Published in ACM Transactions on Graphics, Volume 30, Issue 6, Article 167 (SIGGRAPH Asia 2011)

Multiscale Vector Volumes

comparison between vector solid textures and bitmap solid textures

A multiscale vector volume depicting a portion of human skin viewed at different scales. (b) Zoomed view of the selected area in (a). (c) Zoomed view of the selected area in (b). This model was created from scratch with our representation and consumes 6.8 MB storage.


We introduce multiscale vector volumes, a compact vector representation for volumetric objects with complex internal structures spanning a wide range of scales. With our representation, an object is decomposed into components and each component is modeled as an SDF tree, a novel data structure that uses multiple signed distance functions (SDFs) to further decompose the volumetric component into regions. Multiple signed distance functions collectively can represent non-manifold surfaces and deliver a powerful vector representation for complex volumetric features. We use multiscale embedding to combine object components at different scales into one complex volumetric object. As a result, regions with dramatically different scales and complexities can co-exist in an object. To facilitate volumetric object authoring and editing, we have also developed a scripting language and a GUI prototype. With the help of a recursively defined spatial indexing structure, our vector representation supports fast random access, and arbitrary cross sections of complex volumetric objects can be visualized in real time.


volumetric modeling, multiscale representations