A benchmark for surface reconstruction

Matthew Berger, Joshua A. Levine, Luis Gustavo Nonato, Gabriel Taubin, Claudio T. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a benchmark for the evaluation and comparison of algorithms which reconstruct a surface from point cloud data. Although a substantial amount of effort has been dedicated to the problem of surface reconstruction, a comprehensive means of evaluating this class of algorithms is noticeably absent. We propose a simple pipeline for measuring surface reconstruction algorithms, consisting of three main phases: surface modeling, sampling, and evaluation. We use implicit surfaces for modeling shapes which are capable of representing details of varying size and sharp features. From these implicit surfaces, we produce point clouds by synthetically generating range scans which resemble realistic scan data produced by an optical triangulation scanner. We validate our synthetic sampling scheme by comparing against scan data produced by a commercial optical laser scanner, where we scan a 3D-printed version of the original surface. Last, we perform evaluation by comparing the output reconstructed surface to a dense uniformly distributed sampling of the implicit surface. We decompose our benchmark into two distinct sets of experiments. The first set of experiments measures reconstruction against point clouds of complex shapes sampled under a wide variety of conditions. Although these experiments are quite useful for comparison, they lack a fine-grain analysis. To complement this, the second set of experiments measures specific properties of surface reconstruction, in terms of sampling characteristics and surface features. Together, these experiments depict a detailed examination of the state of surface reconstruction algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Benchmark
  • Computer graphics
  • Geometry processing
  • Indicator function
  • Multilevel partition of unity
  • Point cloud
  • Point set surface
  • Surface reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'A benchmark for surface reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this