We present a novel approach for extreme simplification of point set models, in the context of real-time rendering. Point sets are often rendered using simple point primitives, such as oriented discs. However, this requires using many primitives to render even moderately simple shapes. Often, one wishes to render a simplified model using only a few primitives, thus trading accuracy for simplicity. For this goal, we propose a more complex primitive, called a splat, that is able to approximate larger and more complex surface areas than oriented discs. We construct our primitive by decomposing the model into quasi-flat regions, using an efficient algebraic multigrid algorithm. Next, we encode these regions into splats implemented as planar support polygons textured with color and transparency information and render the splats using a special blending algorithm. Our approach combines the advantages of mesh-less point-based techniques with traditional polygon-based techniques. We demonstrate our method on various models.
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