Lucas Kuzma


SuGaR: Enhancing 3D Gaussian Splatting with Scalable Mesh Extraction and Surface Alignment


SuGaR (Surface-aligned Gaussians and Reconstruction) presents an innovative solution to surface reconstruction in 3D Gaussian Splatting (3DGS). By incorporating a regularization term that aligns 3D Gaussians with surface geometry and employing a scalable mesh extraction method, SuGaR improves rendering quality and enables advanced scene editing capabilities. This blog post explores the technical details, contributions, and methodology of SuGaR, highlighting its relevance and impact on 3D scene reconstruction.

Why SuGaR is Relevant

Traditional methods for 3D surface reconstruction often face challenges with transparency and spikes on edges and flat surfaces. SuGaR addresses these issues by aligning Gaussians with the surface, leading to better splat rendering and lighting informed by mesh representation. Despite its focus on meshing not being an immediate need, the surface-alignment technique offers significant benefits for rendering quality and scene editing.

Key Contributions

  1. Surface Alignment Regularization: SuGaR introduces a regularization term that encourages 3D Gaussians to align accurately with the scene’s surface, enhancing the geometry capture of Gaussians.

  2. Scalable Mesh Extraction: Utilizing Poisson reconstruction, SuGaR provides an efficient method to extract an accurate mesh from 3D Gaussians, enabling mesh extraction within minutes.

  3. Hybrid Representation Refinement: SuGaR refines both the Gaussians and the mesh, resulting in a hybrid representation that combines the benefits of Gaussian splatting and mesh-based methods. This approach improves rendering quality and allows for scene editing using traditional mesh-editing tools.

Treating Gaussians as a Mesh

SuGaR enables easy editing, sculpting, animating, and relighting of 3D Gaussians by manipulating the mesh instead of the Gaussians themselves. This hybrid approach simplifies the editing process and enhances the flexibility of scene manipulation.


SuGaR’s methodology revolves around optimizing Gaussian alignment with the surface, extracting a mesh from the optimized Gaussians, and refining the Gaussians and mesh together.

Detailed Breakdown

  1. SuGaR Optimization:

    • Regularization Term: SuGaR proposes a regularization term that ensures Gaussians are well distributed over the scene surface. This encourages Gaussians to better capture the scene geometry by aligning them with the surface.
    • Volume Density Derivation: Assuming Gaussians are flat and well-distributed, SuGaR derives a volume density from the Gaussians, facilitating efficient point sampling for mesh extraction.
  2. Mesh Extraction:

    • Efficient Sampling: SuGaR introduces a method to efficiently sample points on the visible part of a level set of the derived density function. These points are used by the Poisson reconstruction algorithm to generate a triangle mesh.
    • Depth Maps Utilization: Depth maps from training viewpoints, obtained by extending the Gaussian Splatting rasterizer, are used to accurately sample points on the level set.
  3. SuGaR Refinement:

    • Joint Optimization: SuGaR refines the mesh and Gaussians together through Gaussian splatting rendering. This joint optimization improves the alignment and distribution of Gaussians, resulting in a more accurate hybrid representation.
    • Binding Gaussians to Mesh: New 3D Gaussians are instantiated on the mesh, allowing for scene editing using traditional mesh-editing tools. Gaussians are parameterized with learnable scaling factors, rotation, opacity, and spherical harmonics for color encoding.
  4. Textured Mesh Extraction (Optional):

    • Traditional Mesh Extraction: SuGaR optionally supports extracting a traditional textured mesh from the refined model, further enhancing its versatility.


  • Surface Alignment: Encourages Gaussians to align with the scene surface, minimizing overlap and enhancing geometry capture.
  • Volume Density and Poisson Reconstruction: Efficiently samples points for Poisson reconstruction, generating accurate meshes.
  • Hybrid Representation: Combines Gaussian splatting with mesh-based methods, allowing for advanced scene editing and manipulation.


Rendering Quality and Scene Editing

By aligning Gaussians with surfaces, SuGaR improves the distribution and rendering quality of Gaussians. Attaching Gaussians to the resulting mesh enables the use of traditional mesh editing and lighting tools for manipulating splats, enhancing the flexibility and control over scene modifications.


SuGaR represents a significant advancement in 3D Gaussian Splatting by integrating surface alignment and scalable mesh extraction. Its innovative regularization and refinement methods lead to more accurate and high-quality 3D scene reconstructions. The hybrid representation allows for seamless editing and manipulation using traditional tools, making SuGaR a valuable addition to the toolkit for researchers and developers working on novel view synthesis and 3D reconstruction. For more information, visit the SuGaR GitHub page and the arXiv paper.