QSplat: A Multiresolution Point Rendering System
for Large Meshes

Szymon Rusinkiewicz
Marc Levoy

Presented at SIGGRAPH 2000

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Advances in 3D scanning technologies have enabled the practical creation of meshes with hundreds of millions of polygons. Traditional algorithms for display, simplification, and progressive transmission of meshes are impractical for data sets of this size. We describe a system for representing and progressively displaying these meshes that combines a multiresolution hierarchy based on bounding spheres with a rendering system based on points. A single data structure is used for view frustum culling, backface culling, level-of-detail selection, and rendering. The representation is compact and can be computed quickly, making it suitable for large data sets. Our implementation, written for use in a large-scale 3D digitization project, launches quickly, maintains a user-settable interactive frame rate regardless of object complexity or camera position, yields reasonable image quality during motion, and refines progressively when idle to a high final image quality. We have demonstrated the system on scanned models containing hundreds of millions of samples.

Full paper as PDF, 10 pages, 3248916 bytes.
Video as MP4, 17433396 bytes.

The QSplat software page is here.
Slides from the SIGGRAPH 2000 talk are here.