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Department of Informatics Visualization and Multimedia Lab


HS16: Seminar in Graphics and Multimedia (BINFS130, MMINFS530)


Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Renato Pajarola
Assistant: Stefan Eilemann
Time: Seminar kick-off meeting: 23. Sep. 2016, 16:00
Location: BIN 2.A.10
Language: English
OLAT: OLAT coures link
Course catalogue: BSc course link, MSc course link


Interactive multimedia, 3D graphics and visualization methods are becoming increasingly important in a wide range of application domains including but not limited to product marketing, entertainment, engineering as well as sciences. In this seminar, we study technologies, methods and use of graphics and visualization methods, comparing and analyzing their algorithms, system implementation and application in software products.

Good knowledge of programming, advanced algorithms and data structures is necessary. Knowledge of fundamental principles in one or more areas of computer graphics, scientific visualization, image processing, computer vision, multimedia is required. Strong computer science and mathematical skills are beneficial.

The seminar targets MSc students and BSc students in advanced semesters.

Current Theme

This semester's topics revolve around scientific visualization, in particular modern graphics techniques and data processing for interactive raytracing, in-situ data extraction and parallel rendering that are deployed in recent scientific visualization software.

Completion Requirements

Successful completion of the seminar requires the following:

  • locating, independently, 5 or more additional references
  • a written report
  • a presentation of the report
  • participation in seminar discussions
  • reviewing of other participants' reports (MSc only)

Note: There is no requirement for you to implement the method yourself.

Source references must include at least 3 technical papers. The remaining references may be selected from conference presentations (e.g., course materials that do not have an associated technical paper), book articles, online tutorials and (if available) well-written, in-depth technical blog-posts etc.


  • List of additional references and literature
  • Outline of report
  • Draft report
  • Questions from report reviews (MSc only)
  • Presentation
  • Final report & presentation materials

Written Report

The written report is expected to include summaries of the related works and your own technical analysis of the material. The report is expected to be around six (6) to ten (10) pages in a given format (SIGGRAPH Content Formatting). It is heavily recommended that you use the provided LaTeX template, but you are free to use any other application, as long as you provide a final PDF that matches the formatting of the SIGGRAPH template.

Close attention must be paid to proper structure and formatting of the report. Using the appropriate style, placement of figures and tables, as well as correct references and citations is a must.

The report should introduce the technique and provide motivation for its use. You should then precisely state the problem the techniques are attempting to solve, followed by a summary and comparison of each of the methods the different references provide. Finally, conclude with a discussion of the techniques and the individual method's limitations and open problems.

(More details will be provided later.)


The seminar presentation includes a talk (~20min), followed by a moderated discussion (5-10min) of your presentation and the topic. Attendance and active participation in seminar presentations and discussions of other students is also required.

The presentation is to be done on the white board, no PowerPoint presentation, with only a limited number of digital figures and images available to support your presentation.

You will need to hand in any presentation materials, such as notes, figures etc.

Again, close attention must be paid to the structure of the presentation, which should include a short introduction and motivation of the topic, a precise statement of the problem, a detailed analysis of the method, a summary of the results and a personal conclusion with discussion of open problems, limitations and ideas.

It is strongly recommended that you rehearse your presentation beforehand and review the presentation with the seminar assistant.


The following list contains a list of suggested topics. Each topic includes one main technical paper. These are provided to you as the key topic and as a starting point for your literature research into the topic. Whenever possible, try to find mostly recent works on the topics!

You are free to find a different topic that fits the overall theme of this year's seminars yourself, however, you need to make sure that you can find a sufficient number of reference materials (including at least three technical papers) and you have to check this with the assistant first

Suggested Topics

  1. Image-based Visualization for Extreme Scale Simulations
    • ​​An Image-based Approach to Extreme Scale In Situ Visualization and Analysis
      Ahrens et al, Proceedings of Supercomputing 2014
    • Visualization by Proxy: A Novel Framework for Deferred Interaction with Volume Data
      Tikhonova et al, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2010
    • In Situ Depth Maps Based Feature Extraction and Tracking
      Ye et al, IEEE Symposium on Large Data Analysis and Visualization, 2015
  2. In-Situ Coupling of Simulation and Visualization
    • ​​Parallel In Situ Coupling of Simulation with a Fully Featured Visualization System
      Whitlock et al, Eurographics Symposium on Parallel Graphics and Visualization, 2011
    • Flexible IO and integration for scientific codes through the adaptable IO system (ADIOS)
      Lofstead et al, Proceedings of the 6th international workshop on Challenges of large applications in distributed environments, 2008
    • The ParaView Coprocessing Library: A Scalable, General Purpose In Situ Visualization Library
      Fabian et al, IEEE Symposium on Large Data Analysis and Visualization, 2011
  3. Interactive Raytracing
    • ​​Ray-Tracing Within a Data Parallel Framework
      Larsen, IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, 2015
    • CPU Ray Tracing Large Particle Data with Balanced P-k-d Trees
      Wald et al, IEEE Scientific Visualization Conference, 2015
    • Fast parallel construction of high-quality bounding volume hierarchies
      Karras et al, Proceedings of the High-Performance Graphics Conference, 2013
  4. Image Compositing for Parallel Rendering
    • ​​Massively Parallel Volume Rendering using 2-3 Swap Image Compositing
      Yu et al, Proceedings of Supercomputing 2008
    • An Image Compositing Solution at Scale
      Moreland et al, Proceedings of Supercomputing 2011
    • A Configurable Algorithm for Parallel Image Compositing Applications
      Peterka et al, Proceedings of Supercomputing 2009


A good starting point for finding recent publications (besides) Google are the IEEE Visualization, ACM SIGGRAPH, EUROGRAPHICS, ACM SIGGRAPH Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D), High Performance Graphics, EuroVis, and EG Symposium on Parallel Graphics and Visualization conferences, along with the associated journals (ACM Transactions of Graphics, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and Computer Graphics Forum). See Section Links further below for links.


LaTeX template for your report:

Specialized conferences:


Otherwise, check the ACM Digital Library, the IEEE Digital Library or the Eurographics Digital Library where a majority of the publications are hosted. You can access content from the Digital Library from within the UZH network.

Finally, Google is your friend -- most authors put their papers online either on their personal websites or in some University provided space. Further, you might find presentation notes, sample implementations and other notes that can help understanding otherwise technically-advanced papers.