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A straightforward cylindrical mapping should suit your purposes readily, if you look into the equation of a circle then you can come up with a 3D vector for any point on the pipe surface using all the data you have already, and your heightfield variation simply becomes variation of the radius parameter of the function. If visualisation is your goal, then ...


Unless the 3D structure of the pipe is important to your application, I would strongly recommend against visualizing things in 3D. This requires turning the pipe to see all sides, and requires developing a UI for interacting with the pipe (rotate, zoom, change focus). These interfaces are difficult to learn, even for technical people. I have enough ...

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