Rapid geometric modeling for visual simulation using semi-automated reconstruction from single image

Chen Feng, Fei Deng, Vineet R. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a novel algorithm that enables the semi-automatic reconstruction of human-made structures (e.g., buildings) into piecewise planar 3D models from a single image. This allows the models to be readily used in virtual or augmented reality visual simulations or for data acquisition in 3D geographic information systems. Contrary to traditional labor-intensive but accurate single view reconstruction (SVR) solutions based purely on geometric constraints, and contrary to recent fully automatic albeit low-accuracy SVR algorithms based on statistical inference, the presented method achieves a compromise between speed and accuracy, leading to less user input and acceptable visual effects. The user input required in the presented approach is primarily a line drawing that represents an outline of the building to be reconstructed. Using this input, the developed method takes advantage of a newly proposed vanishing point (VP) detection algorithm that can simultaneously estimate multiple VPs in an image. With those VPs, the normal direction of planes - which are projected onto the image plane as polygons in the line drawing - can be automatically calculated. Following this step, a linear system similar to the traditional SVR solutions can be used to achieve 3D reconstruction. Experiments that demonstrate the efficacy and visual outcome of the developed method are also described, highlighting the method's potential use for rapid geometric model building of surrounding structures in visual simulation of engineering processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalEngineering with Computers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Animation
  • Augmented reality
  • Construction
  • Image-based modeling
  • Model Engineering
  • Single view reconstruction
  • Virtual reality
  • Visual simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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