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Removing Excess Topology from Isosurfaces
ACM Transactions on Graphics (2004)
  • Zoë J. Wood
  • Hugues Hoppe
  • Mathieu Desbrun, University of Southern California
  • Peter Shröder
Many high-resolution surfaces are created through isosurface extraction from volumetric representations, obtained by 3D photography, CT, or MRI. Noise inherent in the acquisition process can lead to geometrical and topological errors. Reducing geometrical errors during reconstruction is well studied. However, isosurfaces often contain many topological errors in the form of tiny handles. These nearly invisible artifacts hinder subsequent operations like mesh simplification, remeshing, and parametrization. In this article we present a practical method for removing handles in an isosurface. Our algorithm makes an axis-aligned sweep through the volume to locate handles, compute their sizes, and selectively remove them. The algorithm is designed to facilitate out-of-core execution. It finds the handles by incrementally constructing and analyzing a Reeb graph. The size of a handle is measured by a short nonseparating cycle. Handles are removed robustly by modifying the volume rather than attempting “mesh surgery.” Finally, the volumetric modifications are spatially localized to preserve geometrical detail. We demonstrate topology simplification on several complex models, and show its benefits for subsequent surface processing.
Publication Date
April 1, 2004
Publisher Statement

Copyright © ACM 2004. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Transactions on Graphics, {23, 2, (April 2004)} and is available at

NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Zoë Wood was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.

Citation Information
Zoë J. Wood, Hugues Hoppe, Mathieu Desbrun and Peter Shröder. "Removing Excess Topology from Isosurfaces" ACM Transactions on Graphics Vol. 23 Iss. 2 (2004)
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