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Modeling and rendering of points with local geometry

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2 Author(s)
Kalaiah, A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Maryland Univ., College Park, MD, USA ; Varshney, A.

We present a novel rendering primitive that combines the modeling brevity of points with the rasterization efficiency of polygons. The surface is represented by a sampled collection of Differential Points (DP), each with embedded curvature information that captures the local differential geometry in the vicinity of that point. This is a more general point representation that, for the cost of a few additional bytes, packs much more information per point than the traditional point-based models. This information is used to efficiently render the surface as a collection of local geometries. To use the hardware acceleration, the DPs are quantized into 256 different types and each sampled point is approximated by the closest quantized DP and is rendered as a normal-mapped rectangle. The advantages to this representation are: 1) The surface can be represented more sparsely compared to other point primitives, 2) it achieves a robust hardware accelerated per-pixel shading - even with no connectivity information, and 3) it offers a novel point-based simplification technique that factors in the complexity of the local geometry. The number of primitives being equal, DPs produce a much better quality of rendering than a pure splat-based approach. Visual appearances being similar, DPs are about two times faster and require about 75 percent less disk space in comparison to splatting primitives.

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Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 1 )