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A C++ implementation of an improved contour plotting algorithm

, 30 Jul 2002
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This class generates isocurves of a user defined function. Curves are drawn to OpenGL dc or stored in line strips.

Sample Image - contour.jpg

Introduction

This article presents  a contour plot class. It is designed to draw iso-contour of a user-defined function f(x,y). I wrote it to integrate it in a graphic library : Plot Graphic Library

The class is based on the algorithm presented in [1] (Check References section). It is basically an improved version of the Level Curve Tracing Algorithm.

Understanding the algorithm

The algorithm uses several tuning parameter that the user must choose in order to have the best quality/performance ratio of the algorithm :

  • Domain of x,y:
         // Setting domain x=[0,1], y=[2,3]
        double pLimits[4]={0,1,2,3,4};
        CContour contour;
        contour.SetLimits(pLimits);
    
  • Size of the primary grid : The grid on which evaluate the function f(x,y). See SetFirGrid, GetColFir, GetRowFir. The parameter influence greatly the quality of the contour.
  • Size of the secondary grid : The grid where the function is going to be evaluated. This grid can be much finer that the first grid. See SetSecGrid, GetColSec, GetRowSec.

Classes

CContour

Main contour class. This class cannot be directly but has to be inherited. The inherited class must implement the ExportLine function. To generate contours, use

void Generate()

Make to have set the field function (f(x,y)) before calling this function. The function will call ExportLine for each new segment.

CGLContour

Use this class to draw contours to an OpenGL device context.

CListContour

Use this class to generate contour and store them as line strip. The user can retrieve each contour and use it as he wills. This function uses to sub-classes :

  • CLineStrip, a list < int > containing the index of the points.
  • CLineStripList, a list <CLineStrip*>.

The line strip can be accessed by

CLineStripList* GetList(iPane);

where iPane is the index of the contour.

How to...

Set up a contour object

Suppose that we have inherited a class from CContour and overriden ExportLine function.

    class CMyContour : CContour
    { 
        void ExportLine(...);
    }

Now, first set the function f(x,y):

    double  myF(double x, double y)
    { [...] return ... };
	
    CMyContour contour;
    // Setting f(x,y)=myF
    contour.SetFieldFcn(myF);

Then set the iso-contour values, i.e.

    int n;
    CMyContour contour;
    vector<double> vIso(n); 
    for (int i=0;i<n;i++)
    { ... }
    // setting iso-lines
    contour.SetPlanes(vIso);

The contour is ready to be used.

Draw contours using OpenGL

Use CGLContour as inherited function of CContour.

    CGLContour contour;
    // Setting up contour : setting f, domain of x, 
    // isocurve values
    [...]
    // generating contour
    contour.Generate();

Retrieve contours in line strip

Use CListContour as inherited function of CContour. Only the index of the points with respect to second grid are stored in the list. You can access their real value by using GetXi() and GetYi() functions.

    CGLContour contour;
    // Setting up contour : setting f, 
    // domain of x, isocurve values
    [...]
    // generating contour
    contour.Generate();
    // Retreiving info
    CLineStripList* pStripList;
    // getting 0-th iso-curve
    pStripList=contour.GetLines(0); 
    ASSERT(pStripList);
    // iterating liststrip vertices
    CLineStrip::iterator pos;
    for (pos=pStripList->begin(); 
        pos != pStripList->end() ; pos++)
    {
        pStrip=(*pos);
        ASSERT(pStrip);
        if (pStrip->empty())
            continue;
        // using info of strip list
        // pStrip contains the succesive index of the points
        // See CContourGLDoc.OnDraw for further details
        [...]       
    }

Updates

  • August, 31, 2002 Added contribution from Chenggang Zhou: better strip compression, threshold merging, area of strip, boundary detection, Also some minor changes I don't remember...
  • March, 4, 2002 All the code is now using STL. Smile | :)

References

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Jonathan de Halleux
Engineer
United States United States
Jonathan de Halleux is Civil Engineer in Applied Mathematics. He finished his PhD in 2004 in the rainy country of Belgium. After 2 years in the Common Language Runtime (i.e. .net), he is now working at Microsoft Research on Pex (http://research.microsoft.com/pex).

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralWon't run in VC 2005 or VC 2008 [modified] PinmemberMichael B Pliam2-Mar-10 7:16 
GeneralRe: Won't run in VC 2005 or VC 2008 [modified] Pinmembermdeale10-May-10 22:45 
GeneralRe: Won't run in VC 2005 or VC 2008 [modified] PinmemberMatthew_Z13-Aug-14 9:33 
GeneralRe: Won't run in VC 2005 or VC 2008 [modified] PinmemberMember 429892922-Oct-14 17:58 
QuestionWhy I can not download the demo? Pinmemberbigsun690910-Jan-08 17:21 
GeneralHi,I have a contour ocx here.Would you want to try it?Thank you. Pinmembersnowedforest3-Feb-07 20:49 
GeneralBitmap PinmemberSangeetha_J25-Jan-07 21:04 
GeneralRe: Bitmap PinmemberSangeetha_J25-Jan-07 21:09 
GeneralImprovement Pinmemberlaurent garnier8-Feb-05 0:37 
GeneralDemo program crashes on redraw PinsussBen Discoe18-Aug-04 10:56 
Generalplotting Contour In an image PinmemberJobaida Begum6-Apr-04 8:45 
Generalfeature line extraction from contours Pinsusssanjayrana10-Jun-03 6:21 
GeneralImage Processing PinsussPrit13-Apr-03 9:50 
GeneralRe: Image Processing PinmemberChris Losinger13-Apr-03 10:11 
GeneralRe: Image Processing PinmemberJonathan de Halleux13-Apr-03 22:12 
GeneralHelp! PinmemberWang_lei5-Sep-02 23:10 
GeneralNope PinmemberJonathan de Halleux15-Oct-02 22:15 
QuestionRe: Nope Pinmemberbigsun690910-Jan-08 17:19 
GeneralRe: Help! PinmemberTigga_123-Feb-07 2:12 
GeneralImprovement PinmemberC. G. Zhou22-Jul-02 21:24 
GeneralDid you do it ? Pinsusspeliikhan23-Jul-02 4:20 
GeneralRe: Did you do it ? PinsussC.G. Zhou25-Jul-02 9:29 
GeneralUpdated PinmemberJonathan de Halleux31-Jul-02 2:10 
QuestionHow to fill the contour with color? Pinsusswangchi17-Jul-02 21:04 
AnswerRe: How to fill the contour with color? PinmemberJonathan de Halleux17-Jul-02 23:13 

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