#signed #distance #vector #field #sdf


Fast signed distance fields from binary images using dead reckoning

3 releases

✓ Uses Rust 2018 edition

0.6.3 Feb 13, 2019
0.6.2 Feb 5, 2019
0.6.0 Feb 4, 2019

#47 in Images

19 downloads per month

MIT license

513 lines

Crate Documentation


Fast Signed Distance Fields for Rust

This crate approximates a signed distance field, given a binary image. The algorithm is inspired by the paper "The dead reckoning signed distance transform" by George J. Grevara (2004). Don't forget to compile in release mode!


In the process of computing the signed distance field, the algorithm constructs an image with each pixel containing the vectors which point to the nearest edge. This vector distance field is made available after computing the plain distance field and can be used for further processing. Also, the library offers a simple conversion from distance fields to images with integer precision.

Getting Started

Update your Cargo.toml:

signed-distance-field = { version = "0.6.3", features = [ "piston_image" ] }
use signed_distance_field::prelude::*;
fn main(){
    // load data using piston image
    let mut gray_image = image::open("sketch.jpg").unwrap().to_luma();

    // interpret grayscale image as binary image with any pixel brighter than 80 being 'on'
    let binary_image = binary_piston_image::of_gray_image_with_threshold(&gray_image, 80);

    // convert the binary image to a distance field
    let distance_field = compute_f32_distance_field(&binary_image);
    // clip all distances greater than 10px and compress them into a byte array
    // so that a distance of -10px is 0 and a distance of 10px is 255
    // (edges, having a distance of 0px, will be 128)
    let distance_image = distance_field
        .normalize_clamped_distances(-10.0, 10.0)

        // convert f32 distance field to u8 piston image

    // save the piston image as png

Piston Images

This library can be configured to offer some simple conversions to and from piston images. The feature flag piston_image unlocks these functions. The image crate is not required to calculate the signed distance field, including piston image is truly optional.

Cons (yet)

  • Single Core only
  • Maybe not as accurate as a naive approach
  • Neither GPU not SIMD acceleration explicitly used

What's up next?

  • Consider optimizing for SIMD and multithreading
  • Consider adding alternative algorithms, possibly with GPU utilization