Use math to solve problems in Unity with C#

13. Voronoi Diagram

A Voronoi Diagram is a pattern that looks like the skin of a giraffe. It consists of sites (center points), cells, and edges. Each site has a cell and the border of the cell is the edges. If you are standing on an edge, you have the same distance to travel to the two sites that are on each side of the edge.

As usual there are more than one way to create a Voronoi Diagram, and we are here going to use this algorithm: Algorithm for generation of Voronoi Diagrams. The idea is that we first create 4 fake sites with triangles around them, which looks like this:

Voronoi diagram construction step 1

...and then we add site-by-site while cutting the existing edges:

Voronoi diagram construction step 2

...2 sites:

Voronoi diagram construction step 3

The difficult part here is to cut the edges. The webpage says that we should "Test the spatial relationship between e and pb." This means that we should test on which side an existing edge is in relationship to the perpendicular vector. To make this work, we need to know which side of the perpendicular vector a point is. This means it is really important to orient all perpendicular vectors in the same way - all of them have to point in the same direction. And I've here decided that to the left of the perpendicular vector should the site we want to add be, and to the right should the existing side be.

When we have done that we should be able to answer the following: "If e is on the near side of pb (closer to site than to c's site), mark it to be deleted (or delete it now provided that doing so will not disrupt your enumeration)." This means that if an existing edge is to the left of the perpendicular vector we should delete it. We can also answer: "If e intersects pb, clip e to the far side of pb, and store the point of intersection in X." This means that if an existing edge is intersecting with the perpendicular vector, then we should move what's left of the perpendicular vector to the intersection point. If you head is spinning, this image might explain it:

Voronoi diagram construction explanation

As seen in the image above, we have 3 cases. If the edge is to the left of the line, then delete it. If an edge is to the right of the line, then ignore it. If an edge is intersecting with the line, move vertex A (which is to the left) to the intersection point. This sounds simple inte theory, but fails miserable when implementing it in Unity. The problem is floating point precision issues. When we cut a line, the intersection point will not be exactly where the intersection point is in theory, so to make it work we have to use a tolerance, which I've from experimentation determined that it should be 0.001. So if an edge is to the left or 0.001 to the right of the perpendicular vector, we say the entire edge is to the left and we should delete it.

What has been explained so far is what this code is doing. halfWidth is half of the width of the range your points have. If your points are centered around 0 and no point is larger than 10 nor smaller than -10, then halfWidth is 10:

public static List<Cell> GenerateVoronoiDiagramSiteBySite(List<Vector3> sites, float halfWidth)
	//Initialize edges and cells to be empty
	List<Edge> edges = new List<Edge>();

	List<Cell> cells = new List<Cell>();

	// Step 1. Add three or four "points at infinity" to cells, to bound the diagram
	float width = halfWidth * 3f;

	float bigWidth = halfWidth * 10f;

	//Add appropriate edges to these cells - will form a triangle
	//And all triangles will form a diamond shape with center at center of points
	Vector3 C = new Vector3(0f, 0f, 0f);
	Vector3 R = new Vector3(bigWidth, 0f, 0f);
	Vector3 T = new Vector3(0f, 0f, bigWidth);
	Vector3 L = new Vector3(-bigWidth, 0f, 0f);
	Vector3 B = new Vector3(0f, 0f, -bigWidth);

	Cell cell1 = new Cell(new Vector3(-width, 0f, -width));

	cell1.edges.Add(new Edge(C, L));
	cell1.edges.Add(new Edge(L, B));
	cell1.edges.Add(new Edge(B, C));


	Cell cell2 = new Cell(new Vector3(width, 0f, -width));

	cell2.edges.Add(new Edge(C, B));
	cell2.edges.Add(new Edge(B, R));
	cell2.edges.Add(new Edge(R, C));


	Cell cell3 = new Cell(new Vector3(width, 0f, width));

	cell3.edges.Add(new Edge(C, R));
	cell3.edges.Add(new Edge(R, T));
	cell3.edges.Add(new Edge(T, C));


	Cell cell4 = new Cell(new Vector3(-width, 0f, width));

	cell4.edges.Add(new Edge(C, T));
	cell4.edges.Add(new Edge(T, L));
	cell4.edges.Add(new Edge(L, C));


	// Step 2. Add the sites one by one and rebuild the diagram
	//Loop through all sites we want to add
	for (int i = 0; i < sites.Count; i++)
		//Create a new cell with site as its site
		Cell newCell = new Cell(sites[i]);

		//For each existing cell
		for (int j = 0; j < cells.Count; j++)
			Cell existingCell = cells[j];

			//Find perpendicular bisector of the line segment connecting the two sites
			Vector3 vecBetween = (newCell.cellPos - existingCell.cellPos).normalized;

			//This direction is always ccw around the site we are adding
			Vector3 pbVec = new Vector3(vecBetween.z, 0f, -vecBetween.x);

			//The position of this vector
			Vector3 centerPos = (newCell.cellPos + existingCell.cellPos) * 0.5f;

			//Create a data structure to hold the critical points and edges to delete
			List<Vector3> criticalPoints = new List<Vector3>();

			List<Edge> edgesToDelete = new List<Edge>();

			//Loop through all edges belonging to the current site
			for (int k = 0; k < existingCell.edges.Count; k++)
				Edge edge = existingCell.edges[k];

				//Test the spatial relationship between e and pb (determine which side of a line a given point is on)
				Vector3 edge_p1 = edge.v1.position;
				Vector3 edge_p2 = edge.v2.position;

				//If e is on the near side of pb (closer to the new site we are currently adding than to the existing site), 
				//mark it to be deleted. This means that if the entire line is to the left of the line we are drawing now, delete it
				// < 0 -> to the right
				// = 0 -> on the line
				// > 0 -> to the left
				float relation_p1 = Geometry.DistanceFromPointToPlane(vecBetween, centerPos, edge_p1);
				float relation_p2 = Geometry.DistanceFromPointToPlane(vecBetween, centerPos, edge_p2);

				//Make the edge a little longer because of floating point precisions, or the intersection algortihm will not work
				Vector3 edgeDir = (edge_p2 - edge_p1).normalized;

				float tolerance = 0.001f;

				Vector3 edge_p2_extended = edge_p2 + edgeDir * tolerance;
				Vector3 edge_p1_extended = edge_p1 - edgeDir * tolerance;

				//Both points are to the left
				float left_tolerance = -0.001f;
				if ((relation_p1 > 0f && relation_p2 >= left_tolerance) || (relation_p2 > 0f && relation_p1 >= left_tolerance))
				else if (Intersections.AreLinePlaneIntersecting(vecBetween, centerPos, edge_p1_extended, edge_p2_extended))
					Vector3 intersectionPoint = Intersections.GetLinePlaneIntersectionCoordinate(vecBetween, centerPos, edge_p1, edge_p2);


					//Both points are to the right
					if (relation_p1 < 0f && relation_p2 < 0f)
						//Move the one thats least to the right to the intersection coordinate
						if (relation_p1 > relation_p2)
							edge.v1.position = intersectionPoint;
							edge.v2.position = intersectionPoint;
					//The points are on different sides of the line, so move the left one
					else if (relation_p1 > 0f || Mathf.Approximately(relation_p1, 0f))
						edge.v1.position = intersectionPoint;
						edge.v2.position = intersectionPoint;

			//Critical points should now have 0 or 2 points, if 2 points, add it
			if (criticalPoints.Count == 2)
				Edge newEdge = new Edge(criticalPoints[0], criticalPoints[1]);

				//Add this edge to teh lists

			//Delete the edges we should delete
			for (int l = 0; l < edgesToDelete.Count; l++)

...which assumes you have a Cell class:

using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using UnityEngine;

public class Cell
    public Vector3 cellPos;

    public List<Edge> edges = new List<Edge>();

    //This list should be sorted so we can walk around the cell border
    public List<Vector3> borderCoordinates = new List<Vector3>();

    public Cell(Vector3 cellPos)
        this.cellPos = cellPos;

Remember to use the data structures from the first page, such as Edge, and everything should be in x-z-space (Create a new Vertex object with a Vector3 as its position and where y = 0). You also need to know how to find out if a point is to the left or to the right of a plane, if a line and plane is intersecting, and the coordinate of intersection between a line and plane. If not, you can find them here: Useful Algorithms.

We now have a list with all sites, so we should begin with removing the 4 fake sites we added in the beginning because they are not needed anymore. We also need to connect the edges which belongs to a site, so we can easier cut the fake edges we added in the beginning which now belongs to sites that intersects with the border:

Voronoi diagram construction step 4

To be able to connect the edges, we first have to make sure they have the same orientation, which is counter-clockwise around the site. So we end up with edges that goes from v1 to v2, but we don't know which edge comes after another edge. What we want a list with coordinates that goes from A-B-C-D-E if we have 5 vertices. To connect the edges we check how close and edge's endpoint (v2) is to another edge's startpoint (v1).

Voronoi how to sort edges

//Remove the first 4 cells we added in the beginning because they are not needed anymore
cells.RemoveRange(0, 4);

for (int i = 0; i < cells.Count; i++)
	//We should move around the cell counter-clockwise so make sure all edges are oriented in that way
	List<Edge> cellEdges = cells[i].edges;

	for (int j = cellEdges.Count - 1; j >= 0; j--)
		Vertex edge_v1 = cellEdges[j].v1;
		Vertex edge_v2 = cellEdges[j].v2;

		//Remove this edge if it is small
		if ((edge_v1.position - edge_v2.position).sqrMagnitude < 0.01f)


		Vector3 edgeCenter = (edge_v1.position + edge_v2.position) * 0.5f;

		//Now we can make a line between the cell and the edge
		Vector2 a = new Vector2(cells[i].cellPos.x, cells[i].cellPos.z);
		Vector2 b = new Vector2(edgeCenter.x, edgeCenter.z);

		//The point to the left of this line is coming after the other point if we are moving counter-clockwise
		if (Geometry.IsAPointLeftOfVector(a, b, edge_v1.GetPos2D_XZ()))
			//Flip because we want to go from v1 to v2
			Vector3 temp = edge_v2.position;

			edge_v2.position = edge_v1.position;

			edge_v1.position = temp;

	//Connect the edges
	List<Vector3> edgesCoordinates = cells[i].borderCoordinates;

	Edge startEdge = cellEdges[0];


	Vertex currentVertex = startEdge.v2;

	for (int j = 1; j < cellEdges.Count; j++)
		//Find the next edge
		for (int k = 1; k < cellEdges.Count; k++)
			Vector3 thisEdgeStart = cellEdges[k].v1.position;

			if ((thisEdgeStart - currentVertex.position).sqrMagnitude < 0.01f)

				currentVertex = cellEdges[k].v2;


Each cell now has a list called edgesCoordinates. This list is sorted so we can travel around the site (along the edge) and end up at the same position as where we started. We also know that the border of this Voronoi diagram is a square, so we can use the Sutherland-Hodgman algorithm to cut away the fake edges we added in the beginning. This method is doing that:

//Clip the Voronoi diagram with a clipping algorithm which is a better solution than the solution suggested on the webpage
private static void ClipDiagram(List<Cell> cells, float halfWidth)
	List<Vector3> clipPolygon = new List<Vector3>();

	//The positions of the square border
	Vector3 TL = new Vector3(-halfWidth, 0f, halfWidth);
	Vector3 TR = new Vector3(halfWidth, 0f, halfWidth);
	Vector3 BR = new Vector3(halfWidth, 0f, -halfWidth);
	Vector3 BL = new Vector3(-halfWidth, 0f, -halfWidth);


	//Create the clipping planes
	List<Plane> clippingPlanes = new List<Plane>();

	for (int i = 0; i < clipPolygon.Count; i++)
		int iPlusOne = MathUtility.ClampListIndex(i + 1, clipPolygon.Count);

		Vector3 v1 = clipPolygon[i];
		Vector3 v2 = clipPolygon[iPlusOne];

		//Doesnt have to be center but easier to debug
		Vector3 planePos = (v1 + v2) * 0.5f;

		Vector3 planeDir = v2 - v1;

		//Should point inwards
		Vector3 planeNormal = new Vector3(-planeDir.z, 0f, planeDir.x).normalized;

		clippingPlanes.Add(new Plane(planePos, planeNormal));

	for (int i = 0; i < cells.Count; i++)
		cells[i].borderCoordinates = SutherlandHodgman.ClipPolygon(cells[i].borderCoordinates, clippingPlanes);

Each cell now has a list called edgesCoordinates. This list is a convex polygon, so if you want to triangulate it, you can use this algortihm: Triangulate a convex polygon. And we will finally end up with a Voronoi Diagram:

Voronoi diagram color