Symmetric Moving Frames
Etienne CormanKeenan Crane
ACM Trans. Graph. (2019)

A basic challenge in field-guided hexahedral meshing is to find a spatially-varying frame that is adapted to the domain geometry and is continuous up to symmetries of the cube. We introduce a fundamentally new representation of such 3D cross fields based on Cartan's method of moving frames. Our key observation is that cross fields and ordinary frame fields are locally characterized by identical conditions on their Darboux derivative. Hence, by using derivatives as the principal representation (and only later recovering the field itself), one avoids the need to explicitly account for symmetry during optimization. At the discrete level, derivatives are encoded by skew-symmetric matrices associated with the edges of a tetrahedral mesh; these matrices encode arbitrarily large rotations along each edge, and can robustly capture singular behavior even on coarse meshes. We apply this representation to compute 3D cross fields that are as smooth as possible everywhere but on a prescribed network of singular curves—since these fields are adapted to curve tangents, they can be directly used as input for field-guided mesh generation algorithms. Optimization amounts to an easy nonlinear least squares problem that behaves like a convex program in the sense that it always appears to produce the same result, independent of initialization. We study the numerical behavior of this procedure, and perform some preliminary experiments with mesh generation.

Etienne Corman, Keenan Crane (2019). Symmetric Moving Frames. ACM Trans. Graph., 38(4).

author = {Etienne Corman, Keenan Crane},
title = {Symmetric Moving Frames},
journal = {ACM Trans. Graph.},
volume = {38},
number = {4},
year = {2019},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},