COMBINING 3D VOLUME AND MESH MODELS FOR REPRESENTING COMPLICATED HERITAGE BUILDINGS
This study developed a simple but effective strategy to combine 3D volume and mesh models for representing complicated heritage buildings and structures. The idea is to seamlessly integrate 3D parametric or polyhedral models and mesh-based digital surfaces to generate a hybrid 3D model that can take advantages of both modeling methods. The proposed hybrid model generation framework is separated into three phases. Firstly, after acquiring or generating 3D point clouds of the target, these 3D points are partitioned into different groups. Secondly, a parametric or polyhedral model of each group is generated based on plane and surface fitting algorithms to represent the basic structure of that region. A “bare-bones” model of the target can subsequently be constructed by connecting all 3D volume element models. In the third phase, the constructed bare-bones model is used as a mask to remove points enclosed by the bare-bones model from the original point clouds. The remaining points are then connected to form 3D surface mesh patches. The boundary points of each surface patch are identified and these boundary points are projected onto the surfaces of the bare-bones model. Finally, new meshes are created to connect the projected points and original mesh boundaries to integrate the mesh surfaces with the 3D volume model. The proposed method was applied to an open-source point cloud data set and point clouds of a local historical structure. Preliminary results indicated that the reconstructed hybrid models using the proposed method can retain both fundamental 3D volume characteristics and accurate geometric appearance with fine details. The reconstructed hybrid models can also be used to represent targets in different levels of detail according to user and system requirements in different applications.