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Dear CloudCompareenthusiasts,
A new version has been released. You'll find it here:

Daniel Site Admin Posts: 5919 Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:34 am Location: Grenoble, France. CloudCompare is an application for managing and comparing 3D point clouds. (Free Software Foundation) at. Download on the Microsoft web site). Trusted Mac download CloudCompare 2.6.1. Virus-free and 100% clean download. Get CloudCompare alternative downloads.

The2.9.1 version is mostly the same asthe 2.9 + a bug fix concerning DXF export.

CloudCompare 2.9.1
installer version
CloudCompare2.9.1
7zarchive version
ccViewer1.37
7zarchive version
Windows 64 bits
Windows 64 bits Stereo (support for NVidia 3D Vision and Oculus Rift)
Mac OS 64 bitsThanksto Andy Maloney, MacOS apps are available here
Linux 64 bitsThanksto Romain Janvier, packages for Ubuntu/Debian will be availableverysoon (stay tuned ;)
Sourcesgitrepository: https://github.com/cloudcompar/cloudcompare
(for compilation instructions, refer to the BUILD.md file)
Your supportis greatly appreciated. Many thanks to all our supporters who madedonations on pledgie!
The 2.9 Omniaversion is finally ready!
Yes, we'venicknamed it again (this time it's Omnia)

Once again, many new things in this release:
  • qCompass: an impressive new plugin forinterpretation and analysis of virtual outcrop models (by Sam Thiele,Monash Univ., Australia)
  • new 'Precision Maps' variant of the M3C2 plugin (by Michael James and his colleaguesfrom Lancaster Univ., UK)
  • improved contour lines generation thanks to GDAL
  • option to transfer (andinterpolate) a scalar field from one entity to the other
  • automatic detection of the center of rotation (can be deactivated ;)
  • and as always, many more improvements and bug fixes
(Once again, make sure your graphic card drivers are not too old:since version 2.7, old Intel or ATI graphic cards are not supportedanymore)
Your support is reallyappreciated!
Our 'Fairness' campaign has been quite successful, and we wish tothanks all those who have contributed so far. For those who have missedit, we just want to remind to our users that CloudCompare is not'free'. It's true thatdownloading and using CloudCompare can be done freely and freeof charge... but developping and maintaining it is certainly not free!Opensource projects can't live without active support from the community.

Here are the new features:
  • New plugin:qCompass (structural geology toolbox) [Windows, macOS]
    • for the interpretation andanalysis of virtual outcrop models
      • Map Mode, for delineatinggeological units
      • Compass Mode for measuringorientations and thicknesses
    • refer to the wiki page of the plugin
    • Thanks toSam Thiele (Monash Univ., Australia) for this great contribution!
  • 3D view pivot management
    • new option to position thepivot point automatically on the point currently at the screen center(dynamic update)
      (it's now the default behavior >it can be toggledon and off thanks to the dedicated icon in the'Viewing tools' toolbar or the 'Shift + P' shortcut)
    • double clicking on the 3Dview will also reposition the pivot point on the point under the cursor
    • the state of this option isautomatically saved and restored when CC starts
  • New tool to import scalarfields from one cloud to another: 'Edit > SFs > Interpolate fromanother entity'
    • 3 spatial interpolationmethods are supported: nearest neighbor, inside a sphere or with agiven number of neighbors
    • 3 algorithms are available:average, median and weighted average
    • see the wiki documentation
    • (can be useful to import ascalar field ona higher resolution cloud or on a mesh reconstructed by qPoissonReconfor instance)
  • New interactor to change thedefault line width (via the 'hot zone' in the upper-left corner of 3Dviews)

  • New sub-menu 'Tools > Batch export'
    • 'Export cloud(s) info' (formerly in the 'Sand-box' sub-menu)
    • exports various pieces of information about selected cloudsin a CSV file:
    • name, point count, barycenter
    • + for each scalar field: name, mean value, std. dev. and sum
    • 'Export plane(s) info'
    • exports various pieces of information about selected planesin a CSV file:
    • name, width, height, center, normal, dip and dip direction
  • New option: 'Display > Showcursor coordinates'
    • if activated, the position ofthe mouse cursor relatively to the 3D view is constantly displayed
    • the 2D position (in pixels)is always displayed and he 3D position of the point below the cursor isdisplayed if possible
  • New shortcuts to change the rotation center:
    • 'P' key
    • double-click (ona point cloudor a mesh)

And here below is the (huge) list of improvements

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  • When a picking operation isactive, the ESC key will cancel it.
  • qBroom plugin now has a wiki documentation
  • Rasterize tool
    • Contour lines generation is now based on GDAL (morerobust, properhandling of empty cells, etc.)
    • new option to re-project contour lines computed on a scalarfield (i.e. a layer other than thealtitudes) on the altitudes layer
    • the grid step bounds have been widened (between 1E-5 and 1E+5)

  • qAnimation plugin
    • new output option 'zoom' (contrarilyto the existing 'superresolution' option, this one actually scales the output video dimension)
    • glitch fix: the plugindoesn't spam the Console at each frame if the 'super resolution' optionis > 1 anymore
  • M3C2 plugin
    • 'Precision Maps' supportadded (see M3C2 plugin wiki documentation)
    • Allows for the computation ofthe uncertainty based on precision scalar fields (standard deviationalong X, Y and Z) instead of the cloud local roughness
  • 'Unroll' tool:
    • new cone 'unroll' mode (the true'unroll' mode - the other one hasbeen renamed'Straightened cone')
    • option to export thedeviation scalar-field (deviation to the theoretical cylinder / cone)
    • dialog parameters are nowsaved in persistent settings

  • LAS files
    • the 'Spatial Reference System' of LAS files is now stored asmeta-data and restored when exporting the cloud as a LAS/LAZ file.
  • LAS 1.3+ support [Windows ony]:
    • the qLAS_FWF plugin (based on LASlib) can now load most of the standard LASfields
    • the plugin can now save files(with or without waveforms)
    • the plugin can now be calledin command line mode:
      • FWF_O: open a LAS 1.3+ file
      • FWF_SAVE_CLOUDS: savecloud(s) to LAS 1.3+ file(s) (optionsare 'ALL_AT_ONCE' and 'COMPRESSED' to save LAZ files instead of LAS)
    • reminder: when loading a LAS1.3+ file, one must select the 'LAS1.3 or 1.4 (*.las,*.laz)' filter inthe file loading dialog
  • New method: 'Edit > Waveforms > Compress FWF data':
    • To compress FWF data associated to a cloud (usefulafter a manual segmentation for instance as the FWF data is sharedbetween clouds and remains complete by default)
    • Compressionis done automatically when saving a cloud with the 'LAS 1.3 / 1.4'filter (see above) but it's not done when saving the entity as a BINfile
  • PLY files
    • quads are now supported (they will be loaded as 2 triangles)
  • DXF files
    • now based on dxflib 3.17.0
    • point clouds can now be exported to DXF (the number of pointsshould remain very limited)
    • see fixed bugs below
  • Edit > SF > Compute Stat. params:
    • the RMS of the active scalar field is now automaticallycomputed and displayed in the Console
  • Oculus support
    • CC now displays in the current 3D view the mirror image of whatis displayed in the headset
    • using SDK 1.15

  • Point List Picking tool
    • the list can now be exported as a 'global index, x, y, z' text file
  • Scale / Multiply dialog:
    • new option to use the same scale for all dimensions
    • new option to apply the scale to the 'Global shift' (or not)

  • New Menu Entry: 'Edit > Grid > Delete scan grids'
    • Deletes the scan grids associated to a point cloud (typicallyloaded from FARO or DP files)
    • (allows to save a lot of space when exporting the cloud to aBIN file (if you don't use the scan grid)
  • qEllipser plugin:
    • option to export the image as a (scaled) point cloud
    • see tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX27Euym9es
  • Normal computation tool:
    • new algorithm to compute the normals based on scan grids(faster, and more robust)
      • the 'kernel size' parameter is replaced by 'the minimum angleof triangles' used in the internal triangulation process
    • Planeand Quadric modes will now automatically increase the radius adaptivelyto reach a minimum number of points and to avoid creating 'zero'(invalid) normals
  • Edit the scalar value of a single point
    • create a label on the point (SHIFT + click)
    • make sure a scalar field is active
    • right click on the label entry in the DB tree and select 'Editscalar value'

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  • Merge (clouds)
    - new option to generate a scalarfield with the index of the original cloud for each point
  • Command line mode:
    • the Rasterize tool is nowaccessible via the command line:
      • '-RASTERIZE -GRID_STEP{value}'
      • additional options are:
        • -VERT_DIR {0=X/1=Y/2=Z} -default is Z
        • -EMPTY_FILL{MIN_H/MAX_H/CUSTOM_H/INTERP} - default is 'leave cells empty'
        • -CUSTOM_HEIGHT {value} -to define the custom height filling value if the 'CUSTOM_H' strategy isused (see above)
        • -PROJ {MIN/AVG/MAX} -default is AVG (average)
        • -SF_PROJ {MIN/AVG/MAX} -default is AVG (average)
        • -OUTPUT_CLOUD - to outputthe result as a cloud (default if no other output format is defined)
        • -OUTPUT_MESH - to outputthe result as a mesh
        • -OUTPUT_RASTER_Z - tooutput the result as a geotiff raster (altitudes + all SFs by default,no RGB)
        • -OUTPUT_RASTER_RGB - tooutput the result as a geotiff raster (RGB)
        • -RESAMPLE - to resamplethe input cloud instead of generating a regular cloud (or mesh)
        • if OUTPUT_CLOUD and/orOUTPUT_MESH options are selected, the resulting entities are kept inmemory.
      • Moreover if OUTPUT_CLOUD isselected, the resulting raster will replace the original cloud.
    • 2.5D Volume Calculation tool
      • '-VOLUME-GRID_STEP {...} etc.' (see the wiki for more details)
    • Export coord. to SF
      • '-COORD_TO_SF {X, Y or Z}'
    • Compute unstructured cloudnormals:
      • '-OCTREE_NORMALS {radius}'
      • for now thelocal model is 'Height Function' and no default orientation is specified
    • Clear normals
      • '-CLEAR_NORMALS'
    • New mesh merging option
      • '-MERGE_MESHES'
    • Compute mesh volume:
      • '-MESH_VOLUME'
      • optionalargument: '-TO_FILE {filename}' to output the volume(s) in a file
    • LAS files:
      • when loading LAS files without any specification about GlobalShift, no shift will be applied, not even the LAS file internal 'shift'(to avoid confusions)
      • however, it is highlyrecommanded to always specifiy a Global Shift (AUTO or a specific vector) to avoidlosing precision when dealing with big coordinates!
    • Other improvements:
      • the progressbar shouldn't appear anymore when loading / saving a file with 'SILENT'mode enabled
      • the ASCIIloading dialog shouldn't appear anymore in 'SILENT' mode (only if CCreally can't guess anything)
      • the defaulttimestamp resolution has been increased (with milliseconds) in order toavoid overwriting files when saving very small file (too quickly!)
  • Plugins can now be called incommand line mode:
    • the'ccPluginInterface::registerCommands' method must be reimplemented
    • someone still needs to do thejob for each plugin ;)
  • Other
    • color scales are now listed in alphabetical order (in theentity options)
    • polylines exported from the 'Interactive Segmentation' toolwill now use the same Global Shift as the segmented entity(ies)
    • when changing the dipand dip direction of planeparallel with XY, the resulting plane shouldn't rotate in an arbitraryway anymore
    • the OpenGL filters and single-button plugin toolbars are nowon the right side of the window by default (to reset to the defaultlayouts, use 'Reset all GUI element positions' at the bottom of theDisplay menu)
    • the Plane edition dialog now lest the user specify the normalplane in addition to its dip and dip direction
    • new 'Clone' icon with a colored background so as to moreclearly spot when the icon is enabled (Nyan sheep!)
    • qPoissonRecon: now based on PoissonRecon9.011
    • the default maximum point size and maximum line width increasedto 16 pixels

And last but not least, here are the bug fixes:
  • STL files are now output by default in BINARY mode in commandline mode (no more annoying dialog)
  • when computing distances, the octree could be modified but theLOD structure was not updated (resulting in potentially heavy displayartifacts)
  • glitch fix: the 'SF > Gradient' tool was mistakenly renamingthe input scalar field ('.gradient' appended)
  • glitch fix: the picking process was ignoring the fact that meshescould be displayed in wireframe mode (they are now ignored in this case)
  • command line 'CROSS_SECTION' option: the repetition of the cuts(<RepeatDim> option) could be incomplete in some cases (somechunks were missing)
  • raster loading: rasters loaded as clouds were shifted of half apixel
  • the 'Edit > Sensors > Camera > Create' function wasbroken (input parameters were ignored)
  • merging clouds with FWF data would duplicate the waveforms of thefirst one
  • invalid lines in ASCII (text) files could be considered as avalid point with coordinates (0, 0, 0)
  • Point-pair based alignment tool:
    • extracting spheres on a cloud with Global Shift would createthe sphere in the global coordinate system instead of the local one(i.e. the sphere was not visible)
    • deleting a point would remove all the detected spheres
  • The FARO I/O plugin was associating a wrong transformation to thescan grids, resulting in weird results when computing normals orconstructing a mesh based on scan grids
  • When editing only the dip / dip direction of a plane, therotation was not made about the plane center
  • qSRA plugin: profile polyline automatically generated fromcylinders or cone were shifted (half of the cylinder/cone height),resulting in a 'shifted' distance map (half of the cloud was 'ignored')
  • DXF export
    • the I/O filter was mistakenly exporting the vertices ofpolylines and meshes as separate clouds
    • the I/O filter was not exporting the shifted point clouds atthe right location
  • Render to file:
    • when the 'draw rounded points' option was enabled, pixeltransparency could cause a strange effect when exported to PNG images
  • Octree rendering:
    • the 'Cube' mode was not functional
    • the 'Point' mode with normals was not functional

You can make donations to the project via'Pledgie':

Enjoy,
CloudCompare Admin
PS: if you can't read properly this message, you can read ithere: http://www.cloudcompare.org/release/notes/20171026/index.html

A short Guide to processing Point Cloud data into 3D PDF Report Documents using CloudCompare

Point Cloud data from 3D laser, optical and sonar scanners is easily available, however to interpret, display, and present that data with others, it needs to be converted into 3D mesh form, with smoothly shaded surfaces. To then share those 3D meshes with non-specialists or anyone without access to specific software, it is necessary to convert the data into an easily accessible format like 3D PDF (which can be viewed by anyone with the free Adobe Reader ).

With a renowned tool like PDF3D ReportGen, conversion from CloudCompare to 3D PDF is fast and easy:

The process is extremely straightforward, achieved in just a handful of clicks, but here’s some insight into what’s actually happening in the background during conversion:

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Point Cloud Data Formats

Scanners typically measure and output a 3D cloud of individual sample points, in no particular order, and often with RGB colour and other measured attributes. CloudCompare can then be used to load the scanned data from many typical open point cloud formats (ASCII, LAS, E57, etc.) as well as some manufacturer’s formats (DotProduct, Riegl, FARO, etc.). In the examples shown here, the ASCII PTS format is loaded, using sample data courtesy of DotProduct.

Estimating Normals

Once the point cloud data is loaded and initially reviewed in CloudCompare, a normal vector estimate of the surface tangent direction for each point must then be computed, based on nearby points in the neighbourhood of each point. Typically the CloudCompare “auto” range estimate for the size of the neighbourhood based on statistics can be used.

Poisson Surface Mesh Reconstruction

Once both original points and normal vector estimates are available, the actual 3D mesh reconstruction can begin. The Poisson reconstruction method uses an “Octree” hierarchical subdivision method, where a 3D box is placed over the cloud, then recursively divided into halves, quarters, eighths, etc. in all three axes. In the cases shown here, a subdivision depth of 11 is used. The higher the subdivision depth, the processing time is longer and the output 3D mesh is larger with finer resolution. During reconstruction, a cloud density estimate is also computed, so that thin areas of low density (and low data quality) can be removed.

3D Mesh Intermediate Result

Out of the available mesh output formats available from CloudCompare, the binary PLY format containing a triangle mesh and full-colour RGB vertex colours works well and is used in the examples shown here.

PDF3D ReportGen

The commercial application, PDF3D ReportGen, operates as a file converter, importing a variety of formats, including PLY. During conversion, an advanced mesh simplification filter is applied to adaptively adjust the mesh resolution from the PLY into an optimized 3D mesh based on geometric curvature, boundaries, holes and colour gradients. The optimized mesh is then encoded in PRC highly compressed tessellation inside of a new PDF report output file. The report documentation, page layout, design as well as 3D mesh are based on a PDF reference template report.

In both examples shown here the optimized mesh contained one million triangles with RGB colours.

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3D PDF Report Output

In the final stage, a 3D PDF report is produced, available to be viewed off-line, stored in archives, distributed to team members or clients, or made available as downloads from web portals. The 3D PDF can be opened using the Adobe Reader (free) or Acrobat Pro.

At first it looks like any normal PDF, however once the mouse crosses into the viewport area, a 3D interactive viewer comes alive to explore, rotate, zoom to explore the 3D mesh from any angle. The modest size enables these to be email attachments, whereas most other 3D point cloud formats are far too large to send.

CaseNo. PointsPoint Cloud Size3D Mesh Size3D PDF Size
Tesla Car Body3.8 M157 Mb PTS ASCII85 Mb PLY Binary6 Mb
Electrical Panel27 M1.1 Gb PTS ASCII66 Mb PLY Binary8 Mb

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NOTES: The two cases show small and medium size point clouds. The PTS format is very verbose, other point formats in binary format have better compression. The mesh size is not dependent on the point cloud size; it is controlled entirely from the reconstruction parameters and can be adjusted to give the level of detail required. The number of triangles in the PLY and 3D PDF are not identical, as mesh optimization was used.

More Info

To learn more about how this works and what it looks like, explore the interactive 3D PDF reports here.

For more information on the tools mentioned is this article, see:

DotProduct http://www.dotproduct3d.com

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CloudCompare http://www.cloudcompare.org/

PDF3D ReportGen https://www.pdf3d.com/products/pdf3d-reportgen/

CloudCompare Application

CloudCompare is a 3D point cloud (and triangular mesh) processing software. It was originally designed to perform comparison between two dense 3D points clouds (such as the ones acquired with a laser scanner) or between a point cloud and a triangular mesh. Technically, it employs an “octree” hierarchical binary subdivision structure dedicated to this task. CloudCompare enables experiments, research and exploration into new algorithms, methods and work-flows, providing a bridge between academic research and commercial production point cloud meshing systems.

Cloud Compare Software

In recent years, CloudCompare has been extended to a more generic point cloud processing software, including many advanced algorithms (registration, resampling, colour, normal, scalar fields handling, statistics computation, sensor management, interactive or automatic segmentation, display enhancement, etc.).

CloudCompare is an open source “Free Software” project (“Free” as in “Free speech”, not as in “free beer” – developing and maintaining software is never actually free, as there is no magic software fairy) and as such, the team behind CloudCompare continually seek donations to continue this innovative work. DotProduct are a corporate sponsor of the CloudCompare project.