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Welcome to Geometry Central

Geometry-central is a modern C++ library of data structures and algorithms for geometry processing, with a particular focus on surface meshes.

Features include:

  • A polished halfedge mesh class, with efficient support for mesh modification, and a system of containers for associating data with mesh elements.
  • Implementations of canonical geometric quantities on surfaces, ranging from normals and curvatures to tangent vector bases to operators from discrete differential geometry.
  • A suite of powerful algorithms, including computing distances on surface, generating direction fields, and manipulating intrinsic Delaunay triangulations.
  • A coherent set of sparse linear algebra tools, based on Eigen and augmented to automatically utilize better solvers if available on your system.

Under construction

As of July 30, 2019, geometry-central and its documentation are still under active development. You are welcome and encouraged to start using the library, but some components are still being built and modified.


// Load a mesh
std::unique_ptr<HalfedgeMesh> mesh;
std::unique_ptr<VertexPositionGeometry> geometry;
std::tie(mesh, geometry) = loadMesh("spot.obj"); 

// Compute vertex areas
VertexData<double> vertArea(*mesh, 0.);
for(Vertex v : mesh->vertices()) {
  for(Face f : v.adjacentVertices()) {
    vertArea[v] += geometry->faceAreas[f] /;

For more, see the tutorials. To get started with the code, see building.

What is geometry-central not?

  • A user interface. Geometry-central does not include any facilities for user interaction; it is an algorithms and data structures library on which you might build user-facing tools. This philosphy keeps the library lightweight, and avoids dependencies on rendering and windowing systems. For a UI that interoperates well with geometry-central, see Polyscope.
  • A research code dump. Geometry-central was built by researchers, and is used to prototype research projects. However, we strive to ensure that this library contains only polished & tested, broadly useful algorithms.

Related alternatives: CGAL, libIGL, OpenMesh, Polygon Mesh Processing Library, CinoLib


Geometry-central is developed primarily by Nicholas Sharp, with contributions from Keenan Crane, Yousuf Soliman, Mark Gillespie, Rohan Sawhney, and many others.

If geometry-central contributes to an academic publication, cite it as:

  title = {geometry-central},
  author = {Nicholas Sharp and Keenan Crane and others},
  note = {},
  year = {2019}

Development of this software was funded in part by NSF Award 1717320, an NSF graduate research fellowship, and gifts from Adobe Research and Autodesk, Inc.