KV6008 - 3D Graphics Programming

What will I learn on this module?

This module will give you an essential foundation in 3D graphics programming on an industry-standard games platform (games console or PC). You will learn how to create elements of a game engine (the rendering of model meshes, and texturing and transforming them, elements of lighting and other graphical effects) which you will then use to create a small game, and the supporting mathematics of 3D representation and simulation.

‘3D Graphics Programming’ will prepare you for later modules such as Games Programming 3 in your final year. Employers are looking for skilled graphics programmers who can work as individuals and as members of a team in enhancing the visual quality of the computer games using computational efficient solutions to enable an interactive gaming experience.

During ‘3D Graphics Programming’ you will work through practical exercises, making use of Northumbria’s state-of-the-art computer labs and games lab, and using state-of-the-art games hardware. You will also critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning. The assessment (100%) will be a final programming assignment that will bring together all your new skills and techniques.

The teaching on this module will conform to Northumbria’s EDI standards for accessibility and respect for all.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through teaching videos, workshops, and independent learning. The videos will cover the theoretical concepts needed, including the mathematical concepts needed to support the 3D rendering process. You will have scheduled workshop sessions, with staff available to provide support and feedback to you, in which you will be expected to firstly work through provided tutorials, and later to work on the development of your game for the module assessment. You will work on these during workshops and hands-on sessions in Northumbria’s CIS building computer labs, which are fully equipped with the latest industry-standard software. You will have access to custom-written tutorial material and hardware-specific manufacturer’s documentation of the hardware and API being used.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by lecturers during the timetabled sessions when you will receive feedback on your work. You can approach staff outside formal teaching sessions to request an appointment to seek advice if required. The University’s eLearning Portal offers remote access to all lecture and seminar materials to reinforce your learning. In addition, the university library offers support for all students through providing electronic resources

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1 – Demonstrate programming skills in producing high-quality efficient and maintainable code for a 3D graphics application in C++.
MLO2 – Demonstrate knowledge and skills in Games Application Development, including design and create a well-structured, efficient, and maintainable games software component for 3D graphics display using current tools and techniques.
MLO3 - Demonstrate software engineering knowledge and skills in developing a software system to high standards using industry-standard console development tools.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO4 – Applying knowledge and understanding to identify and analyse 3D graphics programming problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature, and offer appropriate strategic solutions using appropriate methods and tools.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

MLO5 Creativity: Demonstrate creativity and imagination in the game design and software design, of a small graphical game.

How will I be assessed?

The single element of summative assessment (100%) will be a final assignment that brings together all your new skills and techniques where you will develop a 3D Graphics/Game deployed on relevant hardware.

This assessment addresses all module learning outcomes

You will receive both informative and confirmatory feedback on your assessments.

There will also be formative assessment through your work on the custom-written tutorial material and later on your work on the development of your game for the module assessment in-class.

This formative assessment addresses all module learning outcomes


Games Programming 2, or equivalent level of programming, preferably in C++



Module abstract

This module introduces you to the theory, principles and practice behind 3D graphics programming for games. Indicative topics include: basics of modelling, textures, lighting, shadows, and shader programs which form part of the rendering pipeline. Theory is followed by programming workshops where you will be introduced to a state-of-the-art console platform, creating a simple 3D rendering engine. You will apply the acquired theoretical and practical knowledge in building a substantial project.

Course info

UCAS Code G416

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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