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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Constructing Hierarchies for Triangle Meshes


We present a method to produce a hierarchy of triangle meshes that can be used to blend different levels of detail in a smooth fashion. The algorithm produces a sequence of meshes 00, 01, 02, ..., 0n, where each mesh 0i can be transformed to mesh 0i+1 through a set of triangle-collapse operations. For each triangle, a function is generated that approximates the underlying surface in the area of the triangle, and this function serves as a basis for assigning a weight to the triangle in the ordering operation and for supplying the points to which the triangles are collapsed. The algorithm produces a limited number of intermediate meshes by selecting, at each step, a number of triangles that can be collapsed simultaneously. This technique allows us to view a triangulated surface model at varying levels of detail while insuring that the simplified mesh approximates the original surface well.

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