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I'm struggling to understand the behaviour of ConvexHullMesh (or rather the non-behaviour). I have a polynom p

p = { {0, 0}, {1, 0}, {1/2, 1/2}, {1, 1}, {0, 1}}

which I can display in a nice way like by e.g.:

Show[Graphics[{LightBlue, EdgeForm[Gray], Polygon[p]}],  Graphics[ {PointSize[Large], Red, Point[#]}] & /@ p]

Now I construct the convex hull

q = ConvexHullMesh[p];

which displays a somewhat featureless rectangle. Having a closer look at q

q // InputForm

I get

BoundaryMeshRegion[{{0., 0.}, {0., 1.}, {1., 0.}, {1., 1.}}, {Line[{{1, 3}, {3, 4}, {4, 2}, {2, 1}}]}, Method -> {"EliminateUnusedCoordinates" -> True, DeleteDuplicateCoordinates" -> Automatic, "VertexAlias" -> Identity, "CheckOrientation" -> True, "CoplanarityTolerance" -> Automatic, "CheckIntersections" -> Automatic, "BoundaryNesting" -> {{0, 0}}, "SeparateBoundaries" -> False, "PropagateMarkers" -> True, "Hash" -> 1136472811504667718}]

so the obvious (?) idea is to replace the head of q (i.e. BoundaryMeshRegion) by a suitably defined function f that uses the argument to display the convex hull in a 'nicer' way. Ignoring the exact implementation of f, the 'usual' way fails, as

f @@ q 

just redisplays the rectangle. Head[q] gives the expected BoundaryMeshRegion, but Apply (or @@) somehow fails to replace the head. Similarly, the alternative q[[1]] to access the argument of the head fails.

What am I missing?

Or to be more precise:

  • How do I change the appearance of ConvexHullMesh?

  • Why does the above solution not work?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

While the answers provided so far are nice, it seems like there should be easier ways to achieve this. And there are, I will show two ways: 1) Keeping your ConvexHullMesh as a BoundaryMeshRegion object and (2 converting to a Graphics object.

pts = RandomReal[4, {200, 3}];
chull = ConvexHullMesh[pts];

First we use HighlightMesh with no need to recreate the MeshRegion:

HighlightMesh[chull, {Style[0, Directive[PointSize[0.015], Red]], 
  Style[1, Thin, Blue], Style[2, Opacity[0.5], Yellow]}]

Mathematica graphics

Note the use of Style to style the various dimensions (0 for vertices, 1 for edges and 2 for facets. Also note that this object is still a BoundaryMeshRegion and you can compute other nice mesh-related properties from it.

Now the Graphics object approach.

Graphics3D[GraphicsComplex[MeshCoordinates[chull], {PointSize[0.02], Red,       
  MeshCells[chull, 0], Blue, MeshCells[chull, 1], Green, MeshCells[chull, 2]}], 
  Boxed -> False]

Mathematica graphics

Note the use of the already available properties of the MeshRegion. No need to use Show here.

share|improve this answer
@RunnyKine...thanks for this wonderful and illustrative, general (and best answer) +1...mine was a hack on the fly... – ubpdqn Aug 24 '14 at 19:13
@ubpdqn, Thanks for the up-vote. I thought this was worth sharing since it's not obvious at first how to style these Mesh objects directly. – RunnyKine Aug 24 '14 at 19:19
I am still negotiating MMA10 and the computational geometry very happy to learn more.,,so excellent answer – ubpdqn Aug 24 '14 at 19:24
Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for. +1 – Oliver Jennrich Sep 12 '14 at 15:34

Show allows you to convert to Graphics object:

Graphics[Show[ConvexHullMesh[p]][[1]] /. {Directive[x_] :> 
    Directive[{Red, EdgeForm[{Black, Thickness[0.02]}]}]}]

enter image description here

Or perhaps a little more interesting:

pts = RandomReal[{0, 1}, {50, 2}];
g = Graphics[{Red, PointSize[0.03], Point[pts]}];
ch = Show[ConvexHullMesh[pts]][[1]] /. {Directive[x_] :> 
     Directive[{Yellow, EdgeForm[{Black, Thickness[0.02]}]}]};
Show[Graphics[ch], g]

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Now that is cool. Thanks a lot. Now, any idea why my 'Apply'-idea doesn't work? – Oliver Jennrich Aug 24 '14 at 14:39
p = {{0, 0}, {1, 0}, {1/2, 1/2}, {1, 1}, {0, 1}};



  MeshRegion[p, Polygon[Range@Length@p],
   MeshCellStyle -> {2, All} -> Opacity[0.5, Orange]],
  Labeled[0, "Index"]]]

enter image description here

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