New Models for High-Quality Surface Reconstruction and Rendering

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The efficient reconstruction and artifact-free visualization of surfaces from measured real-world data is an important issue in various applications, such as medical and scientific visualization, quality control, and the media-related industry. The main contribution of this thesis is the development of the first efficient GPU-based reconstruction and visualization methods using trivariate splines, i.e., splines defined on tetrahedral partitions. Our methods show that these models are very well-suited for real-time reconstruction and high-quality visualizations of surfaces from volume data. We create a new quasi-interpolating operator which for the first time solves the problem of finding a globally C1-smooth quadratic spline approximating data and where no tetrahedra need to be further subdivided. In addition, we devise a new projection method for point sets arising from a sufficiently dense sampling of objects. Compared with existing approaches, high-quality surface triangulations can be generated with guaranteed numerical stability. Keywords. Piecewise polynomials; trivariate splines; quasi-interpolation; volume data; GPU ray casting; surface reconstruction; point set surfaces