Point Clouds in Catenda Hub

Discover how to benefit from laser scans and LIDAR technologies in Catenda Hub.

Julien Benoit avatar
Written by Julien Benoit
Updated over a week ago

This feature provides the ability to visualize Pointcloud datasets (PC) inside Catenda Hub.

You can preview individual PC inside the Document area, and you can combine them in our 3D viewer. Download a sample file from here.

Also, you can view simultaneously PC and IFC models inside the Catenda Hub 3D viewer.

See below various settings to display your data:

Document section preview

Catenda Hub allows you to upload 2 formats for PC data:

  • *.e57

  • *.las

You will upload the files as every other file in the Document section.

File size must be under 25 GB, but you can load several, and display them together in the viewer.
After you import a point cloud to the document section it starts processing the preview.

The time it takes to prepare depends on how big the point cloud is.

As a general rule you can think of it as 1 hour per GB but it might be more/less depending on the point cloud.

After the preview has processed a 3D button will appear in the documents list and in the right information panel.

The point cloud can now be opened in the 3D viewer.

Once it is ready, click on the document, and the preview of your PC will appear.

3D viewer preview

To display your PC in the 3D viewer, simply click on this 3D button:

This is the initial result:

And after some adjustments with zoom and positioning:

3D viewer settings

In this section, we will look at the settings inside Catenda Hub that will allow you to get the best experience with your PC.

Settings that can be used to configure point clouds are located in two places.

1. Point Budget:

Using the viewer Settings button, you will be able to adjust your point budget from 100,000 up to 10,000,000. This will affect the global performance and loading time of your data, but also the end result in the viewer.

See the same view with the lowest budget, and the highest:

2. Revision Selector, and individual PC settings:

Use the Revision Selector to display the PC that are currently loaded in the viewer.

The 3D button is blue, meaning the PC is displayed in the viewer and loaded into your systems memory.

The magnifying glass icon allows you to center the view on this PC.

Finally, the gear icon to the right allows further adjustments.

Individual PC settings:

PC are available from various sources, and for that reason, they will need some specific adjustments.

  • Attribute: allows you to choose to display either RGBA (colors) or Intensity. It's very useful when the points do not include colors. For example when the PC was captured in a tunnel or a dark room.

  • Opacity: when models are displayed together with PC, it can be necessary to dime the PC data to have a better understanding of the viewpoint.

  • Point size: it can be set either to Adaptive (default), or Fixed size. The slider below helps you make the final setting. There is no rule for the correct value, it will depend on the data you upload (size of the dataset, point density, type of scan, etc...). Our advice: load the PC, and after a brief moment, when enough points are displayed, start to adjust the settings if necessary.

If you have the fixed point size rendering option turned on points behind the camera will not adaptively unload. If you have many points you will notice that as you start getting close to the amount of points that your system can handle rotating might be delayed and movement can be slowed down. You might also notice that it will take longer and longer to load in new points the closer you are to your limit.
Because points load closest to the camera first, a good strategy is to load the point cloud out of memory by clicking the 3D button,

You can then position the camera to where you want to load points and click 3D again to load the point cloud into memory.
If this is a camera position you plan to use more often with this point cloud it can be smart to make a bookmark or a snapshot in an issue which you can play to return to this position.

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