Artistic Rendering Project

A major component of this course will be the execution of a term project. Projects will involve the design and demonstration of a novel concept in artistic rendering. Students may choose a project from a list of suggested projects or propose one of their own ideas.

Projects will generally be done by teams of a few students. Projects will naturally be expected to require an effort proportional to the number of team members. All members of a project team will receive the same grade on the project, except in extraordinary circumstances. It is also possible to do an independent project, but team projects allow for a grander scope.

Dr. desJardins' course page for CMSC 691B: Research Methods contains many resources useful for various phases of this project.


Projects will be structured as a sequence of phases. Completion of one phase is not required for initiation of the next. In many cases, it will benefit you to be working on multiple phases at the same time. For instance, you might be working on the implementation of an initial prototype concurrently with searching and reviewing the relevant literature.


Describe your plans to meet these requirements in a proposal of approximately 1-2 pages. Give a five to ten minute summary of your proposal to the class. Your proposal should describe:

Alpha Release, Annotated Bibliography, and Revised Proposal

Your initial implementation goal is to produce any image of your source model or image in a relevant artistic style (for projects building on an existing style) or showing an intermediate computation (for projects on completely novel media). Your appearance and interaction techniques will not be nearly as refined as you plan to make them, but you should be able to read in a source model or image and produce an image showing some representation of the quantities of interest. Submit an image (URL is fine) and short description (about a page) of what the image shows and how it was produced. Give a five minute presentation to the class about your image and progress so far.

Revise your proposal in response to instructor suggestions and your experiences producing the alpha release. Review the literature describing other approaches to problems similar to yours, as well as research on which you will base your approach. Describe how the approach taken in related work is similar to and different from yours. Include complete references for all papers cited. Your annotated bibliography will become the basis for part of your final paper. Correct spelling and grammar count, so check them before you hand anything in. Additional information about writing annotated bibliographies can be found at

Beta Release

By beta release, your project should be a complete prototype with all of the functionality that you have proposed. You will give a ten minute presentation of status to the class, showing results to date and discussing difficulties and future plans. Your beta release should be accompanied by a short description of bugs you plan to fix and enhancements you plan to make. The third phase of the development effort will center on refinements of your prototype.


Prepare and present a 20-25 minute presentation of your project. Your presentation should be professional enough to give at a technical conference (e.g. organized approach, prepared slides, a short demo or video if appropriate). Dress appropriately for a technical conference.

Final Release

Refine and enhance your prototype into a final release. You should attempt to respond to all requests of the course instructor. Your final release should include:


Write an eight page technical paper describing your project in the style of an ACM SIGGRAPH Technical Paper (other formats may be acceptable with pre-approval). Sections you should plan to include are: abstract, introduction, related work (adapt your literature review for this), approach, results, future directions, and references. Your paper should include figures and images as appropriate. A complete draft of your paper, including figures and images, must be submitted in advance of the final paper deadline. Your draft should be a complete paper that is as strong and polished as you can make it. Aim for something that you believe is ready for submission to a conference or journal. The course instructor and three classmates will serve as reviewers for these papers and make suggestions as to how they might be improved. You may submit earlier, not necessarily complete, drafts of your paper if you would like feedback earlier in the writing process. Correct spelling and grammar count in all submitted work, so check them before you hand anything in.


Each phase of the project has a due date. In this way, as in others, this project mimics work in the real world. Phases may be turned in up to one week after the due date with a 20% grade penalty. Phases will not be accepted more than a week late.
Phase Due Date
Proposal Sept. 14
Annotated Bibliography Sept. 28
Alpha Release Sept. 28
Beta Release Nov. 21
Paper Draft Nov. 28
Presentation Dec. 12
Final Release Dec. 12
Paper Dec. 12

Contributions to Grade

Each phase of the project will make an individual contribution to your grade. If a phase is missed, that portion of the grade will be a zero. You should consider this a compelling reason to start your project early and work steadily throughout the semester, rather than making a grand push at the end of the semester.
Phase Percent of Final Grade
Proposal 5
Annotated Bibliography 10
Alpha Release 5
Beta Release 10
Presentation 10
Final Release 10
Paper 15
Total for Project 65