Computing hierarchical curve-skeletons of 3D objects

Nicu D. Cornea, Deborah Silver, Xiaosong Yuan, Raman Balasubramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


A curve-skeleton of a 3D object is a stick-like figure or centerline representation of that object. It is used for diverse applications, including virtual colonoscopy and animation. In this paper, we introduce the concept of hierarchical curve-skeletons and describe a general and robust methodology that computes a family of increasingly detailed curve-skeletons. The algorithm is based upon computing a repulsive force field over a discretization of the 3D object and using topological characteristics of the resulting vector field, such as critical points and critical curves, to extract the curve-skeleton. We demonstrate this method on many different types of 3D objects (volumetric, polygonal and scattered point sets) and discuss various extensions of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-955
Number of pages11
JournalVisual Computer
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • 3D curve-skeleton
  • Repulsive force field


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