Polyhedral surface approximation of range data produces 3D object models which are useful for many applications such as computer graphics, data compression and robotics. This is mainly because of the flexibility of such models in representing very general object shapes, and their efficiency in computing and storage. However, such an approximation has been criticized for its inability to reflect properly the surface characteristics of an object: (a) the points and edges where the approximating patches are joined together generally have no physical significance, and (b) around surface discontinuities, many small patches appear. The paper proposes a method for constructing a polyhedral surface model from a range image constrained to the surface characteristics which are first extracted from the data. © 1994.
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