Journal of Electronic ImagingCoarse-to-fine approximation of range images with bounded error adaptive triangular meshes
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A new technique for approximating range images with adaptive triangular meshes ensuring a user-defined approximation error is presented. This technique is based on an efficient coarse-to-fine refinement algorithm that avoids iterative optimization stages. The algorithm first maps the pixels of the given range image to 3D points defined in a curvature space. Those points are then tetrahedralized with a 3D Delaunay algorithm. Finally, an iterative process starts digging up the convex hull of the obtained tetrahedralization, progressively removing the triangles that do not fulfill the specified approximation error. This error is assessed in the original 3D space. The introduction of the aforementioned curvature space makes it possible for both convex and nonconvex object surfaces to be approximated with adaptive triangular meshes, improving thus the behavior of previous coarse-to-fine sculpturing techniques. The proposed technique is evaluated on real range images and compared to two simplification techniques that also ensure a user-defined approximation error: a fine-to-coarse approximation algorithm based on iterative optimization (Jade) and an optimization-free, fine-to-coarse algorithm (Simplification Envelopes).