Point Clouds

Document created by Jose Gonzalez on Jan 5, 2017Last modified by Jose Gonzalez on Mar 1, 2017
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Point Clouds

A point cloud is a set of data points in a coordinate system. In a three-dimensional coordinate system, these points are usually defined by X, Y, and Z coordinates and are often intended to represent the external surface of an object.


Supported Format

Trimble Connect Desktop supports the Potree point cloud format.  When selecting the point cloud folder, be sure to select the folder that contains the point cloud files in the Potree format as shown in the example below:



Working with Point Cloud Files

The Eye Dome Lighting (EDL) technique is used in Trimble ConnectDesktop. The EDL enhances the viewer's perception of a point cloud by adding contours and basic shading in the model.



Adding Point Cloud Files

  • To add point clouds, on the Point clouds tab, click Add and select a suitable folder containing point cloud data.

    • On the Data tab, a Point clouds folder is created automatically. This folder contains a file that has the same name as the point cloud folder; this file contains the path to the actual point cloud folder. That way, the folder can be shared easily if it is located in a shared location.

Removing Point Clouds

  • You can remove point clouds from a project in any of the following ways:
    • On the Point clouds tab, select a point cloud from the list and click Remove.
    • On the Point clouds tab, select a point cloud from the list , right-click and select Remove.

Refreshing Point Clouds

  • When you are changing a point cloud on the Data tab, the changes will not be updated automatically on the Point clouds tab.
    • To update the point clouds list, on the Point clouds tab, click Refresh.

Hiding Parts of a Point Cloud

  • Click the eye button next to the classification you want to hide in the Classifications section. Points that belong to that classifications will be hidden accordingly.

Fitting the Point Cloud Area to View

  • Select the point cloud in the list and press space bar, or double-click the point cloud, or right-click and select Zoom to point cloud area.

Affect the Point Cloud Depth Perception

  • You can affect the point cloud depth perception by adjusting the EDL effect. The EDL is activated by default when you add point clouds.  
    The Thickness option adjusts how large of an area around every point to include in the calculations, bigger area resulting in more sensitive distinction between the points.
    The Strength option adjusts the strength of the emphasis given to the distinctions between the points.
    • To disable the EDL effect, click the  button. When disabled, the thickness and strength of the EDL effect cannot be changed anymore.
    • Adjust the thickness and strength by dragging the sliders.

Adjust Point Size and Density

  • Adjust the point size and density by dragging the sliders.

    This affects all points currently shown in the 3D view.

Adjust Point Cloud Color

  • When adding a point cloud, the default colors are used. You can also use point elevation or model classifications for coloring the point clouds
  • Using Elevations
    1. Click Elevation
    2. Define three values Top, Middle and Bottom either by dragging the sliders, or by writing the desired values in the boxes.
      The range of possible value for each elevation depends on other elevations, for example, the range for Middle elevation is always between the highest value of Bottom elevation and lowest value of Top elevation.
      The color is defined for all points depending on their elevation:
      1. Points with an elevation equal or above the defined Top value are colored in red
      2. Points with an elevation equal or under the Bottom value are colored in blue.
      3. Points with an elevation included between Top and Bottom values are a blend of green and red, or green and blue, depending on the range and middle value. The closer from the Bottom value, the more blue, and the closer from the maximum value, the more red.
  • Using Model Classes
    • Click Classifications.
      All points are now colored based on their classifications. Classification colors are shown in the Classifications section of the point clouds tab.

Share Point Clouds

  • Points clouds can also be shared if they are found in a shared location.  
    • Push to the server the file created automatically in the point clouds folder on the Data tab, and share the project with other users. Once other users open the project and download that fild locally, they have access to the point cloud from the Point clouds tab.
    • If the point cloud original folder is not in a shared location, the link will not be valid and the point cloud will not be displayed in the 3D view. This is indicated by the point cloud title being red.