Quick Start Guide
Importing and Navigating POD Files

We understand that you may be eager to get something on screen and have a go before reading through the entire User Guide! This is a quick tutorial on loading POD files, navigating around the point cloud data and changing some settings to improve visual clarity.

Importing and Navigating POD Files
POD (Point Database) files are Pointools' native point cloud format that enable rapid background loading and compact file size through compression. Download the barn_bit.pod file from our website, or if you have a CD installation copy the file from the CD to your harddrive. Since harddrives have a much higher data access rates to CD ROM drives it is advisable to access data from a harddrive or similar device. Note that importing and displaying a POD file does not require write-access, so it is possible to do this from read-only media, read-only locations or shared files.

Importing a POD File
Although this is a native Pointools' format we Import the file as opposed to opening it. The Open and Save options are for project files (.ptl) only. You can learn more about these in chapter 5.
1.To import the file select the 'File / Import' option from the menu. Alternatively use the Ctrl+I keyboard shortcut.
2.Select the file in the file browser, and click Open
3.The point cloud should start to appear on screen. Note that data is streamed in the background so you don't have to wait for the entire dataset to load before using it.

Navigating
Pointools' controls have been designed to give you full navigation using the mouse only (if you have a three button mouse).
If you have a 3 button mouse:
* The Left Mouse Button (LMB) rotates the view around the target
* The Middle Mouse Button (MMB) pans the view
* The LMB+RMB Zooms in or out
* The mouse scroll wheel zooms in and out.
If you have a 2 button mouse:
* The LMB rotates the view around the target
* The LMB+RMB Zooms in or out
* To pan switch into pan mode by clicking on the Pan icon in the View toolbar or press 8 and use the LMB. You can switch back to Free Navigation mode by pressing 0.
This can be useful when using a laptop that has only Left and Right click buttons.

Rotation of the view occurs around the target point. To change the target press X whilst the mouse cursor is hovering over the point you want to make the target. Alternatively you can use the Set Target tool in the toolbar on the upper right of the viewport window.

To learn more about the navigation controls see chapter 3.

Changing Shader Settings
Now we are going to change some shader settings to enhance the clarity of the point cloud.
Point Lighting
Enable Point Lighting by clicking on the light bulb icon in the Points toolbar. This lights the points and can dramatically help define the form of the geometry. To use point lighting, point clouds must have normals imported or generated on import.
Intensity Mapping
Intensity values are mapped to an intensity colour ramp. The default ramp is a hue ramp but this can be changed. The contrast (scaling) and brightness (offset) of the mapping can also be changed.

To do this:
1.Open the Settings dialogue box by clicking on the yellow cog icon in the Settings toolbar. Alternatively use the S keyboard shortcut or select Setting from the Tools menu.
2.Select the Point Cloud tab at the top of the dialog
3.Select the Shader sub-tab.
4.Change the Contrast by dragging the Constrast slider. The view updates as you change the value.
5.Change the Brightness by dragging the Constrast slider.