General file format for modelling with geometry and semantics.
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README.md

[Build Status]

gs-json

gs-json is a domain agnostic unifying 3D file format for geometric and semantic modelling (hence the 'gs').

See the API docs: https://design-automation.github.io/gs-json

Conceptual Model

The gs-json conceptual model uses topology as the organising framework for defining both geometry and semantics. The semantics is not hard coded as is typically the case with product models, but is instead user defined through the use of attributes and groups.

Geometry consists of objects, and includes both polygonal and spline based geometry. Semantics consists of data linked to objects and groups of objects in the model.

Topos

Each geometric object consists of a set of topological components, referred to as "topos". The topo hierarchy is follows:

  • 0D Components
    • VERTEX = a location in space associated with a single POINT.
  • 1D Components
    • EDGE = a line or curve bounded by start and end VERTICES.
    • WIRE = a set of one or more connected EDGES, either open or closed.
  • 2D Components
    • FACE = a face bounded by a closed WIRE, with zero or more holes each bounded by a closed WIRE.

The most basic types of geometric entities are:

  • Point
  • Objects
    • Polylines
    • Polymeshes

Points

The base data to which everything else is connected is a set of points in space. There is a one to many relationship between points and vertices:

  • A point can be associated with many vertices.
  • A vertex is associated with a single point.

Polylines

The topology of a polyline consists of a single wire. Each wire has:

  • a set of connected edges, and
  • a sequence of vertices.

Polymeshes

The topology of a polymesh consists of wires and faces.

The wires represent the naked edges of the polymesh. Since a polymesh can have holes, there may be more than one naked edge. A polymesh can also have no naked edges, in which case it is a closed solid.

Wires have:

  • a set of connected edges, and
  • a sequence of vertices.

The faces have:

  • a set of connected edges forming a closed loop, each of which has
  • a sequence of vertices.

Shared Points and Vertices

Vertices can share points. For example, a box can be created that has 8 points and 24 vertices (6 faces x 4 vertices). Each point is therefore referenced by three vertices.

Edges that belong to the same wire or face share vertices. For example, an open wire with two edges will share have three vertices. The middle vertex will be shared by two edges.

Hhigher level components cannot be shared. For example, an edge cannot be part of two faces. Thus, if two faces have edges touching, then the points can be shared, but there will still be seperate EDGES, each with its own vertices.

Geomety

The geometric objects together with their type identifiers are as follows:

  • 0D Objects:
    • 0 - Acorn //not implemented
    • 1 - Ray //not implemented
    • 2 - Plane //not implemented
  • 1D Objects:
    • 100 - Polyline
    • 120 - NURBS curve //not implemented
    • 121 - Bezier curve //not implemented
  • 2D Objects:
    • 200 - Polymesh
    • 220 - NURBS Surface //not implemented
    • 221 - Bezier Surface //not implemented

More geometric objects may be added in the future.

Other higher level objects (such as solids) can be created using collections. See below for more details.

Implicit Topology

In order to ensure that the file format is efficient and compact, topological components are not explicitly represented. They nevertheless still exist implicitly. For example, a polygonal mesh has implicit faces, wires, edges, and vertices.

Semantics

Semantic information can be added to the model in two ways:

  1. by specifying attributes linked to the topological components inside obejcts, and/or
  2. by specifying properties linked to nested groups of geometric objects.

These two approaches to adding semantics to a model are based on existing approaches in specific domains. Attributes are similar to the way sematics are specified in existing geospatial file formats such as geojson. However, in gs-json, the concept of attributes has been further generalised, allowing them to be added to topological components that are implicit within geometric objects. Properties are similar to the way semantics are specified in existing product modelling file formats such as the various STEP formats. Geometric objects can be groups into collections, and possible organised into part-whole hierarchies, with properties being specified for each level of the hierarchy. However, gs-json does not specify any domain-specific semantics.

JSON Encoding of Geometry

Within a gs-json file, the geometry is defined in two arrays. Points are specified in the "points" array.

"points": [
	[...], //values_map
	[...]  //values
]

Objects are specified in the "objs" array.

"objs": [
	[...], //obj0
	[...], //obj1
	[...]  //obj2
]

Geometric Objects

Objects are represented using integer arrays, consisting of three sub-arrays as follows:

  • [[wires], [faces], [parameters]]

Polylines

A example of a polyline:

  • [[[0,1,2,3,-1]], [], [100]]

This represents the following:

  1. a single wire, with point indices 0,1,2,3,-1 (the last vertex being -1 indicates that it must be closed.)
  2. no faces
  3. one parameter, type = 100, i.e. polyline.

Polylines can be open or closed. A closed polyline is not the same as a polygon.

Polygon Meshes

An example of a polygon mesh:

  • [[[60,61,62,63,-1]], [[60,61,63,-1], [61,62,63,-1]], [200]]

This represents the following:

  1. a single closed wire with 4 point indices 60,61,62,63,60
  2. two triangular faces 60,61,63,60 and 61,62,63,61
  3. one parameter, type = 200, i.e. polygon mesh

Polygon meshes have faces and wires, both of which are always closed. The wires represent the naked edges of the mesh. A mesh with no wires is a solid.

JSON Encoding of Semantics

Within a js-JSON file, all semantics is defined in attributes and groups.

Attributes

"attribs":  {
	"points":[{...}, ...],
	"vertices":[{...},...],
	"edges":[{...},...],
	"wires":[{...}, ...],
	"faces":[{...}, ...],
	"objs":[{...}, ...]
}

Attributes are defined as follows:

  • {"name"="my_attrib", "geom_type"="xxx", "data_type"="xxx", "values"=[...]}

geom_type can be "points", "vertices", "edges", "wires", "faces".

data_type can be "string", "number","boolean","string[]","number[]","boolean[]".

values consists of two arrays the define the values for the attribute. These values are associated with the geometry based on the "geom_type" setting. One array contains a set of indexes, and the other a set of unique values. The indexes point to the unique values. The values must follow the data type specified in data_type.

Viewer Attributes

Certain attributes may be recognised by the viewer. (This of course dpeends on the implementation of the viewer.)

  • position - the position of the point, in 3d [x,y.z] or 2d [x,y].
  • normal - the point normal vector, in 3d [x,y.z].
  • colour - the point colour, as [r,g,b].

Groups

"groups": [
	{...},
	{...},
	{...},
	//...
]

A group can contain points, topos, and objects. A point, topo, or object may be contained in more than one group.

Each group can have a single parent group. This allows groups to form a hierarchy. If no parent is defined, the the group is assumed to be a root or top-level group.

Groups are defined as follows:

  • {"name"="my_coll", "points"=[...], "topos"=[...], "objs"=[...], "parent"=[...], "props"={"key1":value1, "key2":value2, ...}}

points is an integer array of point indices.

topos is a set of tree data structures representing a set of topo paths.

objs is an integer array of objects indices.

parent is the name of the parent group (i.e. a striing).

props is an object containing a set of key-value pairs. The key is a string, and is the name of the property. The value can be any valid JSON type.

Example

There are some examples files here: