Topic (M13)

Construction of surface meshes from digitized point clouds of tree trunks

Processing 3-dimensional point cloud data is nowadays one of the “hot” topics in computer science (see literature). Point data acquired with a magnetic motion tracker device (Polhemus FASTRAK) by the Ecoinformatics group in Göttingen in collaboration with the Institute of Statistical Mathematics in Tokyo, Japan, are used for studies of tree trunks. Many characteristics can be derived directly from the points, however, the recovery of the geometric shape from a point cloud is an important challenge. Not only can the result serve for visualization purposes, but also for precise calculations of volume, surface etc. of real tree trunks.

The methods for approximation can be classified into three groups (Lin et al., 2004): 1 – sculpting-based methods, 2 – countour tracing methods, and 3 – region-growing methods.

The objective is to work with point clouds data and implement, evaluate and compare the main representatives of the different methods. The candidate should implement the methods into Java, making them thus available for the open-source project GroIMP, and evaluate advantages and disadvantages of selected methods for their usage on tree trunk point data.

Co-supervision by Dr. Peter Surový


  • Bucksch, A.; Lindenbergh, R. (2008): CAMPINO — A skeletonization method for point cloud processing. ISP­RS Journal of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing 63: 115–127
  • Fabio, R. (2003): From point cloud to surface: the modeling and visualization problem. International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences 34-5W10
  • Kobbelt, L. P.; Botsch, M. (2000): An Interactive Approach to Point Cloud Triangulation. EUROGRAPHICS 2000. 19: 1
  • Lin, H. W.; Tai, C. L.; Wang, G. J. (2004): A mesh reconstruction algorithm driven by an intrinsic property of a point cloud. Computer-Aided Design 36: 1-9
  • Nonato, L. G.; Minghim, R.; Oliveira, M. C. F.; Tavares, G. (2001): A Novel Approach for Delaunay 3D Recon­struction with a Comparative Analysis in the Light of Applications. Computer Graphics Forum 20: 1-14
  • Pauly, M.; Gross, M.; Kobbelt, L. P. (2012): Efficient Simplification of Point-Sampled Surfaces. Proceedings of the Conference on Visualization '02. 1: 163 – 170
  • Wang, D.; Hassan, O.; Morgan, K.,;Weatherill, N. (2006): Efficient surface reconstruction from contours based on two-dimensional Delaunay triangulation. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 65: 734–751
  • Yuwen, S.; Dongming, G.; Zhenyuan, J.; Weijun, L. (2006): B-spline surface reconstruction and direct slicing from point clouds. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 27: 918–924


M.Sc. thesis for 1 candidate from "Angewandte Informatik" or from "Forst­wissenschaften und Waldökologie" with focus on Ecosystem Analysis and Modelling.