“Point-Based Computer Graphics” by Gross, Pfister, Zwicker, Alexa, Pauly, et al. …

  • ©Markus Gross, Hanspeter Pfister, Matthias Zwicker, Marc Alexa, Mark Pauly, and Marc Stamminger


Entry Number: 06


    Point-Based Computer Graphics

Course Organizer(s):



    Familiarity with the standard computer graphics techniques for surface representation, modeling, and rendering. No previous knowledge of point-based methods is required.

    Intended Audience
    Computer graphics researchers who want to learn more about point-based techniques.

    Point primitives have experienced a major “renaissance” in recent years, and considerable research has been devoted to efficient representation, modeling, processing, and rendering of point-sampled geometry. There are two main reasons for this new interest in points: First, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the polygonal complexity of computer graphics models. The overhead of managing, processing, and manipulating very large polygonal-mesh connectivity information has led many leading researchers to question the future utility of polygons as the fundamental graphics primitive. Second, modern 3D digital photography and 3D scanning systems acquire both the geometry and the appearance of complex, real-world objects. These techniques generate huge volumes of point samples, which constitute discrete building blocks of 3D object geometry and appearance, much as pixels are the digital elements for images.

    This course presents the latest research results in point-based computer graphics. After an overview of the key research issues, affordable 3D scanning devices are discussed, and novel concepts for mathematical representation of point-sampled shapes are presented. The course describes methods for high-performance and high-quality rendering of point models, including advanced shading, antialiasing, and transparency. It also presents efficient data structures for hierarchical rendering on modern graphics processors and summarizes methods for geometric processing, filtering, and resampling of point models. Other topics include: a framework for shape modeling of point-sampled geometry, including Boolean operations and free-form deformations, and Pointshop3D, an open-source framework that facilitates design of new algorithms for point-based graphics.