Technical Paper: Saliency detection for large-scale mesh decimation


Highly complex and dense models of 3D objects have recently become indispensable in digital industries. Mesh decimation then plays a crucial role in the production pipeline to efficiently get visually convincing yet compact expressions of complex meshes. However, the current pipeline typically does not allow artists control the decimation process, just a simplification rate. Thus a preferred approach in production settings splits the process into a first pass of saliency detection highlighting areas of greater detail, and allowing artists to iterate until satisfied before simplifying the model.

We propose a novel, efficient multi-scale method to compute mesh saliency at coarse and finer scales, based on fast mesh entropy of local surface measurements. Unlike previous approaches, we ensure a robust and straightforward calculation of mesh saliency even for densely tessellated models with millions of polygons.

Moreover, we introduce a new adaptive subsampling and interpolation algorithm for saliency estimation. Our implementation achieves speedups of up to three orders of magnitude over prior approaches. Experimental results showcase its resilience to problem scenarios that efficiently scales up to process multi-million vertex meshes. Our evaluation with artists in the entertainment industry also demonstrates its applicability to real use-case scenarios.

Left: After 99% decimation with our saliency map using a triangle mesh. Right: original with 14 million vertices. Our method preserves salient features even under high compression levels.
Technical Paper

Saliency detection for large-scale mesh decimation
Rafael Kuffner dos Anjos, Richard Andrew Roberts, Benjamin Allen, Joaquim Jorge, Ken Anjyo,
Computers & Graphics, Volume 111, April 2023, Pages 63-76