Boolean operations with implicit and parametric representation of primitives using R-functions

Yohan D. Fougerolle, Andrei Gribok, Sebti Foufou, Frédéric Truchetet, Mongi A. Abidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a new and efficient algorithm to accurately polygonize an implicit surface generated by multiple Boolean operations with globally deformed primitives. Our algorithm is special in the sense that it can be applied to objects with both an implicit and a parametric representation, such as superquadrics, supershapes, and Dupin cyclides. The input is a Constructive Solid Geometry tree (CSG tree) that contains the Boolean operations, the parameters of the primitives, and the global deformations. At each node of the CSG tree, the implicit formulations of the subtrees are used to quickly determine the parts to be transmitted to the parent node, while the primitives' parametric definition are used to refine an intermediary mesh around the intersection curves. The output is both an implicit equation and a mesh representing its solution. For the resulting object, an implicit equation with guaranteed differential properties is obtained by simple combinations of the primitives' implicit equations using R-functions. Depending on the chosen R-function, this equation is continuous and can be differentiable everywhere. The primitives' parametric representations are used to directly polygonize the resulting surface by generating vertices that belong exactly to the zero-set of the resulting implicit equation. The proposed approach has many potential applications, ranging from mechanical engineering to shape recognition and data compression. Examples of complex objects are presented and commented on to show the potential of our approach for shape modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Computational geometry and object modeling
  • Constructive solid geometry
  • Dupin cyclides
  • Object representation
  • R-functions
  • Superquadrics
  • Supershapes
  • Volume visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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