Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


npm version lgtm code quality travis build

A BVH implementation to speed up raycasting against and enable intersection tests for three.js meshes.


Casting 500 rays against an 80,000 polygon model at 60fps!

Raycasting demo

Shape intersection demo

Triangle painting demo


Using pre-made functions

// Import via ES6 modules
import * as THREE from 'three';
import { computeBoundsTree, disposeBoundsTree, acceleratedRaycast } from 'three-mesh-bvh';

// Or UMD
const { computeBoundsTree, disposeBoundsTree, acceleratedRaycast } = window.MeshBVHLib;

// Add the extension functions
THREE.BufferGeometry.prototype.computeBoundsTree = computeBoundsTree;
THREE.BufferGeometry.prototype.disposeBoundsTree = disposeBoundsTree;
THREE.Mesh.prototype.raycast = acceleratedRaycast;

// Generate geometry and associated BVH
const geom = new THREE.TorusKnotBufferGeometry(10, 3, 400, 100);
const mesh = new THREE.Mesh(geom, material);

Or manually building the BVH

// Import via ES6 modules
import * as THREE from 'three';
import { MeshBVH, acceleratedRaycast } 'three-mesh-bvh';

// Or UMD
const { MeshBVH, acceleratedRaycast } = window.MeshBVHLib;

// Add the raycast function. Assumes the BVH is available on
// the `boundsTree` variable
THREE.Mesh.prototype.raycast = acceleratedRaycast;

// ...

// Generate the BVH and use the newly generated index
geom.boundsTree = new MeshBVH(geom);

And then raycasting

// Setting "firstHitOnly" to true means the Mesh.raycast function will use the
// bvh "raycastFirst" function to return a result more quickly.
const raycaster = new THREE.Raycaster();
raycaster.firstHitOnly = true;
raycaster.intersectObjects( [ mesh ] );

Serialization and Deserialization

const geometry = new KnotBufferGeometry( 1, 0.5, 40, 10 );
const bvh = new MeshBVH( geometry );
const serialized = MeshBVH.serialize( bvh, geometry );

// ...

const deserializedBVH = MeshBVH.deserialize( serialized, geometry );
geometry.boundsTree = deserializedBVH;


Split Strategy Constants


Option for splitting each BVH node down the center of the longest axis of the bounds.

This is the fastest construction option but will yield a less optimal hierarchy.


Option for splitting each BVH node at the average point along the longest axis for all triangle centroids in the bounds.


Option to use a Surface Area Heuristic to split the bounds optimally.

This is the slowest construction option.


The MeshBVH generation process modifies the geometry's index bufferAttribute in place to save memory. The BVH construction will use the geometry's boundingBox if it exists or set it if it does not. The BVH will no longer work correctly if the index buffer is modified.

static .serialize

static serialize( bvh : MeshBVH, geometry : BufferGeometry, copyIndexBuffer = true : Boolean ) : SerializedBVH

Generates a representation of the complete bounds tree and the geometry index buffer which can be used to recreate a bounds tree using the deserialize function. The serialize and deserialize functions can be used to generate a MeshBVH asynchronously in a background web worker to prevent the main thread from stuttering.

bvh is the MeshBVH to be serialized and geometry is the bufferGeometry used to generate and raycast against using the bvh.

If copyIndexBuffer is true then a copy of the geometry.index.array is made which is slower but useful is the geometry index is intended to be modified.

static .deserialize

static deserialize( data : SerializedBVH, geometry : BufferGeometry, setIndex = true : Boolean ) : MeshBVH

Returns a new MeshBVH instance from the serialized data. geometry is the geometry used to generate the original bvh data was derived from. If setIndex is true then the buffer for the geometry.index attribute is set from the serialized data attribute or created if an index does not exist.

NOTE: In order for the bounds tree to be used for casts the geometry index attribute must be replaced by the data in the SeralizedMeshBVH object.

NOTE: The returned MeshBVH is a fully generated, buffer packed BVH instance to improve memory footprint and uses the same buffers passed in on the data.root property.


constructor( geometry : BufferGeometry, options : Object )

Constructs the bounds tree for the given geometry and produces a new index attribute buffer. The available options are

    // Which split strategy to use when constructing the BVH.
    strategy: CENTER,

    // The maximum depth to allow the tree to build to.
    // Setting this to a smaller trades raycast speed for better construction
    // time and less memory allocation.
    maxDepth: 40,

    // The number of triangles to aim for in a leaf node.
    maxLeafTris: 10,

    // Print out warnings encountered during tree construction.
    verbose: true,
    // If true the bounds tree is generated progressively as the tree is used allowing
    // for a fast initialization time and memory allocation as needed but a higher memory
    // footprint once the tree is completed. The initial raycasts are also slower until the
    // tree is built up.
    // If false then the bounds tree will be completely generated up front and packed into
    // an array buffer for a lower final memory footprint and long initialization time.
    lazyGeneration: true


NOTE: The geometry's index attribute array is modified in order to build the bounds tree. If the geometry has no index then one is added.


raycast( mesh : Mesh, raycaster : Raycaster, ray : Ray, intersects : Array) : Array<RaycastHit>

Adds all raycast triangle hits in unsorted order to the intersects array. It is expected that ray is in the frame of the mesh being raycast against and that the geometry on mesh is the same as the one used to generate the bvh.


raycastFirst( mesh : Mesh, raycaster : Raycaster, ray : Ray) : RaycastHit

Returns the first raycast hit in the model. This is typically much faster than returning all hits.


intersectsSphere( mesh : Mesh, sphere : Sphere ) : Boolean

Returns whether or not the mesh instersects the given sphere.


intersectsBox( mesh : Mesh, box : Box3, boxToBvh : Matrix4 ) : Boolean

Returns whether or not the mesh intersects the given box.

The boxToBvh parameter is the transform of the box in the meshs frame.


intersectsGeometry( mesh : Mesh, geometry : BufferGeometry, geometryToBvh : Matrix4 ) : Boolean

Returns whether or not the mesh intersects the given geometry.

The geometryToBvh parameter is the transform of the geometry in the mesh's frame.

Performance improves considerably if the provided geometry also has a boundsTree.


closestPointToPoint( mesh : Mesh, point : Vector3, target : Vector3 ) : Number

Returns the closest distance from the point to the mesh and puts the closest point on the mesh in target.


	mesh : Mesh,
	geometry : BufferGeometry,
	geometryToBvh : Matrix4,
	target1 : Vector3,
	target2 : Vector3
) : Number

Returns the closest distance from the geometry to the mesh and puts the closest point on the mesh in target1 and the closest point on the other geometry in target2 in the frame of the BVH.

The geometryToBvh parameter is the transform of the geometry in the mesh's frame.



roots : Array< ArrayBuffer >


index : TypedArray


Displays a view of the bounds tree up to the given depth of the tree.

Note: The visualizer is expected to be a sibling of the mesh being visualized.


depth : Number

The depth to traverse and visualize the tree to.


constructor( mesh: THREE.Mesh, depth = 10 : Number )

Instantiates the helper with a depth and mesh to visualize.


update() : void

Updates the display of the bounds tree in the case that the bounds tree has changed or the depth parameter has changed.



firstHitOnly = false : Boolean

The the Raycaster member firstHitOnly is set to true then the .acceleratedRaycast function will call the .raycastFirst function to retrieve hits which is generally faster.


computeBoundsTree( options : Object ) : void

A pre-made BufferGeometry extension function that builds a new BVH, assigns it to boundsTree, and applies the new index buffer to the geometry. Comparable to computeBoundingBox and computeBoundingSphere.

THREE.BufferGeometry.prototype.computeBoundsTree = computeBoundsTree;


disposeBoundsTree() : void

A BufferGeometry extension function that disposes of the BVH.

THREE.BufferGeometry.prototype.disposeBoundsTree = disposeBoundsTree;


acceleratedRaycast( ... )

An accelerated raycast function with the same signature as THREE.Mesh.raycast. Uses the BVH for raycasting if it's available otherwise it falls back to the built-in approach.

If the raycaster object being used has a property firstHitOnly set to true, then the raycasting will terminate as soon as it finds the closest intersection to the ray's origin and return only that intersection. This is typically several times faster than searching for all intersections.

THREE.Mesh.prototype.raycast = acceleratedRaycast;

Debug Functions


estimateMemoryInBytes( bvh : MeshBVH ) : Number

Roughly estimates the amount of memory in bytes a BVH is using.


getBVHExtremes( bvh : MeshBVH ) : Array< Object >

Measures the min and max extremes of the tree including node depth, leaf triangle count, and number of splits on different axes to show how well a tree is structured. Returns an array of extremes for each group root for the bvh. The objects are structured like so:

	depth: { min: Number, max: Number },
	tris: { min: Number, max: Number },
	splits: [ Number, Number, Number ]


  • This is intended to be used with complicated, high-poly meshes. With less complex meshes, the benefits are negligible.
  • A bounds tree can be generated for either an indexed or non-indexed BufferGeometry, but an index will be produced and retained as a side effect of the construction.
  • The bounds hierarchy is not dynamic, so geometry that uses morph targets cannot be used.
  • If the geometry is changed then a new bounds tree will need to be generated.
  • Only BufferGeometry (not Geometry) is supported when building a bounds tree.
  • InterleavedBufferAttributes are not supported on the geometry index or position attributes.
  • A separate bounds tree is generated for each geometry group, which could result in poorer raycast performance on geometry with lots of groups.
  • Due to errors related to floating point precision it is recommended that geometry be centered using before creating the BVH if the geometry is sufficiently large or off center.
  • Geometry with a lot of particularly long triangles on one axis can lead to a less than optimal bounds tree (see #121).

Get A Weekly Email With Trending Projects For These Topics
No Spam. Unsubscribe easily at any time.
javascript (66,040
performance (559
graphics (387
threejs (200
tree (168
geometry (96
mesh (73
distance (31
three-js (27
acceleration (17

Find Open Source By Browsing 7,000 Topics Across 59 Categories