3D Graphics programming.

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  12 December 2010
3D Graphics programming.

I was just curious if anyone knew of any colleges or degree programs that offered a very focused look into 3D programming. Dealing with raytracing, realtime game programming, opengl/directx programming. Shader programming. Maybe even some of the month concerning skeletal animation. I'm looking for a college program that would essentially spit you out with a skillset that'd let you get an entry level software position at a company that develops rendering or 3D software.

Last edited by techmage : 12 December 2010 at 10:05 AM.
  12 December 2010
Most computer science programs will have those classes available. Other schools will offer a few more classes, but you would need to look further into that. What's your GPA?
  12 December 2010
I'd recommend you to go to a community college first, then transfer to a good university. Many of the schools which dominate in the field of graphics programming are ranked high.

UC Berkeley
UC San Diego
Georgia Tech
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Washington
Brown University

There's more to list, but a bunch are at least top 25 in the US.
  12 December 2010
I'll read through those, but you seem to have some knowledge on this so I figure I'll ask. I'd prefer a very focused course work on specifically 3D programming. I don't want a degree in computer science that has like 6 or so 3d programming and graphics courses, I've seen alot of those. I don't want just the basics. I basically want to come out fully knowledgable and capable of programming my own real time raytracing engine and skeletal animation systems, and actually have that in my portfolio of finished projects. Along with understanding the jist of lower level things, I'd also like to come out fairly capable with higher level graphics programming, CG or HLSL, or CUDA programming. Do you know of any programs which would let a student leave with that level of knowledge and experience? I see alot of programs which cover a more basic level of knowledge in this field, and I see alot of programs that cover some incredibly in depth and complex low-level programming concepts. I'd like something that to some degree covers the low level concepts, but I'm not a wheel reinventor type, so I would like to come out up to speed with what the cutting edge is as well.
  12 December 2010
I don't follow what you exactly want...Many of the things you want are offered at those universities I listed. You don't need a specialized program...And many of the new things in the industry are learned through reading papers and implementing those on your own. Many students work with Professors on cutting edge research.

Before you even consider doing anything in CUDA you should be familiar with data structures and computer architecture which you will learn in a computer science program. There aren't many universities that teach CUDA specifically as far as I know. But you can check "CUDA Centers of Excellence" for schools here. But all the programs are for computer science.

To write a good real-time ray tracer, you should also be familiar with object oriented programming and design along with data structures.

Learning cutting edge things involve a ton of reading papers, understanding papers, and implementing papers. You pay attention to certain conferences and you read the papers that were accepted. You also can't really just jump into a software developer position without knowing the fundamentals of computer science. If you want cutting edge stuff, go to a university that is very active in research and go work with that Professor.
  01 January 2011
I went to Carnegie Mellon University, one of the (if not THE) top schools in the country for computer programming and I think it has a lot of what you are looking for. I was an art major, but I took quite a few programming courses. You will have an opportunity to go very low level, (like assembly language low and lower, we have a strong electrical engineering program) and learn everything about multi threading and efficiency programming.

I would say the undergraduate graphics courses at CMU are robust, offering courses on graphics programming, programming natural phenomena, technical animation, and game programming. You WILL be taught skeletal animation and raytracing (to the degree that you are talking about? i'm not sure).

but they will 6 or so graphics related classes and that's it. I don't know if any program is as intensive as you're looking for. you will probably need to intern at a company to learn more.

On top of that, our graphics research department (which i workstudied for) does a lot of work in the SIGGRAPH community. We have multiple papers accepted every year. Disney also gives us funding to do research.

Last edited by razorbjc : 01 January 2011 at 09:10 AM.
  01 January 2011
carnegie mellon does sound like one of the best places, but I worry about how much I'd like pittsburgh, whats it like living in pittsburgh?

Along with the 6 graphics programming classes, is there anything like an open study? Where you can work on your own projects for credit?

Last edited by techmage : 01 January 2011 at 04:27 PM.
  01 January 2011
Originally Posted by eem: carnegie mellon does sound like one of the best places, but I worry about how much I'd like pittsburgh, whats it like living in pittsburgh?

Along with the 6 graphics programming classes, is there anything like an open study? Where you can work on your own projects for credit?

I think all schools have something referred to as independent study. I am doing one right now and my aim is get a paper into SIGGRAPH 2012. I'm also doing another project alongside that.
  01 January 2011
personally, i liked pittsburgh. I don't know if I'd live there forever, but its a good 4 year town imho. I never felt bored there and i'm from NYC. Although I'd understand if it was a stretch for you to go there because you live on the west coast.

To be honest, you won't have too much free time to mill around in pittsburgh anyway. CMU has a reputation of working their students like dogs, but you will learn at a furious pace and with other students that love programming and computers.


here is a link to the CMU graphics website. It has a list of courses that they offer. Each semester of each course has its own website with syllabus. Look through the syllabi/slides to see if they are teaching what you want to learn.

and yes, all schools have a self-study course of some form. normally you will do it under the guidance of a professor, so you should make sure you research the professors at whatever schools you are looking at. What companies have they worked for? what area of graphics programming do they specialize in?

What college you go to is a big decision, one that will follow you for the rest of your life. So don't hesitate to email and get in contact with the faculty/students at prospective schools.
  01 January 2011
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