Hidden surface elimination using a topological data structure

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


In computer graphics, data structures and hidden line/surface elimination are sometimes viewed as two different topics. This thesis presents a data structure designed especially for a hidden surface removal algorithm. In this data structure, the vital structural information of each object is retained in the data structure, and is used by the hidden surface algorithm to determine surface visibility. By traversing the data structure according to a special set of rules, the data structure is broken down into sub-structures, modified, and the visible surfaces reconstructed. All input objects considered are defined by planar polygonal surfaces. Output from the system is a set of polygons found visible by the system, which can be displayed by a graphical output device. In our implementation, the output is sent to the ADI LIGHT unit and the result displayed on a color display monitor.