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CSC2521: Seminar in Geometry and Animation

Instructed by Alec Jacobson
Class meets Tuesdays at 3pm-5pm on Zoom

This course will take a deep look at a broad collection of seminal papers in computer graphics, focusing on topics in geometry processing and computer animation. The course is structured around weekly paper readings. All students will read the same paper each week, but each student will have a unique, rotating role. This role defines the lens through which they read the paper and determines what they prepare for the group in-class discussion. Students will obtain a thorough understanding of the chosen papers and will develop their paper reading, literature review and prototyping skills. Prior exposure to computer graphics or geometry processing is suggested but not required. Students should have taken courses in Linear Algebra and Computer Programming.


This seminar is organized around the different "roles" students play each week: SIGGRAPH Reviewer, Archaeologist, PhD Student, Industry R&D Expert, Hacker, and Private Investigator.

  • SIGGRAPH Reviewer: Complete a full---critical but not necessarily negative---review of the paper. Answer all questions on the SIGGRAPH Review Form.
  • Archaeologist: Determine where this paper sits in the context of previous and subsequent work. Find and report on one older paper cited by the current paper and one newer paper citing this current paper.
  • PhD Student: Propose an imaginary follow project not just based on the current but only possible due to the existence and success of the current paper.
  • Industry R&D Expect: Convince us (your industry bosses) that it's worth your time and money to implement this paper into our company's pipeline. Choose an appropriate company and product or application.
  • Hacker: Implement a small part of the paper or simplified (e.g. 2D instead of 3D) version of the paper. Prepare a demo of your work for the class.
  • Private Investigator: Find out background information on one of the paper authors. Where have they worked? What did they study? What previous projects might have led to working on this one? We encourage you to contact the authors, but remember to be courteous, polite and on topic. Write that you're in Prof. Jacobson's seminar and include a link to this page.
  • Ethicist: You are an ethical impact assessor from 2021. What has been the impact (good or bad) of this paper on the economy, society, and/or the environment?
  • Everyone, every week: Come with a new title for the current paper and a missing result the paper could have included.

Add any presentation material/reviews/code/etc. to shared Google slide deck (see quercus course page)


Date Reading
Week One None (introduction)
Week Two "Surface simplification using quadric error metrics" [Garland & Heckbert 1997]
Week Three "Marching cubes: A high resolution 3D surface construction algorithm" [Lorenson & Cline 1987]
Week Four "Implicit fairing of irregular meshes using diffusion and curvature flow" [Desbrun, Meyer, Schröder, Barr 1999]
Week Five "Laplacian surface editing" [Sorkine-Hornung et al. 2004]
Week Six "As-rigid-as-possible surface modeling" [Sorkine-Hornung and Alexa 2007]
Week Seven "Geodesics in heat: A new approach to computing distance based on heat flow" [Crane, Weischedel, Wardetzky 2013]
Week Eight "Harmonic Coordinates for Character Articulation" [Joshi et al. 2007]
Week Nine "Regularized Kelvinlets: Sculpting Brushes based on Fundamental Solutions of Elasticity" [de Goes et al. 2017]
Week Ten "Spectral Conformal Parameterization" [Mullen et al. 2008]
Week Eleven "Discrete Elastic Rods" [Bergou et al. 2008]
Coming soon... "As-rigid-as-possible shape manipulation" [Igarashi, Moscovich, Hughes 2005]
Coming soon... "Deformation transfer for triangle meshes" [Sumner et al. 2004]
Coming soon... "Illustrating smooth surfaces" [Hertzmann and Zorin 2000]
Coming soon... "Point set surfaces" [Alexa et al. 2001]
Coming soon... "Robust Global Registration" [Gelfand et al. 2005]
Coming soon... "A concise and provably informative multi‐scale signature based on heat diffusion" [Sun et al. 2009]
Coming soon... "Geometric Modeling with Conical Meshes and Developable Surfaces" [Liu et al. 2006]
Coming soon... "Interactive Control of Avatars Animated with Human Motion Data" [Lee et al. 2002]
Coming soon... "Least squares conformal maps for automatic texture atlas generation" [Lévy, Petitjean, Ray, Maillot 2002]
Coming soon... "Marching cubes: A high resolution 3D surface construction algorithm" [Lorenson & Cline 1987]
Coming soon... "Biharmonic Distance" [Lipman, Rustamov, Funkhouser 2010]


course webpage



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