Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications

Efficient compression of non-manifold polygonal meshes

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We present a method for compressing non-manifold polygonal meshes, i.e., polygonal meshes with singularities, which occur very frequently in the real-world. Most efficient polygonal compression methods currently available are restricted to a manifold mesh: they require converting a non-manifold mesh to a manifold mesh, and fail to retrieve the original model connectivity after decompression. The present method works by converting the original model to a manifold model, encoding the manifold model using an existing mesh compression technique, and clustering, or stitching together during the decompression process vertices that were duplicated earlier to faithfully recover the original connectivity. This paper focuses on efficiently encoding and decoding the stitching information. Using a naive method, the stitching information would incur a prohibitive cost, while our methods guarantee a worst case cost of O(log m) bits per vertex replication, where m is the number of non-manifold vertices. Furthermore, when exploiting the adjacency between vertex replications, many replications can be encoded with an insignificant cost. By interleaving the connectivity, stitching information, geometry and properties, we can avoid encoding repeated vertices (and properties bound to vertices) multiple times; thus a reduction of the size of the bit-stream of about 10% is obtained compared with encoding the model as a manifold. © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.