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Fledermaus

Point Cloud

Introduction

The Point Cloud object is a special type of Points object capable of displaying a much larger number of points by streaming points in dynamically rather than loading all the points at once. Point Cloud objects display data stored in the Entwine Point Tile (EPT) format from disk or from a network location. The structure of EPT formatted points allows Fledermaus to dynamically render specific areas of the point data at varying levels of detail. This keeps Fledermaus running smoothly while displaying high detail in areas of interest, even in large datasets that would normally not be feasible to load due to their massive size.

The number of points displayed at once can be changed to improve performance on low-end computers or increase detail on high-end computers. Look for the Streaming Point Budget setting in the General tab of the Preferences dialog.

Point Clouds can be imported into Fledermaus 8 using the Import > Import EPT Point Cloud... or Import > Import EPT Point Cloud From Network... menu options. The prior loads EPT points from a local file location while the latter loads EPT points from a web location via URL. Note that local file import requires you to select the folder containing the entwine formatted data. If the points you would like to import are in a LAZ file or similar format, see the entwine guide (Installation and Building the data sections) to learn how to convert your data into entwine format. The folder you select for import should be the folder generated by this conversion process which will contain the ept.json file as well as some other files and folders.

Storage Format

Point Cloud objects are stored in files with the .pointcloud extension. Note that Streamed Points objects do not store the data, they only store a reference to its location and other information relevant to their implementation in Fledermaus. If the referenced data source is deleted, or cannot be reached in the case of a network source, the object will not work properly.

If you want to share a Point Cloud file based on local data, rather than sharing the .pointcloud file you should share the folder with the EPT data and have the other person import it themselves. For network based data this is not a problem and you can share the .pointcloud file, provided the recipient has access to the server the data is hosted on.

Properties

NameDescription
Total Point CountShows how many points exist in the data set.


Attributes

Point Size

Only fixed size is available for point cloud objects. You can use this to adjust the pixel size of each point.

Colormap

Provides control of the colormapping of the points. The colormap is overridden if the point cloud has RGB data.

Offset

Applies a slight visual-only offset to the points.

Eye-dome Lighting

Toggles the eye-dome lighting shading algorithm which outlines points to give a sense of depth.

EDL Strength

Controls the darkness of the outlines created by the eye-dome lighting shading algorithm. More strength makes the geometric features of the point cloud more pronounced and makes sloped surfaces darker.

EDL Radius

Controls the distance from each point that the outlines can extend to. A larger radius makes the outlines thicker and less sharp.

Operations

To see the operations available for the point object type right click the object's name and look in the Operations sub-menu or look at the Operations drop-down menu at the bottom left of the attribute panel. These operations include:

Change Object Coordinate System

While this should be very rarely needed it can be used if necessary to change the coordinate system currently applied to the object. No projection is done here you are just telling it that this new coordinate system is what the object should have been in in the first place. 

Create points from selection

This operation will allow you to create a Points object from a subsection of the full Point Cloud data. To use it, first use one of the Selection Tools to select the area of interest in the Point Cloud, then perform the operation. Fledermaus will process the Point Cloud data and extract the points within your selection and save it as a new .points object in the scene. Be wary not to select an area with too many points, as the Points object cannot handle large datasets as well as a Point Cloud can.

Create mesh from selection

This operation will allow you to create a Terrain Mesh 3D object from a subsection of the full Point Cloud data. To use it, first use one of the Selection Tools to select the area of interest in the Point Cloud, then perform the operation. Fledermaus will process the Point Cloud data and extract the points within your selection, then open the Create Mesh Wizard for you to choose the meshing settings before creating a new Mesh and saving it as a new .mesh object in the scene.

Create surface from selection

This operation will allow you to create a Surface object from a subsection of the full Point Cloud data. To use it, first use one of the Selection Tools to select the area of interest in the Point Cloud, then perform the operation. Fledermaus will process the Point Cloud data and extract the points within your selection, then open the Data Gridding Wizard for you to choose the gridding settings before creating a new Surface and saving it as a new .surface object in the scene.

Exports

There are currently no export options for Point Cloud objects.

Data Viewing Panel

Point Cloud are currently not supported in the Data Viewing Panel.


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