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ImprovingMeshQualityOfMarchingCubes

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== The paper ==
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[[Image:Macet_paper_teaser.png]]
Carlos Dietrich, Joao Comba, Luciana Nedel, Carlos Scheidegger, John Schreiner, Claudio Silva. Edge Transformations for Improving Mesh Quality of Marching Cubes. 2007, submitted.
Carlos Dietrich, Joao Comba, Luciana Nedel, Carlos Scheidegger, John Schreiner, Claudio Silva. Edge Transformations for Improving Mesh Quality of Marching Cubes. 2007, submitted.
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== Reproducing the results ==
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=== Abstract ===
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The results in this paper can be completely reproduced using open-source software and publicly available datasets. We will soon post here the set of workflows needed to run the experiments directly in VisTrails, along with the necessary software.
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Marching Cubes is a popular choice for isosurface
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extraction from regular grids due to its simplicity, robustness, and
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efficiency.  One of the key shortcomings of this approach is the
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quality of the resulting meshes, which tend to have many poorly
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shaped and degenerate triangles.
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This issue is often addressed
 +
through post processing operations such as smoothing.  As we
 +
describe, while these improve the mesh, they do not remove all
 +
degeneracies, and incur an increased and unbounded error between the
 +
resulting mesh and the  original isosurface. 
 +
Rather than modifying the resulting mesh, we propose a method
 +
to modify the grid on which Marching Cubes operates.
 +
This modification greatly increases the quality of the extracted
 +
isosurface. In our experiments, it did not create a single
 +
degenerate triangle, unlike any other method we experimented with.
 +
Our method essentially eliminates postprocessing related to mesh
 +
quality. We show improvements in subsequent mesh processing,
 +
using the generated surface directly as input to a tetrahedral mesh
 +
generator.
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The method incurs minimal computational overhead,
 +
requiring at most twice the execution time of the original Marching
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Cubes algorithm in our experiments. Most importantly, it can be
 +
readily integrated in existing Marching Cubes implementations, and is
 +
orthogonal to many Marching Cubes enhancements (such as out-of-core
 +
and acceleration methods). The method can also be directly applied
 +
to other related isosurface extraction algorithms such as Marching
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Tetrahedra, and Marching Octahedra.
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== Necessary software ==
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== Get the software ==
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=== Our algorithm ===
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To compile the basic software, which generates isosurfaces using Macet, you will need [http://teem.sourceforge.net teem] and [http://www.boost.org boost] to be installed. There is a linux makefile and a Visual Studio solution file available. The source is available [http://www.sci.utah.edu/~cscheid/software/macet.tar.gz here (.tar.gz)] or [http://www.sci.utah.edu/~cscheid/software/macet.zip here (.zip)]
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[http://www.sci.utah.edu/~cscheid/software/ectmc/ectmc.zip ZIP File]
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== Usage ==
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[http://www.sci.utah.edu/~cscheid/software/ectmc/ectmc.tar.gz Gzipped tarball]
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To generate a macet isosurface:
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=== Requirements ===
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./macet <nrrd_file> <iso_value> <output_off_file> -isCombined
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[http://teem.sourceforge.net/ Teem]
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To generate a regular Marching Cubes isosurface:
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[http://www.cs.princeton.edu/gfx/proj/trimesh2/ Trimesh2]
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./macet <nrrd_file> <iso_value> <output_off_file>
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[http://www.boost.org/ Boost]
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[http://vcg.sourceforge.net/tiki-index.php?page=Metro Metro]
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== Datasets ==
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The datasets we used are all available on the [http://www.volvis.org Volvis website]. We use the NRRD toolset to access the data, so you need the NRRD header files to go with the raw volumes. You can get the NRRD headers and dataset we used [http://www.sci.utah.edu/~cscheid/ectmc/data here].
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== Running the Experiments ==
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The easiest way to run the experiments is through VisTrails. We will provide a vistrail with all the necessary workflows (comparisons, mesh quality histograms, distance measures).
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Current revision as of 13:39, 21 June 2007

Image:Macet_paper_teaser.png

Carlos Dietrich, Joao Comba, Luciana Nedel, Carlos Scheidegger, John Schreiner, Claudio Silva. Edge Transformations for Improving Mesh Quality of Marching Cubes. 2007, submitted.

Abstract

Marching Cubes is a popular choice for isosurface extraction from regular grids due to its simplicity, robustness, and efficiency. One of the key shortcomings of this approach is the quality of the resulting meshes, which tend to have many poorly shaped and degenerate triangles. This issue is often addressed through post processing operations such as smoothing. As we describe, while these improve the mesh, they do not remove all degeneracies, and incur an increased and unbounded error between the resulting mesh and the original isosurface. Rather than modifying the resulting mesh, we propose a method to modify the grid on which Marching Cubes operates. This modification greatly increases the quality of the extracted isosurface. In our experiments, it did not create a single degenerate triangle, unlike any other method we experimented with. Our method essentially eliminates postprocessing related to mesh quality. We show improvements in subsequent mesh processing, using the generated surface directly as input to a tetrahedral mesh generator. The method incurs minimal computational overhead, requiring at most twice the execution time of the original Marching Cubes algorithm in our experiments. Most importantly, it can be readily integrated in existing Marching Cubes implementations, and is orthogonal to many Marching Cubes enhancements (such as out-of-core and acceleration methods). The method can also be directly applied to other related isosurface extraction algorithms such as Marching Tetrahedra, and Marching Octahedra.

Get the software

To compile the basic software, which generates isosurfaces using Macet, you will need teem and boost to be installed. There is a linux makefile and a Visual Studio solution file available. The source is available here (.tar.gz) or here (.zip)

Usage

To generate a macet isosurface:

./macet <nrrd_file> <iso_value> <output_off_file> -isCombined

To generate a regular Marching Cubes isosurface:

./macet <nrrd_file> <iso_value> <output_off_file>
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