The Visual Computer

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 69–83 | Cite as

An efficient multi-resolution framework for high quality interactive rendering of massive point clouds using multi-way kd-trees

  • Prashant Goswami
  • Fatih Erol
  • Rahul Mukhi
  • Renato Pajarola
  • Enrico Gobbetti
Original Article


We present an efficient technique for out-of-core multi-resolution construction and high quality interactive visualization of massive point clouds. Our approach introduces a novel hierarchical level of detail (LOD) organization based on multi-way kd-trees, which simplifies memory management and allows control over the LOD-tree height. The LOD tree, constructed bottom up using a fast high-quality point simplification method, is fully balanced and contains all uniformly sized nodes. To this end, we introduce and analyze three efficient point simplification approaches that yield a desired number of high-quality output points. For constant rendering performance, we propose an efficient rendering-on-a-budget method with asynchronous data loading, which delivers fully continuous high quality rendering through LOD geo-morphing and deferred blending. Our algorithm is incorporated in a full end-to-end rendering system, which supports both local rendering and cluster-parallel distributed rendering. The method is evaluated on complex models made of hundreds of millions of point samples.


Point-based rendering Level-of-detail Multi-way kd-tree Entropy-based reduction k-clustering Parallel rendering Geo-morphing 



We would like to thank and acknowledge the Stanford 3D Scanning Repository and Digital Michelangelo projects as well as Roberto Scopigno, for the Pisa Cathedral model, for providing the 3D geometric test datasets used in this paper. This work was supported in parts by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI/CTI) under Grant 9394.2 PFES-ES.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prashant Goswami
    • 1
  • Fatih Erol
    • 1
  • Rahul Mukhi
    • 3
  • Renato Pajarola
    • 1
  • Enrico Gobbetti
    • 2
  1. 1.Visualization and MultiMedia LabUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.CRS4Pula (CA)Italy
  3. 3.Department of InformaticsUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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