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Point size control for Point Clouds


JeremyLondonRMLA

Question

Does anyone know if there's a way in Vectorworks to adjust the point display size on imported point clouds, such as LAS files.

 

At present I find that point clouds display well at a distance, see attached image 1, but when I zoom in to inspect closely and snap a 3D locus/stake object to a point to confirm its coordinates, the point cloud becomes very difficult to interpret due to the sparsity of points against the surrounding background, see attached image 2.

 

I've tried adjusting the pen thickness of the point cloud object in the attributes pallette / class settings, and searched in Vectorworks Preferences for any relevant settings, but had no luck so far.

 

I've discovered a very useful open source program called CloudCompare for the inspection of point clouds. This program allows the user to adjust point display size which really helps with interpretation at close range, see attached images 3-5. Note the 'default point size' adjustment buttons in the top left. 

 

If similar control over point size display could be added to Vectorworks I believe it would greatly improve the point cloud workflow.

 

Lidar_Vectorworks.jpg

Lidar_Vectorworks_Zoom.jpg

Lidar_Cloud Compare.jpg

Lidar_Cloud Compare_Zoom.jpg

Lidar_Cloud Compare_Zoom_Increase Point Size.jpg

Edited by JeremyLondonRMLA
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Hi Jeremy, did you resolve this? We are suffering from the same problem and are really stuck. We have one point cloud that come in very well, nice thick cloud that provides an easy profile to trace over, but the last three we have tried are next to useless, showing the same sparsity of points as your screen captures.

Andrew.

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Hi Andrew. No unfortunately not, I'm running Vectorworks 2019 SP3 and there still seems to be no control over the point display size. As a workaround, the CloudCompare software I mentioned in the above post allows you to select points and add their coordinates to a custom spreadsheet, which can then be exported as a .txt file and imported into Vectorworks using the Landmark > Survey Input > Import Survey File command. I hope this is helpful.

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Thanks Jeremy. exporting would be good - but the clouds we are using have many millions of points, I don't think the spreadsheet would cope (and even if it did it would take for ever to create and import).

We have lodged the problem with Vectorworks support to see if they can come up with something. If they do I will post back here 🙂

Andrew.

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Hi Andrew. Nice work. Hopefully we see the point size adjustment functionality added to Vectorworks sometime in the near future. 

 

Regarding the workflow I described above, the point clouds I've used in the past also had millions of points. I use CloudCompare to identify only the subset of points that are important/relevant to my work, give them descriptive names, and export them to .txt file for import into Vectorworks as stake objects. (They can be displayed concurrently with the original point cloud for reference if required). If I find that I need the coordinates of additional points, I go back to CloudCompare and add to my existing list, or create a new one, and export again.

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3D Loci like the 2D ones are reference points and can not be resized and do not print. Not sure what you mean about 3 lines but that sounds like you need to update your GPU driver of try changing your Vectorworks Preferences>Display>Navigation Graphics>change to Good Performance and Compatibility. Either way the process is a step in order to create a Vectorworks intelligent Digital Terrain Model (Site Model) from a Point Cloud.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Our workflow is now to make sure we import the point clouds in PTS format and use in Orthogonal projection, Layers set at "Show Others" to get all the colours in the point cloud. We're using VW 2020 SP2 at the moment. Most of our point cloud work is for measured building surveys for plans, sections and elevations, or parts of ships for 3D modelling, so our models are fairly small in dimensional size, rather than landscapes that are relatively larger, although we still max out on the number of points imported every time.

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I think the '3 lines' The Hamma is referring to are the 3 axes of the 3D locus itself (see image attached), rather than a display error.

 

There are workarounds for sure, but it would be an excellent feature if the displayed point size could be adjusted. At present it appears to be fixed at 1 pixel per point regardless of the zoom. If a free program like CouldCompare can implement point size adjustment, then I'd assume it's well within the capability of Vectorworks programmers to introduce something similar. If we get enough support for it on this thread perhaps it will make the shortlist for VW 2021! 

20200128_Vectorworks_3D Locus_3 Lines.jpg

Edited by JeremyLondonRMLA
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11 hours ago, JeremyLondonRMLA said:

I think the '3 lines' The Hamma is referring to are the 3 axes of the 3D locus itself (see image attached), rather than a display error.

 

There are workarounds for sure, but it would be an excellent feature if the displayed point size could be adjusted. At present it appears to be fixed at 1 pixel per point regardless of the zoom. If a free program like CouldCompare can implement point size adjustment, then I'd assume it's well within the capability of Vectorworks programmers to introduce something similar. If we get enough support for it on this thread perhaps it will make the shortlist for VW 2021! 

20200128_Vectorworks_3D Locus_3 Lines.jpg

You are correct and well said!

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Nothing (yet) to make Stake Objects, but here is something similar things from the ancient past.

 

And one I don't think I ever posted before.

 

Procedure PrintableLoci;
{Inserts a symbol named PrintLocus at the locaiton of each loci on the active layer}

{© 2008, Coviana, Inc - Pat Stanford pat@coviana.com}
{Licensed unde the GNU Lesser General Public License}

Var	H1:Handle;
		X1,Y1:Real;
		N1,N2:Integer;

Begin
	H1:=FActLayer;
	While H1 <> nil do
		Begin
			If GetType(H1) = 17 then
				Begin
					GetLocPt(H1,X1,Y1);
					Symbol('PrintLocus',X1,Y1,0);
					H1:=NextObj(H1);
				End
			else
				Begin
					H1:=NextObj(H1);
				End;
		End;
End;

Run(PrintableLoci);

 

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@Peter Neufeld Almost that simple.  

 

Procedure StakesFrom3DLoci;
{Inserts a Stake Object at the X/Y/Z location of each 3D loci on the active layer}

{© 2020,2008, Coviana, Inc - Pat Stanford pat@coviana.com}
{Licensed unde the GNU Lesser General Public License}

Var		H1,H2:Handle;
		X1,Y1,Z1:Real;
		N1,N2:Integer;


Begin
	H1:=FActLayer;
	While H1 <> nil do
		Begin
			If GetType(H1) = 9 then
				Begin
					GetLocus3D(H1,X1,Y1,Z1);
					H2:=CreateCustomObject('Stake Object',X1,Y1,0);
					Move3DObj(H2,0,0,Z1);
					H1:=NextObj(H1);
				End
			else
				Begin
					H1:=NextObj(H1);
				End;
		End;
End;

Run(StakesFrom3DLoci);

 

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For the first version of the script, you need to have a symbol named Print Locus with the insertion point at the center of object. The one I used was just a couple of crossed lines, but it could be anything.  That one works on 2D locus points.

 

For the second version of the script it replaces 3D loci with a Stake Object at the x/y/z position of the 3D locus. I just forgot to edit the comments before posting. Edited now.

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This one should work with 3D Loci and replace with a symbol.

 

Procedure StakesFrom3DLoci;
{Inserts a symbol at the X/Y/Z location of each 3D loci on the active layer}

{© 2020,2008, Coviana, Inc - Pat Stanford pat@coviana.com}
{Licensed unde the GNU Lesser General Public License}

Var		H1,H2:Handle;
		X1,Y1,Z1:Real;
		N1,N2:Integer;


Begin
	H1:=FActLayer;
	While H1 <> nil do
		Begin
			If GetType(H1) = 9 then
				Begin
					GetLocus3D(H1,X1,Y1,Z1);
					Symbol('Your Symbol Name Here',X1,Y1,0);
					H2:=LNewObj;
					Move3DObj(H2,0,0,Z1);
					H1:=NextObj(H1);
				End
			else
				Begin
					H1:=NextObj(H1);
				End;
		End;
End;

Run(StakesFrom3DLoci);

 

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On 1/27/2020 at 9:15 AM, AndrewRC said:

Our workflow is now to make sure we import the point clouds in PTS format and use in Orthogonal projection, Layers set at "Show Others" to get all the colours in the point cloud. We're using VW 2020 SP2 at the moment. Most of our point cloud work is for measured building surveys for plans, sections and elevations, or parts of ships for 3D modelling, so our models are fairly small in dimensional size, rather than landscapes that are relatively larger, although we still max out on the number of points imported every time.

 

Hi @AndrewRC I recently had a building laser surveyed for the first time + my point cloud looks like this at a distance:

 

969190445_Screenshot2021-08-01at21_18_50.png.3e4be8bdf004be1cd793230837afdc4f.png367812704_Screenshot2021-08-01at21_48_04.png.c947bd74cf8172a114fbfaea4efec50a.png

 

But like this up close:

 

980050208_Screenshot2021-08-01at21_48_55.thumb.png.c30c256bb33e63ebe532bb34f8945685.png

1022121266_Screenshot2021-08-01at21_52_20.thumb.png.868ca60dc34144540677a988d6d9c316.png \

 

Not quite what I was expecting + not very good for tracing over or taking dimensions. I was given the file in E57 format: would I get better results if I went back + asked for it in PTS format? I have had no experience of point clouds until today so any advice gratefully received. I was told by the surveyor I'd have so much detail I'd be able to pick out the nails on the rafters...!!!

 

 @RussU I remember you singing the praises of point clouds in another thread - do you have any advice for what I need to do in order to give myself something I can work with? Or @jeff prince?

 

Thanks to everyone in advance.

 

On a positive note the point cloud imported into my georeferenced file in exactly the right place + exactly the right scale so at least that part went ok...

 

 

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@Tom W. I like to convert my point clouds to .obj so I have a textured model to look at.  My tolerances in landscape are not as demanding as architecture and engineering though 🙂The point cloud itself can be useful for measuring and such, but you have to manage the display of the points and your snaps, clip cube being the easiest tool in vectorworks.  Point cloud editing software uses the same kind of tools as a clip cube with additional tools for filtering, classifying, and decimating that can be extremely helpful in cleaning up noise and refining the dataset.  When I’m dealing with buildings, I tend to draw guidelines and grids based off the cloud first and use those as a basis for developing my model, but I’m dealing with pretty rectilinear or predictable architecture that has been produced using conventional building materials, so it’s easier to use common building conventions to get very close.  It will be interesting to get @RussU’s advice on how to handle historic and irregular geometry accurately and quickly.

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Hmm thanks @jeff prince I tried converting the point cloud to .obj just to see what it was like but I couldn't get it to work. I exported the point cloud as .obj in VW but when I tried to import it again I got this message:

2116927531_Screenshot2021-08-04at10_14_37.thumb.png.f476f4dae60b4473bec73c9c8c195a0f.png

 

Did I need to convert it to .obj in a different app?

 

At any rate I think my problem is something else + to do with the size of my points. In CloudCompare + Revit it seems you can adjust the point size but this isn't possible in VW. @JeremyLondonRMLA mentions this above.

 

I've spoken to the surveyor + they are going to resend the file in .pts format to see if that makes any difference as per @AndrewRC's post above but strange there is so little info on this when I search it... Be great if @RussU picks this up + has any advice as the way things stand I can't really do anything with my point cloud... ☹️

 

This is what a point cloud looks like in the VW video:

121648354_Screenshot2021-08-04at10_21_59.thumb.png.f67fb61b5088b190f41e1ea981cd8341.png

 

And this is what a similarly scaled section of my point cloud looks like:

719702562_Screenshot2021-08-04at10_27_16.thumb.png.f3f39d687c0cddf1b269a41a61ff71da.png

 

If I zoom in further it gets even less comprehensible.

 

Yet zoomed-out it looks fine:

1256496670_Screenshot2021-08-04at10_27_41.png.1440da2db2bdd216691cc6e5d088f5c5.png

 

Help!! If anyone else has any pointers on this I'd be really glad to hear from you!

 

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4 hours ago, Tom W. said:

Did I need to convert it to .obj in a different app?

 


Sorry, I should have mentioned that I use other software to do that.  There are many robust solutions such offered by AutoDesk, Agisoft, Pix4D, etc.  I imagine there is a tool for Blender to do it too.  The problem of course with any Blender solution is you then will be tempted to learn all of its features 🙂

 

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