How finite element mesh generation algorithms work (video)

Structural engineers regularly create finite element models of buildings, bridges, and the like to use for numerical analysis and design. Several years ago, I became very interested in automatic meshing algorithms. I began experimenting with a popular open source mesher and had a lot of fun building a tool extending it for quadrilateral meshing.

Along the way, I thought it would be fun to create a video showing the process of mesh generation using the Delaunay triangulation algorithm, since most engineers use this constantly but have never seen how it works “under the hood.” With no further ado:

In case anyone is interested, I created this by capturing a postscript frame at each iteration and then cycling through them on screen while recording a video using SnagIt.