Segmenting 3D Surfaces

This video blog demonstrates how the ShaRP program may be used to decompose an arbitrary surface into a collection of surface patches, each of which corresponds to a region of the 3D surface that is well-fit by a quadratic surface patch. There are many potential uses for such an algorithm. Of particular interest to our group are applications that seek to uncover ridges, valleys, and symmetric areas that lead to higher-level semantic interpretations of the 3D surface mesh. For example, we have collected many 3D scans of archaeological ruins in Mexico (Mayan stone buildings) and in Israel (ruins of a Crusader fortress). Finding ridges and valleys within these scans allow us to develop algorithms to automatically detect the mortar and bricks of the interior and exterior walls, intersections between walls, and special structures such as doors, vaults, windows, and columns. This blog uses the developed algorithm to segment a pottery fragment surface into a collection of quadric patches. In this case, we seek to use the estimated quadric patches to estimate the central axis of the vessel which is important in identifying the fragment as a member of a specific typology in archaeology and for the system which we have been developing that automatically estimates pots from measurements of their fragments.