Multiresolution Isosurface Extraction with Adaptive Skeleton Climbing

Tim Poston , Tien-Tsin Wong , and Pheng-Ann Heng,
Computer Graphics Forum, Vol. 17, No. 3, September 1998, pp. 137-148.


An isosurface extraction algorithm which can directly generate multiresolution isosurfaces from volume data is introduced. It generates low resolution isosurfaces, with 4 to 25 times fewer triangles than that generated by marching cubes algorithm, in comparable running times. By climbing from vertices (0-skeleton) to edges (1-skeleton) to faces (2-skeleton), the algorithm constructs boxes which adapt to the geometry of the true isosurface. Unlike previous adaptive marching cubes algorithms, the algorithm does not suffer from the gap-filling problem. Although the triangles in the meshes may not be optimally reduced, it is much faster than postprocessing triangle reduction algorithms. Hence the coarse meshes it produces can be used as the initial starts for the mesh optimization, if mesh optimality is the main concern.

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Source Code

Click (updated 4 Oct 2001) to download the latest version of Adaptive Skeleton Climbing isosurface extractor.

Visual Comparison

The following table compares the statistical and visual results of the generated meshes.
Data Sets ASC N=1 ASC N=2 ASC N=4 ASC N=8 Marching Cubes
No of Triangles 12,712 3,682 1,772 2,054 13,968
Timing 8.16 sec 3.61 sec 2.59 sec 2.43 sec 1.79 sec
Mt. Alps
No of Triangles 423,638 147,562 90,434 94,339 423,640
Timing 547.70 sec 207.54 sec 137.70 sec 132.83 sec 151.05 sec
No of Triangles 580,771 186,331 136,909 159,207 592,368
Timing 339.21 sec 138.59 sec 97.31 sec 100.55 sec 61.91 sec
No of Triangles 263,686 131,769 139,636 149,251 263,438
Timing 311.97 sec 134.00 sec 103.68 sec 128.07 sec 56.09 sec

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