Polyhedral Branching

Midori Kitagawa, Department of Art

A major problem in computer art, computer animation, CAD, scientific visualization, and other 3D computer graphics related projects is the creation of 3D polyhedral models to be used in the project. Many solutions have been found, but many of these solutions do not permit the user to easily construct shapes of organic branching structures such as trees and plants.

This research had the following objectives:
1. Develop a modeling algorithm and its implementation which creates branching objects with 2-manifold surfaces as a polygon meshes.
2. Create a user friendly interface for the above implementation.
3. Solve numerical problems expected to be caused by repetitive application of the union operation in the creation of a branching object with a 2-manifold surface as a polygon mesh.
4. Demonstrate the robustness of the proposed algorithm through experiments with a wide variety of polygon meshes.

The implementation with a user friendly interface facilitated the creation of 3D branching objects used in various fields such as art, education, medicine, CAD, visualization, and simulation. If one creates a translucent starfish using an existing branching object modeler, unnecessary portions of a non-2-manifold surface which exist in the interior of the starfish are visible. This implementation created branching objects which look correct and nice even when the objects are translucent or transparent. This is an important aspect which allows branching models to be more appropriate for scientific visualization and which gives artists greater freedom in their creative activities.

Sponsored by 1994-1995 University Seed Grant Program, OSU Office of Research