Parisian Master of Research in Computer Science
Master Parisien de Recherche en Informatique (MPRI)


Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization

(Informatique Graphique et Visualisation Scientifique)


  • Damien Rohmer (Ecole Polytechnique) -
  • Julien Tierny (CNRS) -


Computer graphics is a vast and recent field of computer science which deals with the creation and manipulation of computer-generated imagery at large. Important applications include image synthesis for the entertainment industry (movies, video games, etc.), for education and art (from virtual museums to augmented life performance) as well as design and simulation tasks in more traditional industries. In France, major nationwide economical domains involve notable users and contributors to computer graphics and visualization: car makers (Renault, PSA), aerospace designers (Airbus, Arianespace, Dassault), power industry (EDF), oil companies (Total, IFP), defense (CEA, DGA) as well as software companies (Ubisoft, Dassault Systèmes, Kitware).

This class presents the main concepts and techniques for the modeling, animation and visualization of 3D data and virtual worlds. In particular, it will address the following core questions: how to model and represent digital 3D objects - from static shapes to natural phenomena and virtual characters, how to animate them, and how to visualize and interactively analyze general 3D data. The class will also introduce the practical programming with 3D virtual scene using the Three.js, or OpenGL library.

The course will include a research seminar where students will present recent research papers in computer graphics or visualization and will give the opportunity to motivated students to experiment 3D programming through a practical project.


The course will be given in English, except if all participants speak French. Slides and course notes are in English.

Course planning 2019-2020

The course takes place in Sophie Germain building, room 1013 (first floor).

It consists of 8 lectures of 3h each, scheduled on the Friday at 16:15 over the first teaching period.

  1. [13/09] Introduction. Scientific Visualization I (Domain representation + Scalar fields) (J. Tierny)
  2. [20/09] Scientific Visualization II (Vector fields + Tensor fields) (J. Tierny)
  3. [04/10] Modeling (D. Rohmer) Surface representation (pdf) Modeling approaches (pdf)
  4. [11/10] Research seminar
  5. [18/10] Animation I (D. Rohmer) Animation (pdf)
  6. [25/10] Animation II (D. Rohmer) Animation2 (pdf)
  7. [08/11] Presentation of your practical project
  • TBS Written exam


  1. Classes in gray correspond to your evaluation.
  2. Article presentation in the research seminar is individual. You must prepare a slide based presentation of the research article of your choice from the proposed list.
  3. Written exam: One A4 sheet of paper allowed, all other documents are forbidden.

Practical project instructions

- Create a 3D scene of your choice, or visualization of a scientific dataset (ex. animated character, natural scene, density or flow visualization, ...)

- You must develop one or more techniques presented during the class. This may include (non-exhaustively) – Parametric, procedural, or Implicit surface modeling – Feature extraction from a data set – Volume data visualization (scalar, vector or tensor) – Articulated character (forward or inverse kinematics) – Simulation: ex. cloth, hairs, crowds, fluids

- You can code with the language you want - It is allowed to use external tools or software (ex. Blender, ParaView, etc) providing existing effects to help you set up your 3D scene (ex. importing existing meshes, using existing deformers). However, you should code some algorithm by yourself and present it. - The goal is not to necessarily generate the most “beautiful” scene, but to develop and test some technical algorithms

- Projects are individual.

- On November 8, you are expected to present the objectives, the main algorithms your developed, the results you obtained in an oral presentation (expected to be 15 minutes + 5 Q/A) with a demo.

List of article for the research seminar

Available articles
2019 seminar
2018 seminar

M2R offers

Complementary information

Evaluation coefficient

Contribution to the research seminar and to the project seminar will count for half of the mark, the other half being a written exam.

Related classes

The computational geometry courses (2.14.1 by J.D. Boissonnat and 2.38.1 by E. Colin de Verdière) can serve as complementary classes.

  • “Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice”, J. Hughes, A. van Dam, M. McGuire, D. Sklar, J. Foley, S. Feiner, K. Akeley, 2014.
  • “Polygon Mesh Processing”, M. Botsch, L. Kobbelt, M. Pauly, P. Alliez, B. Lévy, 2010.
  • “The Visualization Handbook”, C. Johnson, C. Hansen, 2004.
  • “The Visualization Toolkit”, W. Schroeder, K. Martin, B. Lorensen, 2006.
  • “Topological Methods in Data Analysis and Visualization”, V. Pascucci, X. Tricoche, H. Hagen, J. Tierny, 2010
Universités partenaires Université Paris-Diderot
Université Paris-Saclay
ENS Cachan École polytechnique Télécom ParisTech
Établissements associés Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie CNRS INRIA CEA