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I am looking for a way to convert an image into a flat-shaded polygonal mesh. This consists of two steps:

  1. Creating the mesh (manually), overlaying an existing image.
  2. Shading the mesh (automatically) automatically according to the colors contained within the image.

This should give a look similar to a flat-shaded low-poly 3D rendering. The result would preferably be a vector graphic (prerferably Illustrator, but Inkscape would do, too)

Question: How do I best create the mesh, allowing for additional manipulation later on, and is it possible to automatically shade it?

A workflow like for creating gradient meshes would be fine (except that I do want only polygons and no gradients).

Example

I hope to achieve a look similar to what is shown in the lower right of this image: image

Algorithmic thoughts

Most likely just taking the average pixel value below a polygon is what would give me the desired effect after the mesh has been created.

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    Similar question: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/10656/… – Joonas Jun 5 '13 at 12:40
  • These emulate 3D wireframing, so the ideal solution is to use an actual 3D model. Barring that, I'd suggest just turning on 'snap to corner' in your vector-illustration tool of choice and make a bunch of triangles. – DA01 Jun 5 '13 at 18:23
  • ̋@Joonas Thanks, even if this is not very helpful unless I downgrade to 5.5 and limit myself to triangles (which wouldn't be too bad). @DA01 This is what I'll probably go with for now, combined with manually sampling some average color for the polygons. – Thomas Luzat Jun 7 '13 at 11:29

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