Posts

LFM Server

LFM Server 4.2 – Introducing Key New Features

As 3D laser scanning has become easier and more affordable it has become the technology of choice for ‘as-is’ data capture. LFM Server™ enables users to maximize the value of the rich information that laser scanning generates.

LFM Server is the most advanced solution available for accessing pre-registered laser scan data and working with it directly in 3D CAD systems. It is simple to use and offers unrivalled performance and functionality.

There are many different 3D laser scanners and 3D CAD systems in use today. LFM Server has been developed to provide users with maximum freedom of choice of both scanning and design systems. It can read unstructured data from various scanner types; not only terrestrial laser scanners but also hand-held, mobile or aerial scanners.

Designed to work with data from even the highest-resolution scanner, LFM Server enables users to work with datasets of unlimited size and exploit photorealistic, 360° BubbleViews™.

Business Benefits

  • Open on the input
    LFM Server can read a wide variety of 3D data capture formats
  • Open on the output
    LFM Server interfaces seamlessly with all leading 3D CAD systems
  • Unlimited Datasets
    InfiniteCore™ technology enables project datasets of unlimited size to be readily created and accessed
  • Increased Productivity
    The intuitive 360° BubbleView makes it easy to verify clashes, review laser scan data, or simply become familiar with the site
  • Clash-free Design
    Accurate, detailed ‘as-is’ information minimizes the business risks of revamp projects
  • Business Flexibility
    Import scans from a wide variety of scanner types and data formats into a single dataset

For more information about LFM Server 4.2’s great new features, contact us or read more here.

Leica Cyclone II Topo

Leica Cyclone II Topo 2.0 Early Look at New Find Terrain Feature

Cyclone II Topo 2.0’s “Find Terrain” results

Boundaries stay in tact when imported into Civil3D via LandXML export from Topo 2.0

David Langley, Applications Engineer at Leica Geosystems, was kind enough to share a video tutorial of a useful new feature coming in the next release of Cyclone II Topo – version 2.0. In the video below, David demonstrates the software’s ability to easily filter through terrestrial laser scan data to locate and isolate the ground surface. This feature looks to be a great survey industry solution for creating a DTM/TIN from point cloud data by automatically thinning the hardtop surfaces while keeping breaklines and changes in elevation very dense. Using LandXML to transfer the resulting surface to Autodesk Civil3D, the boundaries can also be retained for better control over the final surface.

Leica Geosystems expects to release Cyclone II Topo 2.0 by mid-January 2011. We will be sure to give it a thorough review once we get our hands on it. Watch David’s tutorial below:

Thanks, David for taking the time to create this video and for sharing it with us!

Pointools

Pointools introduces Point Cloud plug-in for Google SketchUp

Source: Pointools Blog:

Pointools has unveiled a Plug-in for Google SketchUp in time for the European LiDAR Mapping Forum, Autodesk University and SPAR Europe. The new Pointools Plug-in for SketchUp streamlines scan-to-model workflows for all SketchUp and SketchUp Pro users by enabling reuse of the largest point cloud models, and by providing a first-of-a-kind solution to create 3D city models from mobile scan data.

Like the Pointools Plug-ins for Rhino and AutoCAD applications, the Pointools plug-in for SketchUp eliminates the need for time-wasting translations, maintains visual quality and accuracy of point cloud models in SketchUp, and increases modeling productivity by reading the Pointools POD model file format to display billions of points on screen.

“This is great news for Google SketchUp and SketchUp Pro users,” commented Joe Croser, VP Products at Pointools. “The Pointools plug-in for SketchUp has been designed from the ground-up to take full advantage of SketchUp’s modelling environment and supports Google’s geo-location services to coordinate StreetView textures and aerial imagery alongside point clouds.”

The Pointools Plug-in for SketchUp extends Pointools’ leadership as an enabler for reusing the largest point cloud models inside the broadest range of applications. Croser continued, “Through our Vortex platform and widely-used software plug-ins, thousands of Autodesk, Bentley, and Rhino users have been able to benefit from streamlined point cloud model reuse across different applications by eliminating time-wasting translations. Now, the Pointools Plug-in for SketchUp, enables the same users to increase their return on investment (ROI) from 3D laser scan data by also reusing the same point cloud models inside SketchUp.”

Google SketchUp is a modelling programme originally designed for architectural, civil and mechanical engineers as well as filmmakers, game designers and other design professionals. With both Professional and Freeware versions, SketchUp is easy and intuitive to use – allowing design professionals to draw the way they want by emulating the feel and freedom of working with pen and paper.

Microsoft Unknowingly Revolutionizes

Microsoft Unknowingly Revolutionizes the 3D Imaging Industry [Kinect]

Being the bleeding edge technology geeks that we are here at SCANable, we have been closely following Microsoft’s adoption of Israeli developer PrimeSense’s controller-less motion capture technology which interprets 3D scene information from a continuously-projected infrared structured light. Now released as the Kinect for Xbox 360, or simply Kinect (originally known by the code name Project Natal), defined as a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform, and may later be officially supported by PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360’s audience beyond its typical gamer base. Kinect competes with the Wii Remote with Wii MotionPlus and PlayStation Move motion control systems for the Wii and PlayStation 3 home consoles, respectively.

Weeks before the Kinect was officially released, the hacking community was hard at work digging through this revolutionary hardware in order to test the true limits of its capabilities. There was even a bounty of $3,000 offered by development company “Adafruit” to obtain an open-source driver. A mere two days after the bounty was announced, that goal had already been reached — this according to an email Adafruit’s Phillip Torrone sent Gizmodo. Drivers have been available for Mac and Linux for a couple of weeks, but there are now working drivers for Windows for which we have successfully tested here at SCANable. Our early assessment has indicated that this inexpensive device is actually capable of  much more than just a game controller. To our amazement, we discovered that it continuously captures 3d point cloud data of everything in your living room/game room. By tapping into the Kinect with a PC (Mac, Linux or Windows), we were able to gain full access to this multi-purpose 4-dimensional data with the ability to freely move around the feed in real-time. Using the OpenKinect drivers and basic viewing software, we were even able to set cut-planes which gave us the ability to isolate the moving object in the scene and view this data as colored depth ranges or true RGB color generated by the units embedded camera.

Drivers:
Kinect drivers for Windows can be found here.
Drivers for Mac and Linux can be found here.

The possibilities of this technology are tremendous. We see a near future where we can navigate through a point cloud dataset or virtual 3D model using simple hand gestures (see Evoluce’s example below). Imagine being able to digitally record “true” 3D video and having the ability to easily remove data at certain depths instead of by color eliminating typical green screen procedures. Even better, what if you strapped one of these bad boys onto a robotic vacuum and used it to remotely capture 3D data of interior spaces. Think we are crazy? Keep reading…

How does it work?
Wired has a great article about!

Canesta-Howitworks1

Examples:

We have compiled several of the best videos of the Kinect in-use. Check them out and be sure to post comments below. We all are masters of manipulating point cloud data, let’s pull together our resources and expertise and come up with some great applications for this affordable technology!

Evoluce, one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality multi-touch and gesture computing displays, demonstrates the future of how we interact with our computers.

MIT early experiments with a Microsoft Kinect depth camera on a mobile robot base. Say hello to KinectBot. Is this the indoor mobile mapping solution we have been waiting for?

Kinect-style device used to map the interior of a building:

For the launch of Xbox Kinect in Germany, seeper created an interactive projection mapping. Set at the highly visible Stachus in central Munich, this project attracted hoards of participants. Immersed in the experience, users took part in epic particle ball games, sending fluids shooting three stories high. Together with guests, including Sylvie van der Vaart, we explored the limits of controller free gaming!

Kinect used for real-time lightsaber:

What are your thoughts about this revolutionary device? Be sure to leave your comments and feedback below. Also be sure to check back here over the coming weeks for new updates!

Point Cloud Tools for 3D Studio [Project Helix]

Bring your visualizations into context with Project Helix, a powerful technology prototype enabling display and rendering of 3D laser scanning/LiDAR data sets with Autodesk® 3ds Max® and Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design software. With the 3ds Max Point Cloud Tools you can more quickly import as-built site references to help evaluate and visualize your designs in context of their surrounding elements. Point cloud data sets are often created by 3D scanners and represent set of measured vertices in a three-dimensional coordinate system. Using an automatic process, these devices measure in a large number of points on the surface of an object and output a point cloud as a data file. Download Now

The Point Cloud Tool for 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design allows you to:

  • Import .PTS format point cloud data into 3ds Max or 3ds Max Design scenes (release 2010 & 2011)
  • Display the point cloud data in the 3ds Max viewport with a variety of rendering options and levels of detail
  • Render point clouds using the mental ray® renderer*
  • Slice point clouds into pieces using geometric display volumes
  • Export multiple clouds or parts of clouds to new .PTS files

* mental ray is a registered trademark of mental images GmbH licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc.

The Project Helix Technology Preview will be made available only for a limited time, so download Project Helix before June 20, 2011 and place your designs in context today!

If you would like to try the Point Cloud Tool for 3ds Max with a sample data set:


FEATURED VIDEOS

If you do not have access to YouTube videos, you can download the video from as 3ds Max Point Cloud Tools.mp4.

Point Cloud Shape Extraction for AutoCAD Plug-in

The Point Cloud Shape Extraction for AutoCAD Plug-in is an intelligent point cloud shape extraction solution which allows you to import, load, and extract shape and geometry information from point cloud data in AutoCAD. Once installed, the tools for point cloud shape extraction are located in Point Cloud tab on the ribbon user interface. Download Now

Sample Data

To experiment with Shape Extraction for AutoCAD, you can download some sample data. The zip file contains 5 samples: Cup.pcg, Football.pcg, Mandalay.pcg, Pipe.pcg, and Room.pcg.

Availability

To ensure the best experience for those participating, this technology preview is currently limited to: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, and United States. We hope to expand to other geographies in the future.

The Shape Extraction for AutoCAD technology preview is licensed for a limited term and for a particular territory as referenced in the End User License Agreement. The technology preview will operate until February 1, 2011.

For those without YouTube access, the videos are available for download via this blog article.

Tiltan TLiD Transform LiDAR Point Clouds to 3D Models in One Keystroke

From Tiltan’s website: TLiD is Tiltan’s innovative solution for fast, automated creation of 3D maps and GIS information from LiDAR point clouds.

TLiD Main Features:

– Automatic extraction of DTM (bare earth) and DSM
– Automatic features extraction (houses, trees, power lines)
– Automatic full scene 3D reconstruction
– LAS or free ASCII txt input
– LAS, SHP, DTM and other output file formats
– Multiple input/output coordinate systems
– Integrated with a 3D Viewer

TLiD Advantages:

– Fast parallel processing for cost reduction
– No limitation on input file size
– Standalone product
– Special Applications
– Trees counting – height and size
– Power line mapping and clearance
– Line of sight
– Other applications – available on request

IBM Visualizes a “Smarter Planet” using 3D Laser Scanning Technology [LiDAR]

HOUSTON, TX March 18, 2010 Coign Asset Metrics & Technologies (CoignAMT), at the direction of Zoo Film Productions of Hollywood, CA, has helped produce IBM’s first globally released television commercial created entirely from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) 3D point cloud data.

CoignAMT used the HDS6100 phase-based laser scanner from Leica Geosystems to create scenes of cars on a freeway, patients in a hospital, electricity grids and much more. The 30-second LiDAR-based commercial is a key part of IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative to portray that data is all around; and that by changing the way the world thinks, companies can maximize the use of data to lower their costs and reduce environmental impact.

Travis Reinke, business sector manager for CoignAMT, says, “Coincidentally, IBM’s perspective is a core part of CoignAMT’s business practice. We help our clients see the long-term value of the data they currently have by using the latest technology, such as 3D laser scanning, to quickly gather an immense amount of data to support their existing “intelligent” systems.”

The Zoo Film Productions crew spent a week in Houston, TX with CoignAMT personnel capturing laser scan data of transmission lines and over 16 blocks of downtown Houston streetscape and surounding buildings. CoignAMT then merged the point cloud data gathered in downtown with 6 square miles of low-altitude helicopter-based LiDAR provided by Aerotec LLC out of Birmingham, AL. Zoo Film Productions crews also created numerous scenes of hospital activities as well as automobiles with and without drivers that CoignAMT scanned individually for use in the commercial.

Reinke continues, “We were honored to be part of this innovative project given the direct correlation between the services CoignAMT provides and IBM’s Smarter Planet initiatives. Using the latest laser scanning technology to visually portray the importance of the data surrounding us was an unforeseen irony. I would never have imagined that we would be using this technology to scan people and cars, objects that are often considered ‘noise’ on a typical inventory project.”

View IBM “Data Anthem” at 848×480: http://www.glossyinc.com/zoo/ibmdataanthem.html
Full credits and a selection of stills: http://www.glossyinc.com/ibmdacred.html
Follow CoignAMT on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CoignAMT
Follow Travis Reinke on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HDLS

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cj6VtYpBI4

# # #

About Coign Asset Metrics & Technologies LLC:
Coign Asset Metrics & Technologies, LLC (CoignAMT) is a HUBZone qualified, SBA certified, small business that provides a full range of asset management life cycle services and specialized technologies, including high definition laser scanning (HDLS). Its mission is to strengthen public and private sector organizations by aligning their assets and operational practices with their strategic initiatives. CoignAMT is headquartered in the Pittsburgh, PA area, with regional offices located in Colorado Springs, CO, and Houston, TX. Clients include federal, state, and local governments, as well as private sector customers in the construction, energy, transportation, manufacturing, and security industries.

Bentley Announces Integration of Pointools

Bentley Announces Point Cloud Integration using PointoolsPresented by: Executives from Spar Point research, Pointools, and Bentley

Summary:On October 14, 2009, Bentley announced that it had signed a “Continuous Technology Transfer Agreement” to incorporate Pointools’ Vortex Engine in the Bentley Technology Platform to enable reuse of 3D laser scanned data. This webinar will include three different perspectives on this agreement. To see the future of 3D data integration and platform interoperability you have to attend this webinar.

What you can learn:

  • An overview by Spar Point Research of the impact that laser scanning technology is having on the design, construction, and management of industrial plant, BIM, and civil/transportation infrastructure assets
  • The importance of integrating this technology into the daily workflows of infrastructure professionals and the value users will realize from this integration
  • A brief demonstration by Pointools of the Vortex engine functionality including an explanation on why the Pointools’ technology is so fast and so capable of handling billions of point clouds at one time
  • Watch this eSeminar by chapter:
    These videos open directly into your media player.

    Resources:

    Quantapoint Announces Integration of 3D Laser Scan Data With Autodesk(R) Revit(R)

    PITTSBURGH, PA — (Marketwire) — 10/29/09 — Quantapoint (http://www.quantapoint.com) — recent recipient of a General Services Administration (GSA) laser scanning IDIQ contract — announced the integration of Quantapoint 3D laser scan data with Autodesk® Revit using QuantaCAD(TM). Laser data may be accessed directly within Revit as photo-realistic Laser Images(TM) of individual 3D laser scans and high-definition Laser Models(TM) of integrated laser data, not fuzzy “point clouds” whose sparse measurements make them difficult to use and understand.

    “One of the challenges of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been creating 3D BIM models that accurately represent existing buildings,” said Eric Hoffman, Founder of Quantapoint. “By integrating Laser Models and Laser Images with Revit, Quantapoint can more quickly create 3D BIM models and validate their accuracy. Additionally, new 3D BIM designs can be viewed and clashed with the laser data to ensure that they will fit into the existing facility, thus eliminating rework.”

    QuantaCAD provides a number of useful capabilities to Revit users to enable them to create and validate 3D BIM models, visualize proposed modifications for design and constructability reviews, and identify and correct potential interferences. Some of the capabilities include:

    • Direct Integration: Integrate laser data with Revit directly, without sub-sampling or converting to “polygon meshes.”
    • Laser Models: Display 3D BIM models using solid, high-definition
    • Laser Models for direct remodeling or to create new designs.
    • Laser Image Projection: Project 3D BIM models into Laser Images of individual 3D laser scans for real-time validation or design reviews.
    • Measurement: Measure points, distances and mechanical or plumbing pipe information between the 3D BIM model, Laser Images and Laser Models.
    • Clashing: Clash laser data and 3D BIM models to verify remodeling accuracy or identify interferences with new designs.
    • Demolition: Group Laser Models that are parts of the facility being demolished and highlight or hide them for planning or design analysis.
    • Multi-user Database: Share measurements across the team via a multi- user database to ensure consistent information and easier interactions.
    • State Manager: Store and recall laser data (Laser Models, Laser
    • Images and views) to focus on areas or interest and more quickly resume work.

    By using QuantaCAD to put reality in Revit, BIM remodeling time can be reduced while ensuring accuracy, design time can be decreased by accessing complete and clear Laser Models and Laser Images that represent existing conditions, and rework from design clashes can be eliminated by correcting clashes between the Laser Models and the new design.

    If you are interested in finding out more about accessing laser data in Revit using QuantaCAD or would like a demonstration, visitwww.quantapoint.com/qp/contact or e-mail info@quantapoint.com.

    About Quantapoint

    Quantapoint uses patented laser scanning technology to create a high-resolution Digitized Facility(TM) of Laser Models(TM) (not “point clouds”) and Laser Images(TM) that can be accessed directlywithin various CAD packages or integrated with facility and asset information. By putting critical facility as-built information at our client’s fingertips, Quantapoint has helped them reduce costs, optimize schedules, increase quality and improve safety. For more information on our technology and services, please visit www.quantapoint.com, e-mail info@quantapoint.com or call +1-412-653-0100.

    Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=1101374

    Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

    For additional information, please contact:

    James McGill
    VP of Marketing
    Quantapoint, Inc.
    Telephone: 412-653-0100, x-200
    E-mail: jmcgill@quantapoint.com