Dinner Bell, Dinner Bell, Ring!

OK, the obscure title can mean any of the following:

After a few months of writing lessons, I’m entirely in the mode of “how can I make a question or exercise out of this lesson?”

As of yesterday I think of the course as “outta beta”. There are some minor glitches we’ll fix in the weeks ahead, but now all the major stuff is in place. The thing that’s entirely great is that everything about the course is downloadable (thank you, Udacity). All the videos, for example, which is a big help to people with slow or censored YouTube connections. Here’s the rundown:

  • Videos are available in unit-sized chunks.
  • Code is all githubbed here, and there’s a zip download. Unzip and run the index and they’re all there (except solutions).
  • All my lesson scripts are here, and there’s other good stuff on the wiki page there. Tallied up, the first half of the course, in five PDFs, comes out to 367 letter-sized pages (admittedly a lot of figures, but that’s A Good Thing). Jeez, I’m writing a book. With code. And videos.
  • I put the demos (and exercises, but not solutions) up here. Click and you’re running a demo. This is just the github distribution uploaded to our site. I’ll make a guide to all the demos once the course is done; some of these are pretty handy for explaining things, once you know what you’re looking at.
  • All lesson instructor comments are here. Some lessons have additional information and links to resources. Rather than have to search through all the lessons for that link you saw somewhere, they’re all here.

Entirely unrelated, but here’s the cool three.js link for the day.

I heart procedural modeling, I don’t heart Apple’s driver bug that makes it so WebGL can’t use antialiasing.

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  1. fernandomv3’s avatar

    As a student I find your words very encouraging, I’m currently in search for a topic to use in my “final career project” and I think I’m going to choose computer graphics. Since I took the MOOC on Udacity my interest in the field has really grown!. Would you suggest some ideas on how can I apply computer graphics?, I mean by doing a graphics library like THREE or anything like that.

  2. Eric’s avatar

    I think making your own library is ambitious; personally, I’d add to three.js itself. Even if you can’t come up with a cool demo idea or new feature, the documentation in some areas is non-existent. I’ve been patching up the parts where I know students will be looking (e.g. the materials), but there’s tons more to do. Learn an area by digging into the code, then write down what you’ve found as documentation. If I was a professor I’d probably give this as an extra-credit assignment: the more you document three.js (correctly!), the more points you get, and frankly the more you know about some area of graphics, which is the main point of doing this. The student learns and the world gains.

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