Just have a few questions regarding some 'simple' methods of creating triangle meshes around a skeleton type structure. The idea is that we have some procedurally generated plant which is represented by nodes and lines such as below.
Assuming this is a 3d structure, we want to be able to wrap the lines with a mesh so it can have girth and we can apply textures etc. One proposed method to this was to use a heightmap and wrap it around each line (cylinder) so the surface has some variation. At the joints however, we are not sure if it will be an easy task joining the meshes so they will smoothly transition.
Another way that i'm not sure how hard this would actually be would just be to have a flat triangle mesh and wrap it over the whole structure (sort of like putting on clothes). Is there a technical definition for this kind of process or how hard would that be to accomplish (keep in mind the structure is three dimensional)?
Sorry for the mediocre paint art Hopefully it gives some idea of what i'm talking about.
You can take a look at the source code, as Blender is open source.
It is very difficult to automatically generate meaningful unwrapped texture coordinates for this type of mesh. That said, it is easy enough to get the nearest "bones" for a given point in the result mesh, so a weighted blending of procedural 3d textures probably proves very useful.
Looks like a decent fit to CSG algorithms - you could create a capsule mesh surrounding each line, and then calculate the union of all the capsules, which would remove the superfluous intersecting parts.
Thanks for the replies, I'm pretty confident I can wrap capsules or cylinders around each 'bone' was always a bit iffy about how I would connect them to make the mesh look seamless. I'll look into calculating the union of the objects.