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kjgreen

Software Design vs Advanced Computer Graphics Class

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kjgreen    102
So, I've been a programmer for 3 years and am finishing up my first graduate semester. I want to get into independent software( mostly mobile ) development with a interest in game development.

The university I go to does research in software development but not computer graphics, but they do offer courses in computer graphics and advanced computer graphics. I took the first computer graphics class this semester.

We used very little OpenGL. We have had 4 main projects where we have implemented the algorithms behind anti-aliasing, clipping, polygon filling, implementing our own transformations( replacing glRotate/Scale/Translate ), and phong lighting equation. From talking to a friend, he says it sounds like a good course.

I have a choice to make next semester, take software design or advanced computer graphics. I've talked to the professor teaching the advanced computer graphics class and he says we are going to be implementing the algorithms our selfs again, but it is focused on more ray-tracing type algorithms. I'm not sure how this class could help me in the realm of game development.

Now, the software design class I feel I could really use. I only took one class on software engineering in my undergrad and I have the possibility to do research in software engineering if choose to. I have found my self when working on my own iPhone apps in the past of hating some of the code I wrote. I did some design but just to get things going. I know that I need to do better at software design if I'm going to be a successful software developer.



So, I know I need both but I guess what would be more useful taking at a university? Which ever one I don't take I probably will try to teach myself in my own time. I'm kind of leaning towards Software Design just so I can see how it's really suppose to be done. Where as the advanced computer graphics algorithms aren't subjective in any way and just need to be implemented.


FYI: I won't be able to take the other class in the future as both of these classes are only offered once every 2-3 years.

Description on each class

Advanced Graphics:
Realistic, three-dimensional image generation;modeling techniques for complex three-dimensional scences; advanced illumination techniques;fractual surface modeling; modeling and rendering of natural phenomena.

Software Design:
Software design principles, attributes, models, and methodologies; object-oriented designs; real-time system design;user interface design;design verification; reusability issues;tools;current issues.

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921
Well it seems like the Software Design class is what you're looking for, based on what you've posted. Though I'm surprised that either class will only be taught once every 2 (or 3) years.

I'm not sure on the state of graphics development in the game-dev world. But the topics for the advanced computer graphics class seem very relevant to what is going today. As far as raytracing and when that will be standard/ubiquitous I'll let the experts here chime in on that.

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kjgreen    102
Well, my delima is that I wonder if I could just read a couple of books or something about software design rather then taking the class so that I can take advanced computer graphics.

On the flip side I could do the same with the advanced compter graphics.

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BCullis    1955
Go with the software design, you already have practical experience with the implementation of graphics algorithms, so "reading a couple books" will probably suffice, or will at least let you implement some of that information (if necessary) on your own time. If you're weak in terms of solid design application, as you describe with hating your own code and/or its organization, I definitely recommend the design course.
My CS degree is very light on actual software engineering principles, and the one course (specifically called "Software Engineering Principles" ...haha) I've been able to take is SO useful in terms of making you sit through the application of design theories on actual projects. I'm glad I took it early in the course rotation compared to the usual schedule, I feel like all my coding assignments since then have benefited.

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