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We present a multilevel representation scheme adapted to storage, progressive transmission, and rendering of dense data sampled on the surface of real objects. Geometry and object attributes, such as color and normal, are encoded in terms of surface particles associated to a hierarchical space partitioning based on an octree. Appropriate ordering of surface particles results in a compact multilevel representation without increasing the size of the uniresolution model corresponding to the highest level of detail. This compact representation can progressively be decoded by the viewer and transformed by a fast direct triangulation technique into a sequence of triangle meshes with increasing levels of detail. The representation requires approximately 5 bits per particle (2.5 bits per triangle) to encode the basic geometrical structure. The vertex positions can then be refined by means of additional precision bits, resulting in 5 to 9 bits per triangle for representing a 12-bit quantized geometry. The proposed representation scheme is demonstrated with the surface data of various real objects.