Mark Stock


Rocktools is a collection of command-line tools for the creation and manipulation of open or closed triangular meshes in 3D space. It is especially adept at detailing triangular meshes according to three-dimensional random walks. It is written in ANSI C and only requires libpng and the standard C libraries to compile. Thanks go to Steven Pigeon for his program POVRockGen 1.0, which gave me the idea for creating rocktools. There is also a program called MacRock that uses the above code.


Rocktools is now being hosted at On a Unix system, you should be able to run the following commands:

git clone
cd rocktools

Most tools take the -h option and will echo usage and a list of available options.


Rocktools includes the following programs


An 8-level detailing of an icosahedron illustrating the distance-dependent detaling option; the command was rockdetail icosahedron0.obj -d 8 -dt .1 1 0 0 -oobj > partial8a.obj
A 7-level detailing of a hexagon using the edge-clamping feature; the command was rockdetail hex0.obj -seed 12 -ce -d 7 -n 0.2 -b 0 -oobj > hex7b.obj
A 7-level detailing of a simple rock
Here's a view of the results of the rockerode tool. The erosion algorithm still needs work.
This image is a preview of the threshholding feature in rockdetail. It shows selective triangle splitting based on distance from an arbitrary viewpoint.
A MPEG animation made by varying the rockdetail parameters (1.6 MB), thanks to Jeff Balcerski
Output of rockxray with the "-s" (surface) option
Output of rockxray with the "-v" (volume) option

Future plans

Future versions of Rocktools may include the following:

Please e-mail me if you'd like to see some particular feature in Rocktools, or if you use it to make something creative.


Rocktools has been used in the following research:

C.L. Lin and J.D. Miller, 3D characterization and analysis of particle shape using X-ray microtomography (XMT), Powder Technology 154 (1) 61-69, (2005) [link]