Compression of textured surfaces represented as surfel sets

T. Darom, M. R. Ruggeri, D. Saupe, N. Kiryati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method for lossy compression of genus-0 surfaces is presented. Geometry, texture and other surface attributes are incorporated in a unified manner. The input surfaces are represented by surfels (surface elements), i.e., by a set of disks with attributes. Each surfel, with its attribute vector, is optimally mapped onto a sphere in the sense of geodesic distance preservation. The resulting spherical vector-valued function is resampled. Its components are decorrelated by the Karhunen-Loève transform, represented by spherical wavelets and encoded using the zerotree algorithm. Methods for geodesic distance computation on surfel-based surfaces are considered. A novel efficient approach to dense surface flattening/mapping, using rectangular distance matrices, is employed. The distance between each surfel and a set of key-surfels is optimally preserved, leading to greatly improved resolution and eliminating the need for interpolation, that complicates and slows down existing surface unfolding methods. Experimental surfel-based surface compression results demonstrate successful compression at very low bit rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-786
Number of pages17
JournalSignal Processing: Image Communication
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Geodesic paths
  • Spherical mapping
  • Spherical wavelets
  • Surfels
  • Textured surface compression


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