Variance analysis and comparison in computer-aided design
The need to analyze and visualize differences of very similar objects arises in many research areas: mesh compression, scan alignment, nominal/actual value comparison, quality management, and surface reconstruction to name a few. In computer graphics, for example, differences of surfaces are used for analyzing mesh processing algorithms such as mesh compression. They are also used to validate reconstruction and fitting results of laser scanned surfaces. As laser scanning has become very important for the acquisition and preservation of artifacts, scanned representations are used for documentation as well as analysis of ancient objects. Detailed mesh comparisons can reveal smallest changes and damages. These analysis and documentation tasks are needed not only in the context of cultural heritage but also in engineering and manufacturing. Differences of surfaces are analyzed to check the quality of productions. Our contribution to this problem is a workflow, which compares a reference / nominal surface with an actual, laser-scanned data set. The reference surface is a procedural model whose accuracy and systematics describe the semantic properties of an object; whereas the laser-scanned object is a real-world data set without any additional semantic information.