Welcome to the Computer Graphics Group at RWTH Aachen University!

The research and teaching activities at our institute focus on geometry acquisition and processing, on interactive visualization, and on related areas such as computer vision, photo-realistic image synthesis, and ultra high speed multimedia data transmission.

In our projects we are cooperating with various industry companies as well as with academic research groups around the world. Results are published and presented at high-profile conferences and symposia. Additional funding sources, among others, are the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the European Union.


Zometool Shape Approximation

We have two new publications (TVCG 2014 and GMOD/GMP 2014) on freeform shape approximation using the Zometool system. Please see the project page for more information.

April 7, 2014

Demos at the Mobile World Congress 2014

We will present two demos at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona from 24 - 27 of February. In Hall 6, booth B40 we will present the latest version of our Mobile Multi Display as well as a system for 3D city reconstructions based on crowd sourced photos. For more information see the news at the ICE Institute.

Feb. 20, 2014

Prof. Dr. Kobbelt receives important German research award

Prof. Dr. Kobbelt receives the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. As Germany’s most important research award its goal is to help outstanding scientists in their research. More information can be found here.

Dec. 6, 2013

We have a paper at the ICCV 2013 Workshop on Big Data in 3D Computer Vision.

Nov. 29, 2013

The preprint of our AAG12 mesh planarization paper is now available

Oct. 17, 2013

We have a paper at SIGGRAPH Asia 2013.

Aug. 26, 2013

Recent Publications

Integer-Grid Maps for Reliable Quad Meshing


Quadrilateral remeshing approaches based on global parametrization enable many desirable mesh properties. Two of the most important ones are (1) high regularity due to explicit control over irregular vertices and (2) smooth distribution of distortion achieved by convex variational formulations. Apart from these strengths, state-of-the-art techniques suffer from limited reliability on real-world input data, i.e. the determined map might have degeneracies like (local) non-injectivities and consequently often cannot be used directly to generate a quadrilateral mesh. In this paper we propose a novel convex Mixed-Integer Quadratic Programming (MIQP) formulation which ensures by construction that the resulting map is within the class of so called Integer-Grid Maps that are guaranteed to imply a quad mesh. In order to overcome the NP-hardness of MIQP and to be able to remesh typical input geometries in acceptable time we propose two additional problem specific optimizations: a complexity reduction algorithm and singularity separating conditions. While the former decouples the dimension of the MIQP search space from the input complexity of the triangle mesh and thus is able to dramatically speed up the computation without inducing inaccuracies, the latter improves the continuous relaxation, which is crucial for the success of modern MIQP optimizers. Our experiments show that the reliability of the resulting algorithm does not only annihilate the main drawback of parametrization based quad-remeshing but moreover enables the global search for high-quality coarse quad layouts – a difficult task solely tackled by greedy methodologies before.


QEx: Robust Quad Mesh Extraction

SIGGRAPH Asia 2013

The most popular and actively researched class of quad remeshing techniques is the family of parametrization based quad meshing methods. They all strive to generate an integer-grid map, i.e. a parametrization of the input surface into R2 such that the canonical grid of integer iso-lines forms a quad mesh when mapped back onto the surface in R3. An essential, albeit broadly neglected aspect of these methods is the quad extraction step, i.e. the materialization of an actual quad mesh from the mere “quad texture”. Quad (mesh) extraction is often believed to be a trivial matter but quite the opposite is true: Numerous special cases, ambiguities induced by numerical inaccuracies and limited solver precision, as well as imperfections in the maps produced by most methods (unless costly countermeasures are taken) pose significant challenges to the quad extractor. We present a method to sanitize a provided parametrization such that it becomes numerically consistent even in a limited precision floating point representation. Based on this we are able to provide a comprehensive and sound description of how to perform quad extraction robustly and without the need for any complex tolerance thresholds or disambiguation rules. On top of that we develop a novel strategy to cope with common local fold-overs in the parametrization. This allows our method, dubbed QEx, to generate all-quadrilateral meshes where otherwise holes, non-quad polygons or no output at all would have been produced. We thus enable the practical use of an entire class of maps that was previously considered defective. Since state of the art quad meshing methods spend a significant share of their run time solely to prevent local fold-overs, using our method it is now possible to obtain quad meshes significantly quicker than before. We also provide libQEx, an open source C++ reference implementation of our method and thus significantly lower the bar to enter the field of quad meshing.


Efficient Enforcement of Hard Articulation Constraints in the Presence of Closed Loops and Contacts

Eurographics 2014

In rigid body simulation, one must distinguish between contacts (so-called unilateral constraints) and articulations (bilateral constraints). For contacts and friction, iterative solution methods have proven most useful for interactive applications, often in combination with Shock-Propagation in cases with strong interactions between contacts (such as stacks), prioritizing performance and plausibility over accuracy. For articulation constraints, direct solution methods are preferred, because one can rely on a factorization with linear time complexity for tree-like systems, even in ill-conditioned cases caused by large mass-ratios or high complexity. Despite recent advances, combining the advantages of direct and iterative solution methods wrt. performance has proven difficult and the intricacy of articulations in interactive applications is often limited by the convergence speed of the iterative solution method in the presence of closed kinematic loops (i.e. auxiliary constraints) and contacts. We identify common performance bottlenecks in the dynamic simulation of unilateral and bilateral constraints and are able to present a simulation method, that scales well in the number of constraints even in ill-conditioned cases with frictional contacts, collisions and closed loops in the kinematic graph. For cases where many joints are connected to a single body, we propose a technique to increase the sparsity of the positive definite linear system. A solution to these bottlenecks is presented in this paper to make the simulation of a wider range of mechanisms possible in real-time without extensive parameter tuning.

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