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Digital Media Technology

Degree of MSc (Digital Media Technology)

Description

This programme, which leads to an M.Sc. in Digital Media Technology, is designed for students who wish to develop, design and implement projects in the fast growing field of digital media. The program emphasizes on the techniques and tools used in digital media. Both theoretical and activity-based learning are provided for graduates who wish to upgrade their competencies and skills. Core courses focus on the basic areas of computer graphics, multimedia, virtual reality and animation. Students have the opportunity of extending the breadth or depth of their pursuit through a wide range of elective courses offered. Exposure to state-of-the-art practice is given through seminars by experts from industry. The comprehensive project component provides practical experience towards developing a portfolio of work.

Admission Requirements (*Programme suspended and not open for admissions*)

Candidates should possess a good Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Computer Science. Preference will be given to those possessing an Honours degree. Experience in digital media projects would be an added advantage. TOEFL is required for graduates from universities with a non-English medium of instruction.

Academic Year

Semester dates for academic year 2017/2018 can be found at here.

Assessment

All courses apart from the project will be examinable. However in view of the nature of some of the courses, there will be coursework components for all core courses and many of the electives.

Curriculum Structure

Full-time Option:

The full-time MSc programme has a normal duration of one year. During this time, students must complete 30 academic units (AUs) to graduate. Lectures are normally conducted in the evenings. Laboratory or workshop sessions may also be conducted during the weekdays, in the weekday evenings, or on Saturdays during the day. The project will be undertaken during normal working hours throughout the week

The full-time programme has only the single study option available:

- Coursework & Dissertation: Students are required to take eight (8) courses (24 AUs) consisting of core courses, elective courses and a substantial project (6 AUs).

Each course is 3 AUs and has 39 contact hours consisting of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and/or workshop sessions.

The project is an individual research or development project. The project, which carries a weight of two normal courses, must be proposed/selected in the first 4 weeks of the programme and undertaken full-time for the remainder of the programme. The dissertation for the project must be submitted within 2 years from the commencement of the candidature.

Part-time Option – not available from AY2017/2018

In order to provide more flexibility to candidates, particularly as the majority are working full time, the following study options are available:

(a) Coursework & Dissertation: Students are required to take eight (8) courses (24 AUs) consisting of four (4) core courses, four (4) elective courses and a substantial project (6 AUs).

(b) Coursework only: Students are required to take a total of ten (10) courses (30 AUs) consisting of four (4) core courses and six (6) elective courses, one of which must be DM6129: Directed Reading.

Each course is 3 AUs and has 39 contact hours consisting of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and/or workshop sessions. Students will select the option most appropriate to their needs towards the end of their first year.

If the student selects the project option, an individual research or development project in the area of digital media is undertaken as part of their second year of study. The project, which carries a weightage of two normal courses, must start before the end of the first academic year and usually end in the second semester of the second academic year. Project selections must be made before the students go for their Semester 2 examinations so as to allow one full year to complete the work. The dissertation for the project must be submitted within 4 years from the commencement of the candidature.

Core Courses

There are four (4) core courses and a project.

DM6101

Advanced Computer Graphics

DM6102

Multimedia Information Management

DM6103

Virtual Reality

DM6104

2D and 3D Animation

DM6119

Project

 

Elective Courses

Students are required to select four (4) electives.

DM6121

Human Computer Interaction

DM6122

3D Modelling and Reconstruction

DM6123

Scientific Visualization

DM6125

Mobile Game Development

DM6127

Introduction to Games Design

DM6129

Directed Reading

DM6190

Special Topic
DM6199 Special Topic in Digital Media Technology

General Elective Course

 

Subject Descriptions

Core Courses

DM6101 Advanced Computer Graphics
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Basic C/C++ programming, linear algebra and calculus
Semester 1

Description: This course will survey recent rendering techniques in computer graphics as well as fundamental and classical topics that are not usually covered in an undergraduate computer graphics course. Topics include the graphics pipeline and scene graphs, analytical methods in graphics and the implementation of robust geometric algorithms, a survey of both photorealistic and non-photorealistic rendering, as well as recent texture synthesis methods and a survey of the different morphing methods.

Topics: Geometric and graphical computing - modelling polyhedra, scan-line rendering and ray tracing, shading computations. Elements of an OO scene graph & mapping to the graphics pipeline. Non-photorealistic rendering - computer--generated pen--and--ink illustration. Texture synthesis and mapping - 2D textures, 3D textures. Photo-realistic rendering-ray tracing, global illumination, shadow computation. Morphing techniques - image morphing, solid morphing.

 

DM6102 Multimedia Information Management
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Linear algebra and image processing (suggested)
Semester 1

Description: This course focuses on multimedia database management. Student will learn how to represent images and videos by using techniques in computer vision and image processing. Based on the learned representations, i.e., low-level and middle-level visual features, conventional and modern retrieval techniques and algorithms will be introduced. Because different users may have different understandings to an identical image/video, the course will also introduce students the techniques of human computer interactions, which have been acknowledged to be effective to bridge the gap between the low-level/middle-level visual features and high level semantics. Finally, the course will brief the multimedia, hypertext, hypermedia and their applications.

Topics: 1) Image and video representation: global visual features, local visual features, biologically inspired visual features, interest point detection, and spatial-temporal data representation. 2) Image and video retrieval: similarity and dissimilarity measures, introduction to dimensionality reduction algorithms, large-scale image/video database organization, reranking, and retrieval representation. 3) Human computer interactions: relevance feedback in content based image retrieval, interactive reranking, and active learning. 4) Hypermedia: multimedia, hypertext, hypermedia and their applications.

 

DM6103: Virtual Reality
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: NIL
Semester 1

Description: This course provides an introduction to the current state-of-the-art in virtual reality, helps to set the foundations for a common taxonomy of virtual reality technologies and applications, and introduces the VR software tools commonly available for building VR applications.

Topics: Virtual reality and virtual environments, the historical development of VR, 3D computer graphics for VR systems, geometric modelling for VR systems, a generic VR system, animating the virtual environment, physical simulation, human factors, virtual reality hardware, virtual reality software, virtual reality applications.

 

DM6104: 2D and 3D Animation
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: NIL
Semester 2

Description: This is an intermediate level course in animation and the focus is on fundamental techniques used in computer animation systems.  The approaches, strengths and drawbacks of the classical animation systems based on kinematic and dynamic simulation are explained.  Effective animation systems based on advanced approaches such as optimization theory, control theory and machine intelligent paradigms are presented. Prominent commercial animation systems and research tools are discussed. Potential applications of computer animation in entertainment, education, automation and manufacturing for the coming century are discussed and illustrated.  At the end of the course, it is expected that the student will be able to produce realistic and fascinating animation sequences using methodologies and implementation skill learned in the course.

Topics: Kinematic and dynamic simulation, rigid multi-body motion, Euler-Newton formulation, lagrange formulation, optimization theory, space-time constraints, simulated annealing, stimulus-response approaches, autonomous agents, behavioural and intelligent models, commercial animation systems and related tools. Movie production: recording techniques - RGB v. NTSC and recording techniques: digital disks, single video frame recording, personal animation recorder, film.

 

Project
AUs: 6
Prerequisites: NIL
Semester 1 and 2

Each student is to carry out an individual research or development project in the area of digital media. The project carries a weight equal to two normal courses.

 

Elective Courses

DM6121 Human Computer Interaction
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: DM6101 or basic OpenGL programming
Semester 2

Description: The course focuses on both theoretical issues and  practical techniques in Human Computer Interaction. The emphasis is to develop good systems designs—systems with interfaces the typical user can understand, predict, and control. The coverage includes development methodologies, evaluation techniques, and user-interface building styles.

Topics: Human factors of interactive software: goals of user-interface design, motivations for human factors in design. Managing design processes: organizational design to support usability, development methodologies, ethnographic observation. Participatory design, direct manipulation and virtual environments. Examples of direct-manipulation systems, visual thinking and icons. Direct-manipulation programming, remote direct manipulation. Menu selection, form fill-In, and dialog boxes. Interaction devices. Keyboards and function keys, pointing devices, speech recognition, digitization and generation, image and video displays. Presentation styles: balancing function and fashion. Error messages, non-anthropomorphic design, colour. Response time and display rate. Expectations and attitudes, user productivity, variability. Expert reviews, usability testing, surveys and continuing assessments. Usability testing and laboratories, surveys, acceptance tests, evaluation during active use. Multiple-window strategies. Computer-supported cooperative work. Asynchronous interactions: different time, different place. Synchronous distributed: different place, same time. Face to face: same place, same time. Hypermedia and the world wide web. Hypertext and hypermedia, information abundant web sites, object-action interface model for web site design.

 

DM6122 3D Modelling and Reconstruction
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Basic Engineering Math, computer graphics and programming is helpful
Semester 1

Description: Recent advances in real-time 3D technologies are allowing fully interactive virtual environments to be created and displayed on common desktop and home gaming computers, instead of the expensive research machines of years past. As it becomes feasible for artists and designers to create these rich virtual environments, they need to be aware of both practical and aesthetic issues unique to interactive 3D worlds. It is this course's aim to present the modelling and reconstruction techniques, experiences, and implications of VE development.

Topics: Overview, simple modelling and texturing - VE representation overview, VRML modelling, hierarchical scene graphs, representing geometry, representing material properties, low-poly modelling - common polygonal tools (Maya), optimization, texturing - UV map construction, advanced mapping tools, environments, navigation, lighting - examples from videogames, hiding artefacts. Navigation theory: collision, depth cues, interface design, backgrounds and lighting, animation, sound, interactivity - animation: event model, routing, triggers, timers, engines, key frame animation. Sound: ambient vs. spatialised. Avatars: multi-user, real-time human figure design and uses, virtual community challenges, implications and approaches. Case studies: NTU virtual campus, Singapore urban modelling, high-end military, multi-user VE game environment.

 

DM6123 Scientific Visualization
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Basic Engineering Math is helpful
Semester 2

Description: This course teaches visualization technologies and the applications in scientific and medical research. Object-Oriented Programming with the Visualization Toolkit is learnt through the experiments during the course. Upon the completion of the course, the student should be able to understand the mathematics for geometrical transformation and illumination models, design an effective visualization pipeline to carry out a desired visualization functions, define the topology, geometry and attribute data of a dataset for the visualization tasks, apply the Source, Filter and Mapper process objects into data acquisition, transformation and graphic representation, and analyze and evaluate the visualization results.

Topics: 3D Computer Graphics: physical description of rendering, image-order and object-order, surface vs. volume rendering; surface properties; geometric transformation; volume rendering, volume classification, volume illumination. Visualisation Pipeline: visualisation model, process objects; explicit and implicit execution. Graphical Data Representation: characterising visualisation data; polygonal data, structured points and grid, rectilinear grid, unstructured points and grid, nterpolation functions and coordinate transformation; topological operations. Visualisation Algorithms: scalar algorithms, Marching Cubes; vector algorithms; tensor algorithms; modelling algorithms, implicit functions. Applications: 3D medical imaging; creating models from segmented volume data.

 

DM6125 Mobile Game Development
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Basic familiarity with Java programming language is helpful
Semester 1

Description: This course is an extensive overview of the latest in mobile gaming. Students will learn how to design and develop interactive mobile games of a variety of genres. The course culminates with the completion of an interactive game on a chosen platform. Students work in project teams. Knowing how to develop quality games for mobile platforms is becoming increasingly important, as the mobile gaming market continues to explode. Mobile games run on less powerful devices than their PC counterparts with smaller screens and controls designed for telephony – but they are also running on devices that are portable, ubiquitous, and networked. They offer the potential for a whole new style of gaming.

Topics: The mobile gaming market, JVM Architecture, J2ME programming, design around resource-constrained platforms, game design with graphics-poor resources, standalone and network gaming, internationalization of product.

 

DM6127 Introduction to Games Design
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Basic C/C++ programming, undergraduate-level Math
Semester 2

Description: This course covers fundamental issues related to design and development of game engines, the programming of games and the application of HCI, game play and design to the development of a successful game. The course includes a survey of existing commercial game engines and other “production code,” code that is designed to merely work. Students will use a engine that is flexible, extensible, stable, and well-documented, written to be easy to understand and modify, especially to relatively inexperienced students. Students will use SAGE: A Simple Academic Game Engine that provides a series of demos and exercises to develop a functional and working game engine. Using Incremental development students will proceed step by step to develop a game engine.

Topics: Lecture topics will include a survey of game engines, a survey design issues in games development, human computer interaction and it’s impact on game playability and entertainment, incremental development, plugins for 3d animation software such as Maya and 3DS Max, model importation, Terrain input and rendering, Game engine architecture and Collision detection using axially aligned bounding boxes.

Textbook: Introduction to Computer Game Programming with DirectX 8.0 Dr Ian Parberry

 

DM6129 Directed Reading
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: NIL
Semester 1 and 2

The course aims to impart detailed knowledge of a highly specialised topic within the field of study of the MSc. The directed reading and independent research will involve an in-depth study of an advanced technology/methodology/technique and its application to the area of study, under the guidance of a faculty member. The directed reading course will be chosen in consultation with a supervisor. Admission into the course requires agreement by a proposed supervisor and submission of a proposal to the School (via the programme director) during the first 2 weeks of the semester in which the course will be taken.

 

DM6190 - Special Topic
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: Basic Engineering Math, image processing and programming are helpful
Semester 1

Description: Image segmentation plays very important role in digital image processing, pattern recognition and computer vision. Although image segmentation has been studied for decades, it is still being regarded as one of the most difficult problems in image processing and computer vision areas, especially on achieving general semantic or object-level image segmentation. In this course, we will review some latest development in semantic / object-level image segmentation using semi-supervised, unsupervised and supervised approaches. We will also review some related exciting topics such as saliency detection, object detection and some related applications such as visual search and image editing.

Topics: Image segmentation basics, edge detection, superpixel, region-level image segmentation, interactive image segmentation, unsupervised image segmentation, supervised image segmentation, image cosegmentation, saliency detection, object detection, visual search.

 

DM6199 Special Topics in Digital Media Technology
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: NIL
Semester 1 and/or 2

This course aims to provide a mechanism for providing specialist topics in digital media technology offered by invited visiting professors and practitioners. This course may run in either or both semesters.

 

General Elective Course
AUs: 3
Prerequisites: To refer to the course chosen
Semester 1 and/or 2
Students may take a single general engineering elective course from within the College of Engineering at NTU. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that any prerequisites are met and that timetabling issues are resolved. Approval must be obtained from the programme director for these general elective courses.

 

RECOMMENDED TIME-TABLE (Full-Time)

Note: For a full-time candidate, it is possible to register for a maximum of 5 courses in any semester.

Semester 1

Two core courses
DM6101 Advanced Computing Graphics
DM6102 Multimedia Information Management

Three electives (preferably to include BI6129)
DM6122 3D Modelling & Reconstruction
DM6127 Introduction to Game Design
DM6129 Directed Reading
​DM6190 Special Topic

Semester 2

Two core courses
DM6103 Virtual Reality
DM6104 2D and 3D Animation

One elective
DM6121 Human Computer Interaction
DM6123 Scientific Visualization
DM6125 Mobile Game Development

Full Year

Undertake the project and complete the project dissertation.

 

RECOMMENDED TIME-TABLE (Part-Time) not available from AY2017/2018

Year 1

Semester 1

  • To complete core courses DM6101 Advanced Computer Graphics and DM6102 Multimedia Information Management

 

Semester 2

  • To complete core courses DM6103 Virtual Reality and DM6104 2D and 3D Animation
  • To select dissertation topic before the start of Year 2
Year 2

To undertake selected project and complete dissertation

Semester 1

  • To complete 2 electives.

 

Semester 2

  • To complete 2 electives.

 

TIMETABLE 

Timetable (Academic Year 2018 Semester 1, Starting August 2018)

Course​
​Day
​Time
Venue
​Lecturers
DM6127
Introduction to Games Design
Monday ​9.30am - 12.30pm ​LT14 Prof Seah Hock Soon
​DM6190
Special Topic-Recent Advance on Image Segmentation and Its Applications
Friday ​​6.30pm - 9.30pm LT9 Prof Cai Jianfei+/ Prof Lin Guosheng

+ Course Co-ordinator


CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. For further information on the programme, please contact:
    Programme Director, M.Sc. (Digital Media Technology)
    School of Computer Science and Engineering, NTU
    E-mail: SCSEMScProg{at}ntu.edu.sg

  2. For enquiries pertaining to application procedures and candidature, please e-mail to:
    gradstudies{at}ntu.edu.sg

  3. SCSE Graduate Office
    Blk N4, #02C-120
    Nanyang Avenue
    Singapore 639798