[Numpy-discussion] OT: A Way to Approximate and Compress a 3D Surface

Anne Archibald peridot.faceted@gmail....
Tue Nov 20 16:13:31 CST 2007

On 20/11/2007, Geoffrey Zhu <zyzhu2000@gmail.com> wrote:

> I have N tabulated data points { (x_i, y_i, z_i) } that describes a 3D
> surface. The surface is pretty "smooth." However, the number of data
> points is too large to be stored and manipulated efficiently. To make
> it easier to deal with, I am looking for an easy method to compress
> and approximate the data. Maybe the approximation can be described by
> far fewer number of coefficients.
> If you can give me some hints about possible numpy or non-numpy
> solutions or let me know where is better to ask this kind of question,
> I would really appreciate it.

This is an important task in computer graphics, in particular, in the
field of multiresolution modelling. If you look up "surface
simplification" you'll find many references to articles. I don't know
of a library offhand that does it, let alone one that is accessible
from python, but you could try looking at a toolkit that does
isosurface visualization - these are surfaces that can often be
simplified enormously. In particular it looks like VTK might be able
to do what you want.


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