Posted by: Dan Cutler | February 20, 2012

Drive – by – animation

Ever wondered how you could animate a fly-through that was a uniform height above the ground?  Say if you wanted to animate a driver’s eye view?

No? OK, watch this movie instead.  It has pretty colours.


If you have wondered how, here’s a new tutorial movie.

Posted by: Dan Cutler | February 15, 2012

Point Clouds for Everyone

You’ll notice that last time I didn’t commit to anything as foolish as a post each week, phew!
Already we find ourselves in a freezing February, eagerly awaiting springtime wondering what happened to January (I overheard someone wishing a friend happy new year on February 1st, totally missed that boat).

As the year progresses and Pointools gets used to our new home in the City of London (marvel at sunset picture) I am also learning more about the big Bentley point cloud plan. I sat in on a demonstration of Descartes SS3 point cloud capability by Benoit Frederique which, to me, made the world of point clouds seem a little brighter.

Bentley’s commitment to point cloud integration is equalled by Benoit’s enthusiasm and it is not unfounded. The Descartes team have developed some great tools to aid the scan to model workflow; the flashlight for example allows the user to work in a 3D view and snap accurately in the knowledge that they have the correct point, every time. Another tool that grabbed my attention was the drape tool; draw a line in plan view and with one button press you can drape it across the point cloud making a section in seconds.

These tools might seem superficial to you, but when combined with the other point cloud tools and traditional 2D + 3D drawing + modelling tools at the user’s disposal, the stakes are being raised and the future direction of ‘scan to model’ becomes a little clearer.

So that is a bit about Bentley, but AutoDesk and any other CAD software company you care to think of are jumping on the point-cloud-train too. It will be interesting to see what rises from the ashes of Alice Labs and if they had enough time to get it into AutoCAD 2013…


Posted by: Dan Cutler | January 4, 2012

Silverstone scanned

Posted by: Dan Cutler | January 4, 2012

New year, new blogger

2012 promises to be an interesting year from where I’m sitting – not least because this is my first Pointools blog post (so go easy!).

Pointools is now part of the big Bentley family and I am starting a family of my own, so we at Pointools Heights are faced with a year of change and transition and learning, while maintaining support and improvements to the industry leading point cloud solutions that we produce. 

I aim to blog as often as possible with user stories, images, and point cloud animations directly related to Pointools and perhaps other stories that I find interesting.  

So I will keep this one short, and kick off your Pointools media for 2012 with a movie I made which combine two of my favourite things; motorsport and laser scanning.

Posted by: Joe Croser | December 16, 2011

Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ – First Prize

And the first prize goes to… this impressive animation which uses just about every trick in the Pointools book to animate this point cloud model. The animation is smooth and well navigated taking you on a ride around, though, and under this church. Extra marks were awarded because its author cleverly animated the clip box display to slice through the point cloud revealing the entire glory of the insides. The Point cloud is also very fine with great colour and excellent detail and density. All in all this is an impressive animation and a deserved winner of the Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ competition.

Posted by: Joe Croser | December 15, 2011

Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ – Second Prize

This video is the third commendable entry from the ScanLab team at University College London. This time their subject matter is an architect-designed shelter in Keilder Forest in Northumberland. The vibrant colours of the point cloud really stand out to present a most compelling point cloud model. The animation also achieves what would otherwise be impossible for real video capture by weaving in and out of the tress at different heights to really explore the shelter on a human scale and from a bird’s eye.

Posted by: Joe Croser | December 12, 2011

Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ – Runner-up #7

This video flies in the face of the old Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe maxim “Less is more” – here more is definitely more. This 3D laser scan of South East London seems to go on and on for ever. This is a massive point cloud that was captured by a Leica C10 over some extraordinary long distances. The video is smooth and really succeeds.

Posted by: Joe Croser | December 9, 2011

Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ – Runner-up #6

If ‘subject matter’ was the only category for which marks are awarded, this 3D laser scanned point cloud of Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona would be the winner. Could there be a more complex building to measure and model? Could there be a more perfect example for the accuracy and detail afforded to us by laser scanning? – I suspect not. The animation is simple and the point cloud is impressive.

Posted by: Joe Croser | December 8, 2011

Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ – Runner-up #5

Whoever came up with the idea of scanning an exhibition to capture and archive it for posterity? The Pointools judges think they should be commended! This video of the London University Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show in 2010 provides a real ‘fly on the wall’ opportunity to relive the students’ work. The point cloud is nicely coloured and dense and the animation is smooth.

Posted by: Joe Croser | December 4, 2011

Pointools ‘Animate + Win’ – Runner-up #4

This is one of the prettiest point clouds I have ever seen. This video features the Chapel at Lancing College in West Sussex, UK. The colour is rich and the density is about as good as it gets! So what kept this one from winning? Well the animation is simple and the church was only partially scanned making this one is runner-up.

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