RiemannMapper : A Mesh Parameterization Toolkit

Updated on January 12, 2012


Background Mesh parameterization refers to the process to map a 3D triangle mesh onto a planar domain, most mesh parameterization algorithms are based on the theories in differential geometry. A conformal mapping maps a 3D surface onto a 2D planar domain, such that the mapping preserves angles, or equivalently, the mapping maps infinitesimal circles on the surface to the infinitesimal circles on the plane. As shown in the following figure, the 3D human face surface is parameterized onto the unit planar disk by a conformal mapping. We put the checker board texture on the disk, and pull it back onto the 3D face, then all the right corner angles of the checkers are well preserved. Similarly, we put a circle packing texture on the disk, then pull it back onto the 3D face, then all the small circles are well preserved. According to uniformization theorem, all surfaces in real life can be conformally mapped to one of 3 canonical shapes, the sphere, the plane and the hyperbolic space. Details can be found in the following books written by the developer of this toolkit.The toolkit demonstrates the theories and computational algorithms in the books for education and research purposes.

RiemannMapper is a general purpose toolkit for mesh parameterization purpose.


The toolkit and the sample mesh files, sample texture images and batch scripts can be downloaded here, the total size is about 83M.

HalfEdge Data Structure

All the computationsa are conducted on discrete surfaces. The smooth surface is sampled and triangualted, we use piecewise Euclidean surface to approximate the original surfaces. Then the triangle mesh is represented using the so-called HalfEdge data structure, the details for HalfEdge data structure can be found here.


If you have any question, please contact David Gu. Your comments and advices will be highly appreciated.


1. Installation Down load the zipped file on a windows platform, unzip the file.The toolkit includes everything you need to execute, it doesn't depend on any other packages or dlls.

2. Input File Format The toolkit supports .obj file and .m file formats. The toolkit package includes many 3D mesh file samples, which are in ASCII text format. You can open them using text editor and examine. The .m mesh file format is straight forward, it looks like:

Vertex 1 x y z {normal=(nx ny nz) uv=(u v)}
Vertex 2 x y z {normal=(nx ny nz) uv=(u v)}
Vertex m x y z {normal=(nx ny nz) uv=(u v)}
Face 1 id1 id2 id3
Face 2 id1 id2 id3
Face n id1 id2 id3

where (x,y,z) are the coordinates of a vertex, (nx,ny,nz) are the normal vector on the vertex, (u,v) are the texutre coordinates of the vertex; for each face, (id1,id2,id3) are the vertex ids, sorted counter-clock-wisely.

3. Hot Keys for viewers

The viewer requires glut32.dll, which can be found at here. After install glut, goto RiemannMapper/Viewer/ directory, double click demo.bat to show the 3D meshes with textures.

The hot keys of the viewers are as follows:
  1. Left Mouse Button - Pressing the left mouse button and move the mouse, rotate
  2. Right Mouse Button - Pressing the right mouse button and move the mouse, zoom in an out
  3. Middle Mouse Button - Pressing the middle mouse button and move the mouse, translate
  4. Pressing key 't' - toggle texture mapping mode
  5. Pressing key 'w' - wireframe mode
  6. Pressing key 's' - smooth shading
  7. Pressing key 'f' - flat shading
  8. Pressing key 'Esc' - termination
For MobiusViewer (Mobius.exe)
  1. Left click in the window to select a pixel, then press 'm' to move the center to the selected pixel
  2. Press 'r' to rotate the whole disk

Command: RiemannMapper/bin/ViewerConverter.exe sophie.uv.obj sophie.bmp You will see the following demos.


4. Run Demos The toolkit includes many demos to cover surfaces with most possible topologies. You can enter to different subdirectory, inside each directory, there is only one batch file, named "demo.bat", double click on that script, the demo will be automatically started. In the following, we go through all the demo processes with you. Surfaces are classified according to their topologies, which are indicated by the number of handles (the called genus) and the number of boundary components. The toolkit parameterizes surfaces with different topologies with different algorithms. The demo mesh data are organized based on their topologies, each subdirectory contains the sample meshes with the same topology, and the corresponding batch script to parameterize them. The following list the topological types of demo meshes, click on each item to examine the details:

  1. Topological Disk - Genus zero surface with a single boundary
  2. Topological Quadrilaterial - Topological disk with four marked boundary points
  3. Topological Connected Annulus - Genus zero surface with multiple boundaries
  4. Topological Sphere - Genus zero surface without any boundary
  5. Topological Torus - Genus one surface without any boundary
  6. High Genus Surfaces - High genus surface without any boundary
  7. Topologial Algorithms - Compute cut graph and homology basis
  8. Remeshing Algorithm - Improve the mesh quality
  9. Robust Parameterization Algorithm - Parameterize meshes with low qualities

5. Test Using Your Own Mesh You can use the tool kit to parameterize your own data sets.

  1. Convert your mesh file to either .obj file or .m file
  2. According to the topology of your mesh file, choose the appropriate subdirectory, copy your mesh there
  3. Modify the mesh name in the corresponding batch script
  4. Run the batch script
If you encounter any trouble in testing your own mesh file, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Topological Disk

Riemann Mapping

Directory: RiemannMapper/Disk/sophie/
Double Click Demo.bat

Directory: RiemannMapper/Disk/alex/
Double Click Demo.bat

80K vertices and 160K faces.

Mobius Transformation

Topological Sphere

Conformal Mapping for Topological Sphere

Directory: RiemannMapper/Sphere/bimba/
Double click on Demo.bat

One window pops up, the input mesh is displayed; close this window and wait for the process; another window pops up to show the spherical image.

Topological Quadrilateral

Extremal Length Using Curvature Flow

Directory: RiemannMapper/Quad/Alex/
Directory: RiemannMapper/Quad/Sophie/
Double Click Demo.bat


Extremal Length using holomorphic differential

Directory: RiemannMapper/Quad2/Alex/
Directory: RiemannMapper/Quad2/Sophie/
Double Click Demo.bat

Multiply Connected Annulus

Directory: RiemannMapper/Annulus/Alex/
Double Click Demo.bat

Circle Domain Mapping

Slit Map

Directory: RiemannMapper/Annulus2/Alex/
Double Click Demo.bat

Genus One Closed Surfaces

Directory: RiemannMapper/Torus/Kitten/
Directory: RiemannMapper/Torus/Rocker/
Double Click Demo.bat

High Genus Surfaces

Holomorphic Differential

Directory: RiemannMapper/HighGenus/Eight/
Double Click Demo.bat

Hyperbolic Curvature Flow

Directory: RiemannMapper/HighGenus2/Eight/
Double Click Demo.bat

Topological Algorithm

Cut Graph

Directory: RiemannMapper/CutGraph/Kitten/
Double Click Demo.bat

Homology Basis

Directory: RiemannMapper/Homology/Eight/
Double Click Demo.bat

Universal Covering Space

Directory: RiemannMapper/CoveringSpace/Kitten/
Directory: RiemannMapper/CoveringSpace/Eight/
Double Click Demo.bat

Universal Cover of the Kitten
Universal Cover of the genus 2 mesh

Remeshing Algorithm

Directory: RiemannMapper/Remesh/Sophie/
Double Click Demo.bat

Input Mesh
Remeshed Mesh
Input Mesh
Remeshed Mesh

Robust Algorithm

Robust algorithms for meshes with low quality triangulations, such as meshes with too many skinny triangles, or too many obtuse angles.

Directory: RiemannMapper/Robust/MaxPlanck/
Directory: RiemannMapper/Robust/kitten/
Double Click Demo.bat

The RiemannMapper toolkit doesn't include many algorithms invented recently. If you want to get further information about the novel developments, please contact David Gu.