“GPU-based trimming and tessellation of NURBS and T-Spline surfaces”

  • ©Michael Guthe, Aákos Balázs, and Reinhard Klein




    GPU-based trimming and tessellation of NURBS and T-Spline surfaces



    As there is no hardware support neither for rendering trimmed NURBS — the standard surface representation in CAD — nor for T-Spline surfaces the usability of existing rendering APIs like OpenGL, where a run-time tessellation is performed on the CPU, is limited to simple scenes. Due to the irregular mesh data structures required for trimming no algorithms exists that exploit the GPU for tessellation. Therefore, recent approaches perform a pretessellation and use level-of-detail techniques. In contrast to a simple API these methods require tedious preparation of the models before rendering and hinder interactive editing. Furthermore, due to the tremendous amount of triangle data smooth zoom-ins from long shot to close-up are not possible, In this paper we show how the trimming region can be defined by a trim-texture that is dynamically adapted to the required resolution and allows for an efficient trimming of surfaces on the GPU. Combining this new method with GPU-based tessellation of cubic rational surfaces allows a new rendering algorithm for arbitrary trimmed NURBS and T-Spline surfaces with prescribed error in screen space on the GPU. The performance exceeds current CPU-based techniques by a factor of up to 1000 and makes real-time visualization of real-world trimmed NURBS and T-Spline models possible on consumer-level graphics cards.


    Guthe, M., Meseth, J., and Klein, R. 2002. Fast and memory efficient view-dependent trimmed nurbs rendering. In proceedings of Pacific Graphics 2002, IEEE Computer Society, 204–213.

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