Mesh Statistics for Robust Curvature Estimation (Unknown language)

in Computer Graphics Forum; 35, 5; 271-280
Computer Graphics Forum

While it is usually not difficult to compute principal curvatures of a smooth surface of sufficient differentiability, it is a rather difficult task when only a polygonal approximation of the surface is available, because of the inherent ambiguity of such representation. A number of different approaches has been proposed in the past that tackle this problem using various techniques. Most papers tend to focus on a particular method, while an comprehensive comparison of the different approaches is usually missing. We present results of a large experiment, involving both common and recently proposed curvature estimation techniques, applied to triangle meshes of varying properties. It turns out that none of the approaches provides reliable results under all circumstances. Motivated by this observation, we investigate mesh statistics, which can be computed from vertex positions and mesh connectivity information only, and which can help in deciding which estimator will work best for a particular case. Finally, we propose a meta-estimator, which makes a choice between existing algorithms based on the value of the mesh statistics, and we demonstrate that such meta-estimator, despite its simplicity, provides considerably more robust results than any existing approach.

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