“Surface simplification using quadric error metrics” by Garland and Heckbert

  • ©Michael Garland and Paul S. Heckbert




    Surface simplification using quadric error metrics



    Many applications in computer graphics require complex, highly detailed models. However, the level of detail actually necessary may vary considerably. To control processing time, it is often desirable to use approximations in place of excessively detailed models. We have developed a surface simplification algorithm which can rapidly produce high quality approximations of polygonal models. The algorithm uses iterative contractions of vertex pairs to simplify models and maintains surface error approximations using quadric matrices. By contracting arbitrary vertex pairs (not just edges), our algorithm is able to join unconnected regions of models. This can facilitate much better approximations, both visually and with respect to geometric error. In order to allow topological joining, our system also supports non-manifold surface models.


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