Computer Science (COMP) 382

3D Programming in Java (Revision 2)

COMP 382 Course Web site

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: COMP 268 and COMP 272 or equivalent

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

COMP 382 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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**Note: Students are also expected to have some knowledge about 2D and 3D graphics. Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering.

CCIS Software and Hardware Requirements


COMP 382 introduces Java programming techniques for writing a broad range of 3D programs using Java 3D.

Topics covered include creating 3D geometry, loading externally produced 3D models, making 3D lathe shapes, coding 3D interaction, developing 3D animation, enhancing lights and shades for 3D objects, overlaying textures on 3D objects, and 3D sprites. A high level of competence in developing code using the Java programming language and COMP 272 or equivalent are prerequisites to this course.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this course will be able to

  • describe the basic structure of Java 3D programs;
  • use Java 3D classes corresponding to animation, interaction, lighting, and texturing;
  • create Java 3D objects using lathe, external models, or geometric classes;
  • write codes that enables user interaction with Java 3D objects;
  • use Alpha and Interpolator classes to develop Java 3D animations;
  • use LOD and Billboard to provide for computation-saving animations;
  • develop and animate 3D sprites; and
  • apply Java 3D objects to create Java 3D applications.


COMP 382 comprises the following units:

  • Unit 0: Orientation
  • Unit 1: 3D Graphics Fundamentals
  • Unit 2: Introduction to Java 3D
  • Unit 3: A 3D Checkerboard
  • Unit 4: Creating Geometry
  • Unit 5: External Models
  • Unit 6: Making Shapes
  • Unit 7: Interaction
  • Unit 8: Animation
  • Unit 9: Lights
  • Unit 10: Textures
  • Unit 11: 3D Sprites
  • Unit 12: Animated 3D Sprites
  • Unit 13: An Articulated, Moveable Figure


To receive credit for COMP 382, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least ā€œDā€ (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the Final Exam. You must also score 50 percent in Assignment 1, Assignment 2, the Project, and the Learning Reflection Journal to pass the course.

The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignments Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Project 30%
Learning Reflection Journal 10%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Killer Game Programming in Java by Andrew Davison, available online:

Other Materials

COMP 382 also includes content from the following online resources:
Bouvier, D. J. (2000). Getting started with the Java 3D API. Mountain View, CA: Sun Microsystems.
Chen, C., & J. X. Chen. (2008). Foundations of 3D graphics programming: Using JOGL and Java3D (2nd ed.). London: Springer.

All other course materials for COMP 382 are accessed in the online course environment.

Special Course Features

The coursework in COMP 382 requires students to have a Java 7 (or later version) compiler with Java 3D API libraries and virtual machine installed on their computers.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the COMP 382 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least "B" (75 percent) on the examination AND an average grade of "B" (75 percent) on the assignment, programming exercise and the project.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, July 18, 2016.

View previous syllabus

Updated August 15 2016 by Student & Academic Services