by Ralph Grabowski, Sr Editor, TenLinks
reprinted from WorldCAD Access
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (SIGGRAPH) -- I had a preview of Thinkbox's point cloud processing software last year at SIGGRAPH; this year it is announced, and next year it ships. Thinkbox wants to be the biggest, fastest processor of point cloud data for the CAD industry, and they spent a whole year talking to people who work with such data, before starting to program. Which means the software has some pretty nice functions
The Sequoia engine is based on their particle physics code that generates artificial water, clouds, sand, and other effects for movies and games. Nevertheless, they claim that Sequoia is capable of the following:
- Processes up to 180 million points; the demo I saw used 174 million
- Asynchronous processing, so that the first million points are displayed while the other 173 million are still being loaded in the background
- Fully multi-threaded to smoothly pan-zoom-rotate, even while points are loading
- Display only sufficient points to fill the current view
- Through multi-document support, loads other point cloud files in additional, independent windows
- Takes dead-easy snapshots to create a list of saved viewpoints
- Uses the snapshots as key frames to generate animations effortlessly
- Caches all previous states for super fast displaying, including in other windows
The points can be meshed; colors are captured, if recorded; 360-degree photos can be applied as textures. ThinkBox is working on mesh editing so that 3D printing is more reliable (like thickening walls, closing holes).
While they had a computer the size of large suitcase powering the demo, they claim the software runs on portable devices, like Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. The number of points that can be handled is greatly reduced, of course, like down to 50 million, and processing is slower.
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