Isolating Areas Using the Clip Box
Point cloud shading options are accessed under the Point Cloud | Shader tab of the Settings box.
The following options are available:
Sets the global RGB filter. Switching this option off prevents any RGB data being shown.
Sets the global Intensity filter. Switching this option off prevents any Intensity data being shown.
This effects the display of point clouds where both Intensity and RGB data for points are available. Showing both values blends the two shading models. This may be used to enhance the visual quality of the data.
Sets the colour ramp that is used to display intensity values.
Sets the offset for the intensity values. This is analogous to brightness in a greyscale image.
Sets the range over which the intensity values are distributed or scaled. This is analogous to contrast in a greyscale image.
Point Cloud Lighting
If checked applies lighting to point clouds. This can greatly enhance the clarity of the data showing detail that is otherwise hidden.
Lighting is only enabled for point clouds with Normal data. This data is either imported from the source file or generated on import. see Importing Point Clouds for more information on generating normals.
The Point Cloud Lighting option requires support for the ARB Vertex Shader extension in your graphics hardware.
This option only affects points when lighting is in use and determines the specular and diffuse quality of the material being used.
This feature is named 'Height Shading' in version 1.5-1.52.
Point cloud plane shading options are accessed under the Point Cloud | PlaneShader tab of the Settings box.
Plane shading shades points according to their distance from a plane. By default the Z plane is used. This is very useful for visualising aerial LIDAR data, especially when intensity or RGB values are not available. New in version 1.55 is the ability to use X or Y planes or define a custom plane.
The following options are available:
This is the distance over which the entire colour ramp is stretched
The height at which shading starts.
The shade value (0->1.0) is calculated as (z-offset
Fit to Data
Fits the Distance and Offset parameters to the point cloud data extents
The normal of the shading plane ie the direction in which the shader operates. This can be set to X, Y or Z or an arbitrary vector. To set the plane on a 'face' of points:
This can be useful to bring out detail in surfaces with gentle relief.
Determines the behaviour of the shader beyond the shading range that is offset > z > offset + distance or 0 > shade value > 1.0
The ramp is repeated
The ramp is clamped to the edge value so all values > 1 are clamped to 1 and all values < 0 are clamped to 0.
A black value is assigned to points outside the range.
Sets the shading colour ramp. Note that this lists all the available ramps although some are not very useful for plane shading.
This determines the amount of available memory that Pointools should use. This setting is best left unchanged for optimum performance. If you want Pointools to use less memory change this value by small amounts until you have freed the required amount of memory.
Delayed Channel Loading
Point clouds consist of a number of channels: Geometry, Intensity, RGB Colour and Normals. Often a subset of these channels are required for rendering the points depending on the settings in use. This option delays loading of unused channels until they are required. As a consequence general loading is quicker but changing display options may require loading of additional channels and so is slower.
The option is off by default.
Dynamic View Options
Minimum Output %
Sets the minimum percent of the entire point cloud data set to be drawn during dynamic navigation. This overrides the frame rate reduction. Setting high values will significantly improve the quality of the view whilst navigating but at the expense of the frame rate.
Sets a bias to point closer to the viewer when reducing the view during navigation. This is most suitable for views of objects viewed from the exterior where the points closest to the viewer are most often those of interest. Conversely this option will not work well when viewing objects from inside.
This option is off by default.
Adaptive Point Size
During navigation Pointools adaptively reducing the point density in different areas of the point cloud to suit the current view. The Adaptive Point Size option compensates for density reduction by increasing the point size. This results in a much fuller view whilst navigating.
This option is off by default.
Static View Options
Static View Reduction Optimizer
Pointools optimizes the display of static views by calculating an optimum amount of data to display for different parts of the point cloud data. This percentage value influences the aggressiveness of the optimizer. Higher values result in faster display but may start to drop out some detail.
If you find that detail is being dropped out of the static view, reduce the optimizer value.
If you are viewing large amounts of data, increase this value until the reduction becomes apparent. This can dramatically improve performance and reduce memory usage.
Note that this is not a simple linear reduction of the amount of data on screen but an adjustment of localised density estimation to adapt this estimation to different scenarios.
Sets the point display size. This can also be set from the toolbar or by using the keyboard shortcuts 1-5.
If scanner locations of the point cloud data are known these can be displayed in the viewport in one of the following ways:
Does not display scanners.
Scanners are displayed as an 1m oriented axis.
Scanner are displayed as a 10 pixel point.
When viewing large or complex point cloud scenes it can be helpful to isolated the area (or volume) of interest. Pointools enables this via the editable clip box tools.
The clip toolbar contains all icons for the clip box commands.
Editing the Clipbox
To edit the clipping box position and size:
Use the Extents button to reset the clip box to the extents of the data.
When importing different data sets be sure to check if clipping is active as it is possible to leave clipping active from a previous data set. If you import a new data set you may not see any data in the viewport because the data is clipped out entirely.
The section view tool provides a convenient way to move a thin clip box to view a sections through the data. The section viewer will use the the box axis with the shortest dimension to move through.
To activate the section viewer select Section viewer from the clip box dialog or the clipping toolbar. This opens the section viewer options with the following controls:
The slider sets the position of the box along its shortest axis.
Sets the extent of the slider range. The left Mark option indicates the lower end of the range.
Nudges the section box in the positive direction.
Nudges the section box in the negative direction.
Hides the box, this does not effect the clipping which is set independently.
Shows the box, this does not effect the clipping which is set independently.
The clip box utilises the ARB Vertex Shader extension to OpenGL. Whilst support for this is commonly available on most graphics cards you may need to update your graphics driver to enable this feature.