When i want to find the vertex within a mesh object that is closest to a given point in space, i can do something like this:

import bpy
p     = Vector((1,1,1))
ob    = bpy.context.object
me    = ob.data
verts = me.vertices
distances = [(v.co - p).length for v in verts]
val, idx = min((val, idx) for (idx, val) in enumerate(distances))

Then idx is the index of the closest vertex.

But is there is a ready made function available that gives back the index of the closest vertex ?


I don't think that there is a single function for that, but you can use the mathutils.kdtree module to query closest points.

If you sort the vertices of your mesh into a kd-tree you can just call

co, index, dist = my_kd_tree.find(p)

co will contain the coordinates of the closest point, index its index and dist the distance between p and the closest point. See the module documentation for the complete example.

If you want to query many closest points, using the kd-tree will be much faster than iterating over all vertices.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is this similar to ICP? $\endgroup$ – June Wang Aug 29 '19 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean Iterative Closest Point registration? Then no, this will just give you the closest point to coordinate p and not register meshes. $\endgroup$ – maddin45 Aug 30 '19 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I don't think there's a tool in blender to do dense correspondence between models, or is there? $\endgroup$ – June Wang Aug 30 '19 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ Not out of the box, as far as I know. There is a (paid) addon for ICP, though: blendermarket.com/products/… $\endgroup$ – maddin45 Sep 2 '19 at 10:20

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