2008) Real-Time Rendering , : A K Peters, Limited. ISBN 1568814240 Jamie Cardoso (2011) 3D Realism Practical & Easy Workflows , : CreateSpace. ISBN 1467962090

Transferrable Skills

D1 Specialist knowledge and application D2 Critical thinking and problem solving D3 Critical analysis D4 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D6 Effective information retrieval and research skills D7 Computer literacy D8 Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (independent working) D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management D17 Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Practicals (FT) 48.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 n/a Final Project Submission