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Many sophisticated solutions have been proposed to reduce the geometric complexity of 3D meshes. A problem studied less often is how to preserve on a simplified mesh the detail (e.g., color, high frequency shape detail, scalar fields, etc.) which is encoded in the original mesh. We present a general approach for preserving detail on simplified meshes. The detail (or high frequency information) lost after simplification is encoded through texture or bump maps. The original contribution is that preservation is performed after simplification, by building set of triangular texture patches that are then packed in a single texture map. Each simplified mesh face is sampled to build the associated triangular texture patch; a new method for storing this set of texture patches into a standard rectangular texture is presented and discussed. Our detail preserving approach makes no assumptions about the simplification process adopted to reduce mesh complexity and allows highly efficient rendering. The solution is very general, allowing preservation of any attribute value defined on the high resolution mesh. We also describe an alternative application: the conversion of 3D models with 3D static procedural textures into standard 3D models with 2D textures.