BLIC: Bi-Level Isosurface Compression

TitleBLIC: Bi-Level Isosurface Compression
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsTaubin, G.
Keywordsbi-level isosurface compression BLIC computational geometry context based arithmetic data compression data visualisation entropy encoding image coding isosurface algorithms isosurface data compression JBIG binary image compression marching cubes vertex me

In this paper we introduce a new and simple algorithm to compress isosurface data. This is the data extracted by isosurface algorithms from scalar functions defined on volume grids, and used to generate polygon meshes or alternative representations. In this algorithm the mesh connectivity and a substantial proportion of the geometric information are encoded to a fraction of a bit per marching cubes vertex with a context based arithmetic coder closely related to the JBIG binary image compression standard. The remaining optional geometric information that specifies the location of each marching cubes vertex more precisely along its supporting intersecting grid edge, is efficiently encoded in scan-order with the same mechanism. Vertex normals can optionally be computed as normalized gradient vectors by the encoder and included in the bitstream after quantization and entropy encoding, or computed by the decoder in a postprocessing smoothing step. These choices are determined by trade-offs associated with an in-core vs. out-of-core decoder structure. The main features of our algorithm are its extreme simplicity and high compression rates.