Computer Science (COMP) 382

3D Programming in Java (Revision 1)

COMP 382 Course Web site

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: 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 who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering


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 or COMP 272 or equivalent is a prerequisite to this course.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this course will be able to

  • use the correct terminology to describe the basic structure of Java 3D programs.
  • use geometric classes to define visual Java 3D objects.
  • develop code to load external models into Java 3D programs.
  • construct lathe parameters to make Java 3D shapes.
  • review code that enables user interaction with Java 3D objects.
  • review Alpha and Interpolator classes to develop Java 3D animations.
  • use LOD and Billboard to provide for computation-saving animations.
  • specify light objects, their attributes, and influential use of lights.
  • develop visual richness to Java 3D objects with textures.
  • develop and animate 3D sprites.
  • demonstrate skills in developing and explaining code using Java 3D.
  • create Java 3D objects using lathe, external models, or simple geometry objects.
  • use various Java 3D classes corresponding to animation, interaction, lighting, and texturing.
  • apply Java 3D objects to create Java 3D applications.


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


To receive credit for COMP 382, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final test. You must also score 50 percent in Assignment 1, Assignment 2, and the Learning Profile to pass the course. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Learning Profile Project Final Exam
10% 10% 10% 30% 40%

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; also available at

Other Materials

COMP382 also includes content from the Oracle™ Sun Developer Network Tutorial on Java 3D API available from 3D/index.html.

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

Special Course Features

The course work in COMP 382 requires students to have a Java 5 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 per cent) on the examination AND an average grade of "B" (75 percent) on the assignment, programming exercise and the project.

Assignment Programming Exercise Project Final Exam Total
15% 15% 30% 40% 100%

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 1, July 20, 2012.

Updated April 20 2015 by Student & Academic Services