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3D Scanning into VW

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My company produces events in hotel ballrooms & convention centers, many of which don't have CAD drawings or even floorplans. I have been loosely following 3D scanning technology the past few years and am interested in purchasing a 3D scanner that I will then be able to import into VW to create accurate diagrams & floorplans (to avoid things like chandeliers, doorways, etc when designing stages).


My major concern is most of the ones I have seen (Matterport, Metareal, etc) are aimed towards residential real estate...I am more concerned with accurate measurements and dimensions. Some of these ballrooms & convention halls are massive, with 30+ foot high ceilings, so I need something with a decent range that is accurate.


I have come across an iPhone app called "Magicplan" that actually looks pretty promising, but is geared more to the home construction and remodel industry. I am going to download the app and see if it will work for my needs, but I'm nervous things like chandeliers and recessed ceilings will be difficult to account for. I think I may need something a little more higher-end.


Does anyone have any recommendations on products and/or workflow? Thanks in advance!

Edited by jstroming
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You probably need something more expensive than a mobile app. Been playing a bit with my new iPhone 13 Pro to evaluate the Ladar features, which are nice but probably not accurate enough for professional use. Also, the range is limited to about 0.5 to  5 meters. For more accurate measurements, you probably need a laser or photo based system.  Having said that about the iPhone, I tried a number of programs with mixed results. Many where pretty rubbish, but so far I have found one that was quite nice and worth downloading. It's called Scaniverse and it was free. Did a quick scan in a 20 sqm room and despite having lot's of flaws, partially due to lack of experience I guess, but still felt like a 3D photo that you can spin around, with nice realistic textures. It also exported fine into VW using OBJ, with the only flaw being the model being tilted due to flipped YZ (Please add a flip feature in the import dialogue as both flavours are common). The dimensional accuracy on the model was within say a couple of centimeters, which I guess is reasonable for a Ladar based system. The chair was another test I did. Took a couple of minutes to do and generated a model around 100 K triangles. Not very practical as a production model, but I guess it can serve as a guide for recreating a model that you don't have. 


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7 hours ago, jstroming said:

I have come across an iPhone app called "Magicplan" that actually looks pretty promising,



From all what I heard, 3D Data from image processing Apps or even with Apples Lidar

isn't very accurate. Also Lidar has a distance limit of about 15 feet (5 m)

So currently it is more for scanning smaller sized objects like accessories and furniture

to produce AR content.


So I think Laser Scanners are standard (here Leica) and more suitable for your purpose.

They are used to document churches so I think they should be fine for ballrooms too.

You should find information about range, accuracy and usage on their websites.


The result would be a point cloud.



7 hours ago, jstroming said:

(to avoid things like chandeliers, doorways, etc when designing stages)


I could imagine that crystal chandeliers and such things could be quite difficult for

the laser.





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I have been using point clouds to model an existing site. I used a survey company to do the laser scanning: I believe the equipment is very expensive... Trimble in this case. The laser scan gives you an incredible amount of detail + accuracy but is a bit of work to then create a model from it.


Point cloud:






@Luis M Ruiz has a good example of the interior of a theatre he modelled from a point cloud that might be interesting to you @jstroming if he shared it with you


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Here is a simple corridor outside my office. Not very impressive as such, but shot with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and Scaniverse. I basically walked around pointing the camera towards areas the program says are uncovered. I also had to walk as the area is probably three times longer than the 5 meter range of the lidar. It also handled the slope in the middle and the beginning of the stairs reasonably correct. I exported the model as OBJ to VW 2021 and what you see is OpenGL as it came out without doing andy lightning at all. On some pictures, I used the Clip Cube to give a cut in view, as the model is pretty much a closed shape.

Scaniverse from an iPhone.jpg

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