Top 5 features for pointclouds

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Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by Tgl_Nan » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:32 pm

Hi Laser Scanning community,

In order to gather new ideas for further development (we already coded plugins for Scene), I'd like to start a small survey.

What would be the top 5 features you'd like to have once your scans are registered?

Any kind, even very creative!
Kind regards,

Yan Koch
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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by steves01x » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:09 pm

Cyclone - batch export of individual scans with each one saved as the original ScanWorld name. :)

**as i have zero knowledge of Python i am not sure if this can be done via a script! **

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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by Matt Young » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:44 am

Ideal would be:

1. Fast loading of scans into an easy to use viewer.
2. Smallest file size format possible for the data.
3. Something with easy modelling capabilities / that translates easily to all major BIM formats.
4. Auto 3D modelling features.
5. Auto Topographical line work extraction in 3D with levels and layering functionality / scan data classification.

This must all come at a reasonable cost with no silly pricing models.

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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by Tgl_Nan » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:19 pm

@Steve: well, building plugins for Cyclone is for now out of our scope, but I keep the idea.

@Matt: we also pointed out most of your points.

One keypoint is the pricing. The world of terrestrial laser scanner is still quite small. Autodesk has thousands of customers and sells Revit for 2950€ / year. Building features dedicated to 3D pointclouds requires a lot of work for something sold to less than 500 customers all over the world.

We already sell plugins for Scene, but they absolutely don't cover our investment for now...
Last edited by Tgl_Nan on Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kind regards,

Yan Koch
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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by neeravbm » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:01 pm

@Matt: Can you elaborate on which items would you want to model using 3D auto-modeling features?

For context, we are developers of Scan To BIM Revit add-in (https://scantobim.xyz). It extracts pipes, round ducts and conduits from point cloud. Your answer will help us prioritize features to develop in future.
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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by Phil Marsh » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:12 pm

Tgl_Nan wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:32 pm
What would be the top 5 features you'd like to have once your scans are registered?
Maybe you could start a poll on here to see what the top5 would be?

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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by Tgl_Nan » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:44 am

Hello Phil,

Good idea. I'll try to build a poll for this topic.
Kind regards,

Yan Koch
yankoch@taglabs.fr

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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by jedfrechette » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:32 pm

Tgl_Nan wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:19 pm
Building features dedicated to 3D pointclouds requires a lot of work for something sold to less than 500 customers all over the world.
And those 500 hundred customers are going to ask for 5,000 different things.

I think one of the weaknesses of the software ecosystem in our industry is that developers have focused to much on trying to build solutions to specific problems rather than creating tools that make it easier for users to build their own solutions. As crude as it can sometimes be, one of the main reasons we use PolyWorks for so many things is that it let's us build those solutions. The big vendors would like to think that everyone is doing the same types of scanning and producing the same deliverables. The astonishing variety of posts you see on this forum, however, clearly shows that simply is not true.

Today, if I were turning Lidar Guys in to a software company, like I keep threatening to do, this is what I would do:

Build a GUI for PDAL. A minimum viable product would need to include a node based workspace for building filter pipelines and a 3D viewport to visualize the results. As a user that's something I would buy right now as it provides good out of the box functionality and, more importantly, a framework to build my own tools on top of. Tools that will work with any point cloud data I end up with regardless of source; airborne or mobile lidar, tripod scanner, hand-held scanner, photogrammetry, sonar...

Once that minimum product shipped my next priorities for a PDAL GUI would be things like interactive tools and adding native support for structured scan data to PDAL.

Long-term better classification tools are definitely needed, but that's a tougher nut to crack and the fundamentals need to be in place first.
Jed

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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by neeravbm » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:13 pm

Jed, are you suggesting something like dynamo but for point cloud processing?

Another question is: according to Yan Koch, there are may be 500 customers for point cloud processing solutions. I am assuming that the number of potential customers will reduce further for the dynamo-like solution for point cloud processing because now the user needs to know what steps to follow to even filter the point clouds, instead of just clicking one button. So is it worth the effort?
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Re: Top 5 features for pointclouds

Post by jedfrechette » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:13 am

The problem with the one button approach is that it doesn't work. At least, not in my experience for any reasonably complex real world use case. Even when it does work there are a million problems to solve and one button per problem doesn't scale very well.

I'm not familiar with Dynamo, but I'm assuming you mean:

http://dynamobim.org/

From a quick glance that looks similar to what I'd like to see. Fundamentally it's just procedural data processing. If I had to pick a software for inspiration though it would be Sidefx's Houdini. They've been building it for 30 years and solve the one button problem by doing both. For example, there is a low level node that deletes a specific part of an object, but there is also a group of nodes that analyze an object and do a smart delete based on some criteria. The smart delete has its own UI and the only reason a user would need to dig in to its implementation is if it wasn't working quite the way they wanted.
Jed

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