Multiresolution Modeling Software

For those who are interested in actually simplifying data, I've collected some links to available simplification software. I have not used most of the software listed here. Even the ones I have used, I have only toyed with. Consequently, I can't say much about the relative quality of the software. However, I have tried to indicate what basic algorithms they use.

Free Software

To one degree or another, the software packages in this section are all free. They may have licenses with varying restrictions, but, to the best of my knowledge, no licensing fees are required.

Program based on my SIGGRAPH 97 paper on quadric error metrics. It can produce high quality approximations of triangulated surfaces quite rapidly. Source code and executables for various platforms are provided.

These two programs are based on earlier work I did on the approximation of height fields by triangulated surfaces. If you know that your data is a height field sampled on a regular grid, this kind of height field-specific algorithm can be much faster than more general decimation algorithms.

LODESTAR is a level of detail generator for VRML. At the moment, I don't have any other details on it.

VTK Library
The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) provides much more than surface simplification software. It is in fact a large and comprehensive library of visualization-related code. However, of particular interest here is the vtkDecimate filter which it provides. This implements a version of the vertex decimation algorithm described by Schroeder et al.

This is another software package which implements a vertex decimation algorithm. It would seem to use a more accurate error estimate than that used by Schroeder et al.

Mesh Optimization
Among other things, this software implements the mesh optimization algorithm described by Hoppe et al..

Simplification Envelopes
An implementation of the simpliication envelopes algorithm described by Cohen, Varshney, et al.

A system which generates polygonal isosurfaces from volume data. As the last stage in reconstruction, it uses a mesh decimation pass to simplify the surface.

Lightwave Plugins
Marvin Landis has built several Lightwave plugins that implement various surface simplification algorithms. There are plugins for the vertex decimation of Schroeder et al., my Scape terrain approximation algorithm, and my Quadric error decimation algorithm.

3D Decimator
Free TGS demo software for Windows. Can handle VRML and Open Inventor files.

Commercial Software

Automatic level-of-detail generation is a part of IBM's Interaction Accelerator.
This software implements a uniform vertex clustering algorithm as described by Rossignac and Borrel

At one time, I had a link to information about the polygon reduction in Alias. That page no longer exists, and I haven't been able to find the information on their current site.

Rational Reducer (formerly PolyRed)
A simplification program for VRML 1.0 and VRML 2.0 models.

IMCompress from InnovMetric
This software implements a vertex decimation algorithm described by Soucy and Laurendeau.

[Table of Contents]

Michael Garland
Last modified: Wed Mar 24 16:16:30 EST 1999