The representation of geometric objects based on volumetric data structures has advantages in many geometry processing applications that require, e.g., fast surface interrogation or boolean operations such as intersection and union. However, surface based algorithms like shape optimization (fairing) or freeform modeling often need a topological manifold representation where neighborhood information within the surface is explicitly available. Consequently, it is necessary to find effective conversion algorithms to generate explicit surface descriptions for the geometry which is implicitly defined by a volumetric data set. Since volume data is usually sampled on a regular grid with a given step width, we often observe severe alias artifacts at sharp features on the extracted surfaces. In this paper we present a new technique for surface extraction that performs feature sensitive sampling and thus reduces these alias effects while keeping the simple algorithmic structure of the standard Marching Cubes algorithm. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the new technique with a number of application examples ranging from CSG modeling and simulation to surface reconstruction and remeshing of polygonal models.
An implementation is available in the Software section.