"Three-dimensional range data compression using computer graphics rendering pipeline," Appl. Opt., (2012)

S. Zhang, "Three-dimensional range data compression using computer graphics rendering pipeline," Appl. Opt. 51(18), 4058-4064, 2012 (Cover feature); doi: 10.1364/AO.51.004058

This paper presents the idea of naturally encoding three-dimensional (3D) range data into regular two dimensional (2D) images utilizing computer graphics rendering pipeline. The computer graphics pipeline provides a means to sample 3D geometry data into regular 2D images, and also to retrieve the depth information for each sampled pixel. The depth information for each pixel is further encoded into red, green, and blue color channels of regular 2D images. The 2D images can further be compressed with existing 2D image compression techniques. By this novel means, 3D geometry data obtained by 3D range scanners can be instantaneously compressed into 2D images, providing a novel way of storing 3D range data into its 2D counterparts. We will present experimental results to verify the performance of this proposed technique.