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Journal of Graphics ›› 2023, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (4): 764-774.DOI: 10.11996/JG.j.2095-302X.2023040764

• Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality • Previous Articles     Next Articles

3D low-poly mesh generation for building models

YUE Ming-yu1(), GAO Xi-feng2, BI Chong-ke1()   

  1. 1. College of Intelligence and Computing, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300350, China
    2. LightSpeed Studios, Tencent Technology Company Limited, Bellevue WA 98004, USA
  • Received:2022-11-24 Accepted:2022-12-26 Online:2023-08-31 Published:2023-08-16
  • Contact: BI Chong-ke (1982-), associate professor, Ph.D. His main research interests cover visualization and high performance computing. E-mail:bichongke@tju.edu.cn
  • About author:

    YUE Ming-yu (1999-), master student. His main research interest covers 3D model processing. E-mail:yuemingyu@tju.edu.cn

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China(2021YFE0108400);National Natural Science Foundation of China(62172294)


Within the domain of 3D virtual scenes, the usage of low-poly meshes (meshes comprised of few triangles) used in levels of detail play a pivotal role in improving the efficiency of real-time rendering. However, given detailed building models (high-poly meshes), it is difficult for the low-poly meshes generated by the existing methods to maintain good visual similarity with the high-poly meshes while achieving extremely low simplification rates, requiring the manual correction of defects. We proposed a novel method in which the user only needed to provide a few robust parameters to generate low-poly building meshes with good visual similarity and satisfying benign geometric properties such as watertightness and two-manifold. Firstly, new meshes were morphed by inverse rendering, enabling the capture of important geometric features from the high-poly meshes, so that they could have similar appearances to the high-poly meshes and retain only the large-scale appearance features. Additionally, to maintain the consistency of the mesh topology during the morphing process, we leveraged the outer hull of the voxelized high-poly meshes as the initialization of the new meshes. Secondly, to address the intersecting triangles that arose during the morphing process, we designed the alpha wrapping algorithm with topology-adaptive parameters. The algorithm ensured that the genus of the outer hull of the voxelized morphed meshes and the genus of the results remained the same, generating approximate meshes from the morphed meshes with no intersecting triangles, satisfying watertightness and two-manifold. Finally, an improved edge collapse algorithm was applied and generated meshes that were simplified to users’ target facet count. The algorithm optimized the contraction of vertex pairs on planes. We evaluated our method’s robustness and effectiveness against a dataset of building models and compared it against popular and state-of-the-art methods.

Key words: mesh simplification, triangle mesh, low-poly mesh generation, level of detail, building model

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