CGAL is great for what it is. I really like the fact that people researching computational geometry are the ones writing and using it. As a case in point, CGAL is about to get periodic triangulations, which AFAIK, no other software (at least public domain software) has. This was used recently to prove the existence of the ever elusive Higgs Boson. Seriously … CGAL == Nobel prize [1]

That said, the functionality it contains is not always suited for media arts purposes. So far, I’ve only found the 2D and 3D triangulations / Voronoi packages to be useful. If you want another type of voronoi, they also have voronoi of line segments and higher-order voronoi (haven’t tried but it could be interesting). I posted a video of a dynamic 3D Voronoi yesterday (http://www.vimeo.com/877882 ). I have tried their isosurface package and it is super slow (but also super accurate).

Here’s a link to their research on tiling periodic spaces as well as spherical and hyberbolic geometries (I can imagine both of these being very very useful for media arts projects): http://www-sop.inria.fr/geometrica/team/Monique.Teillaud/other-geometries/

From a recent email on the CGAL list

[1] Geneva, April 2008

The Large Hadron Collider Together With the CGAL Periodic Triangulations

Prove the Existence of the Higgs Boson

The Higgs boson was a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle

predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics.

Until yesterday, the Higgs Boson was the only Standard Model particle

not yet observed. The proof of its existence is crucial to explain how

otherwise massless elementary particles still manage to construct mass

in matter.

What turned hypothetical existence in reality is the combination

of (i) the photon collisions observed in the recently inaugurated

Large Hadron Collider (LHC, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large-Hadron-Collider )

together with (ii) the Periodic Triangulation package of CGAL, which allows

to compute Delaunay triangulations of toroidal spaces in order to apply

finite difference simulations without dealing with artificial boundary

conditions.

“We knew that hardware alone, buried in a circular tunnel under the Alps,

and combined with a 128K triple-core processor grid, simply wouldn’t do

the job,”, said Irene Eneri, the LHC project leader, “What it additionaly

needed were cleverly designed algorithms for complex shapes, and what we got

from the folks of the CGAL project was beyond the keenest expectations

of everybody – even of the project officer of our EU funded Hicks project.”

The downside of this breakthrough result is that the PhD student who worked

on the periodic triangulations stopped working, telling everybody, that whatever

he still finds out during his career is irelevant, as he expects to get the

Fields Medal in about 9, and the Nobel Prize for Physics in about 32 years.

Champagne !!! (Higgs)

The directors,

Robert Aymar (CERN), Andreas Fabri (GeometryFactory), Sylvain Pion (cgal.org)