3D models are common in many disciplines ranging from computer aided design, medical imaging, computer graphics, scientific visualization, computational fluid dynamics, and remote sensing. While the 3D representation is invaluable, many applications require alternate “compact” representations of these models. One such representation is a line-like or stick-like 1D representation which is sometimes referred to as a “skeletal representation” or “curve-skeleton”. This is different from the skeletal-surface representation (medial surface). This type of representation captures the essential topology of the underlying object in an easy to understand and very compact form. Examples of applications which use a curve-skeleton include virtual navigation, registration, animation, morphing, scientific analysis, recognition, and retrieval.



One of the difficulties is that a “curve-skeleton” is an ill-defined object. This has led to a large number of algorithms and heuristics in the literature and many more constantly being proposed. On most of the visualization discussion boards, there are periodic requests for such techniques. Many of the algorithms in the literature use different definitions, parameters and thresholds and test the algorithm on a limited number of diverse 3D objects. Additionally, some are fine-tuned for a specific application. Understandably, many of these algorithms can not be replicated and most major visualization packages do not use them. It is hard to decide which algorithm to implement since there are no criteria for evaluation, thereby causing a further proliferation of new algorithms. What is needed is an analysis of the desired properties of the curve-skeleton as required by the various applications and an overview of the existing methods.                     

This introduction is part of paper: Cornea N.D., Silver D., Min P. (2006), Curve-Skeleton Properties, Applications and Algorithms,  IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Jun 2006 [PDF]


Following is the research done on Skeletonization at Vizlab.



                           VOLUME THINNING                               CURVE-SKELETONS OF 3D OBJECTS                   NICU CORNEA's RESEARCH PAGE


PUBLICATIONS by Nicu Cornea on Skeletonization

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