In computer graphics and geometric modeling, shapes are often represented by triangular meshes. With the advent of laser scanning systems, meshes of extreme complexity are rapidly becoming commonplace. Such meshes are notoriously expensive to store, transmit, render, and are awkward to edit. Multiresolution analysis offers a simple, unified, and theoretically sound approach to dealing with these problems. Lounsbery et al. have recently developed a technique for creating multiresolution representations for a restricted class of meshes with subdivision connectivity. Unfortunately, meshes encountered in practice typically do not meet this requirement. In this paper we present a method for overcoming the subdivision connectivity restriction, meaning that completely arbitrary meshes can now be converted to multiresolution form. The method is based on the approximation of an arbitrary initial mesh M by a mesh Mj that has subdivision connectivity and is guaranteed to be within a specified tolerance. The key ingredient of our algorithm is the construction of a parametrization of M over a simple domain. We expect this parametrization to be of use in other contexts, such as texture mapping or the approximation of complex meshes by NURBS patches.