Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

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scanster1
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Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by scanster1 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:35 pm

So I am somewhat new to scene software and am trying to create a workflow(s) for project clean up and am struggling with figuring out the what I am looking at in the viewer and how the different "scan data types" work together. It can get confusing but I think it needs to be understood to properly work with the data. I apologize in advance that it is a bit of a rant as to the frustration I am having trying to figure it out. I am realizing that I need to spend a few days running tests on small sample data sets in order to figure it out.

Some of what I know so far:

There is the what I call the "raw scan", the "point cloud" and the "project point scan". What is visible in the viewer can be the raw scan data or the scan point cloud depending on if it is "loaded" or not? Or the project point cloud if the layer is turned on in the layer visibility settings.

Just when I think I have my head wrapped around it I get confused again. Mostly because I am trying to clean scans and am trying to figure out the best way to do it. There are some threads on the forum on this but the explanations are not that thorough. Can't Faro have a simple training video to THOROUGHLY explain this topic. I have been a bit disappointed with the manuals and information available on the web. One example of a thing that bugs me is that there is a symbol legend in the manual but it does not keep up with the symbols used in the latest software version. Really?

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by Jfout » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:54 pm

it can be frustrating. especially if you come from other point cloud software.

from what i know, there are Scans, Scan point clouds, and the Project Point cloud.

when you go to the overall 3d view i think you are seeing the project point cloud.

you can do your cleaning in different views, but i think the recommended workflow is to clean in the scan point clouds or the quick views (select something then right click and view 3d). or jsut view the entire scan cloud by right click on the scan itself and view 3d.

once you clean in each scan you can go and "update project point cloud" and it should get rid of those points.

it has its challenges thats for sure. but you will learn a bit more with each project. hang in there. i am constantly frustrated by it, but then have to buckle down and figure something out. usually i'm just bombing this forum with questions.
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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by scanster1 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:38 pm

Thanks for the reply, that is about where I am at. Cleaning single scans is so tedious, especially if there are a lot. So I have been cleaning them in the 3Dview with all of them (not sure what to call this?) but that has its challenges too.

Two questions I immediately thought of after reading you post- what effect does loading the scan have on the edits, and what difference using the clipping box or the polyline has if any. I have so many questions I can't even keep track of them. I forgot one and came up with another while writing my own post. lol

This forum has been very great for getting started, I can say that. Best knowledge and tips I have found yet, and that includes the Faro training stuff. I just have to keep plugging away.

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by 3DForensics » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:31 am

This is a rather confusing topic for sure and I hope that FARO can clean this up a bit as when you have a project point cloud, you don't have anything in the structure view to show that it has been created. I know for sure when I have created one, but it's hard to explain to new users. Here is my explanation on the types of scans in Scene.

1. Raw Scans - This is the raw scan data that shows up in the planar view. If you load or unload data, you are loading all of the points collected by the scanner. You can see this in the structure view by the little blue box to the left of the scan name. When you edit a raw scan, it leaves a black space in the planar view and the source data is gone.

2. Scan Point Clouds - When you create a scan point cloud, this is an optimized scan created from the corresponding raw scan. A deletion from the raw scan carries forward when the scan point cloud is created. However, if you create a scan point cloud and delete 3D data from it, you still keep the color or intensity data in the planar view. However, if you try to measure the data for distance or coordinate data, it does not appear. This is useful when the 3D data needs to be cleaned up but you want to keep the image for Scene2Go or exporting a panoramic image.

3. Project Point Cloud - The project point cloud is completely disconnected from the Raw Scan and the Scan Point Cloud. Any edits made to the Project Point Cloud do not affect the either of 1 or 2 above. The process that I have noticed (subject to testing again) is that the project point cloud looks for a scan point cloud first and if none is found, then it goes to the raw scan. The project point cloud is a combination of all scans together and once finalized, any changes you make in registration, means that you need to go back and recreate the project point cloud....so, be sure you are done with registration!

Cheers!

Eugene

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by landmeterbeuckx » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:22 am

3DForensics wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:31 am
This is a rather confusing topic for sure and I hope that FARO can clean this up a bit as when you have a project point cloud, you don't have anything in the structure view to show that it has been created. I know for sure when I have created one, but it's hard to explain to new users. Here is my explanation on the types of scans in Scene.

1. Raw Scans - This is the raw scan data that shows up in the planar view. If you load or unload data, you are loading all of the points collected by the scanner. You can see this in the structure view by the little blue box to the left of the scan name. When you edit a raw scan, it leaves a black space in the planar view and the source data is gone.

2. Scan Point Clouds - When you create a scan point cloud, this is an optimized scan created from the corresponding raw scan. A deletion from the raw scan carries forward when the scan point cloud is created. However, if you create a scan point cloud and delete 3D data from it, you still keep the color or intensity data in the planar view. However, if you try to measure the data for distance or coordinate data, it does not appear. This is useful when the 3D data needs to be cleaned up but you want to keep the image for Scene2Go or exporting a panoramic image.

3. Project Point Cloud - The project point cloud is completely disconnected from the Raw Scan and the Scan Point Cloud. Any edits made to the Project Point Cloud do not affect the either of 1 or 2 above. The process that I have noticed (subject to testing again) is that the project point cloud looks for a scan point cloud first and if none is found, then it goes to the raw scan. The project point cloud is a combination of all scans together and once finalized, any changes you make in registration, means that you need to go back and recreate the project point cloud....so, be sure you are done with registration!

Cheers!

Eugene
Great post by Eugene as always.
To add a bit myself : i always create a scan point cloud before i do my c2c registration. Clipping boxes can be used with spc for correspondence view and checking of the final registration.
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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by scanster1 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:55 pm

Thank you Eugene for the reply. That is making sense for the most part but leaves me with so many questions. I don't want to bog you down with questions but I would appreciate any help with explanations. I do feel like any explanations here are going to save me hours running experiments with different settings to see what does what. But be careful because any answers are likely going to create 4 or five more questions. lol

1) So loading the scan makes the raw scan "workable" in the 3d view? and unloading it leaves the scan point cloud only in whichever view is used?

2) If I edit a raw scan it should not touch (affect) the original file that I imported but affect a "saved" new file created in the scene software? i.e. my original files remain untouched?

3) Does editing the scan point cloud affect the registration process? Or does registration use the raw scan data only? I want to clean the individual scans to see if my it can improve my registration.

Cheers,

Beau

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by 3DForensics » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:01 am

Will do my best to answer your questions.

1. When you load the raw scan data, you will see you don't have access to the full set of tools you would with the scan point clouds. So, yes, loaded raw data gets edited in the 3D view and you will see that you can't use things like the brush select tool. You can either edit the raw scan data before creating the scan point clouds or after but you should test the effect of doing this...you will see what I mean.

2. Correct, when you drag and drop the scan files into Scene, they are just a placeholder until you do a first save. During saving, they pull all the data out of the scan files and make a copy in Scene. After that, the original scans are completely disassociated from the project and remain an original copy.

3. Well, if you delete 3D data out of the scan point cloud, the 3D data disappears from the raw scan data too so in effect, it's both. Do a test where you take a single raw scan and delete some data, then convert to scan point cloud. Now take the scan point cloud and delete some 3D data and take a look at the raw data. You will still see color/intensity data, but you will not have any 3D coordinate data...just a pixel.

This is my understanding of how things work but maybe a FARO person can clarify in case there is any confusion on my part.

Regards,

Eugene

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by DavidL » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:58 am

I think it's better to refer to 'raw scan data' as 'loaded scan data' instead. Simply because SCENE creates a folder called raw scans when you do the initial auto data transfer and puts the original files in that folder as a back up. The scans in the raw scans folder never get touched. Confusion arises when people refer to 'raw' in different ways, where some people think of raw as something that is complete and original, which isn't the case with loaded scans. With loaded scan data you are working on a copy of the original data which resides in SCENE's revsions folder.

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by [email protected] » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:20 pm

Good evening, everyone.

Maybe I can add some details to these posts and reduce the confusion about the different formats.

First, there is the scan data. It can occur either as a .fls-folder or .fls-file. That is the format created by the FARO Focus and read and written by Scene. The data representation in this format is optimized for file size, because disc space is expensive. However, the disadvantage of this representation is, that loading the data takes a significant amount of time. Moreover, huge scans or many scans at the same time will not fit into main memory of a regular PC. These two drawbacks make working with this data format very inconvenient of not impossible.

For that reason, Scene allows the user to create a second representation of the scan data. This is the scan point cloud. The data is much bigger on disc, but allows fast data access and rendering without loading all data into memory. Viewing and editing scans using a scan point cloud is significantly more convenient. However, this additional data structure introduces another source of truth for the scan data. Therefore, Scene does its best to always keep this data synchronized. You can observe this when Scene loads the fls-files while saving. This is done in order to apply the changes made on the scan point clouds to the fls-files.

So far editing was concerned. In the end, the data needs to be presented. For this, the fls-format is not appropriate at all, since it has all the drawbacks mentioned above. However, the scan point clouds also do not do a great job, either. Their internal structure does not allow performant rendering of huge projects with several hundreds of scans. Moreover, colors may appear different in different scans. Areas with high overlap can appear over-sampled and noisy. To solve all these issues, one can create the project point cloud. This structure is optimized for rendering. It can sustain 90fps on two high resolution displays for VR applications for projects in the TB size segment. However, building a project point cloud takes a considerable amount of resources. And on top of that, the data structure is so rigid, that modifying it means basically recreating it. Thus normally, you only want to do this, after you're done with everything else.

Kind regards

Konstantin

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Re: Faro point cloud viewing and editing explanation

Post by vjDub » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:10 am

The Project Point Cloud combines all the scans together into a single standalone entity, and applies filters to make it look pretty. It's important to think of it as primarily a visualisation/presentation tool, and to know any edits you make to it ONLY affect the PPC.

As it takes up such a large amount of disk space the PPC isn't something you want to retain long term - and there's no need to as it's easily recreated - but if you've edited it you will lose those edits on deletion. So, unless you are 100% sure you won't ever need to come back to it, always edit the Scan Point Clouds.

As the SPCs are so much more efficient than a loaded raw scan you can work with a far larger dataset, so they are well worth creating. As with a PPC they load instantly and allow you to apply clipping boxes, but with added flexibility as you can view and edit the whole project but also scans individually or in smaller groups too. SPCs also take up a lot of disk space, but as the edits you make to them affect the original scans deleting the SPCs won't cause you to lose your edits.

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