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Unwrap a 3D fingerprint (convert to 2D)

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Hey,

I need to unwrap a 3D fingerprint (convert to 2D). I cannot just remove z coordinate and make it 2D. I need to unwrap it in a manner that it resembles as if the fingerprint would have been scanned as 2D at first place.

The input I am having is a ply file with just the x,y,z coordinates.

Any suggestion? Any software out there that will do it for me directly?
I heard there are some spring solvers that will do it for me. Any idea how can I implement it?

I want to do it the easy way rather than getting into too much complexity.

Thanks!

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[quote name='Nisha M' timestamp='1311274076' post='4838569']
Hey,

I need to unwrap a 3D fingerprint (convert to 2D). I cannot just remove z coordinate and make it 2D. I need to unwrap it in a manner that it resembles as if the fingerprint would have been scanned as 2D at first place.

The input I am having is a ply file with just the x,y,z coordinates.

Any suggestion? Any software out there that will do it for me directly?
I heard there are some spring solvers that will do it for me. Any idea how can I implement it?

I want to do it the easy way rather than getting into too much complexity.

Thanks!
[/quote]

It is a .ply file, so you implicitly have the triangle connectivity of the mesh. Remove the z-coordinates, giving you a mesh in the xy-plane. Iteratively move vertices in the xy-plane in an attempt to get as close as possible to the triangle-edge lengths in the 3D mesh. Also attempt to make the 2D triangles' angles as close as possible to those of the 3D mesh. The idea is that you are trying to estimate a conformal map from the 2D "texture coordinates" of the 3D mesh to the 2D-mesh coordinates.

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Google for "mesh parameterization". One of the easier methods to implement is Linear Angle Based Parameterization: [url="http://www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/%7Ezayer/linabp/linabp.htm"]http://www.mpi-inf.m...nabp/linabp.htm[/url]
You might find Graphite useful: [url="http://alice.loria.fr/index.php/software/3-platform/22-graphite.html"]http://alice.loria.f...2-graphite.html[/url]

EDIT: Blender has an implementation of Least Squares Conformal Map that would probably get the job done.

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