[Bf-committers] Blender and laser scanner - amendment

Isaac Lenton isaac at isuniversal.com
Tue Apr 30 01:30:14 CEST 2013


I looked into this for a project I was working on for visualising point
clouds generated from computational physics simulations.  I recall that
I managed to get the points rendering in Blender Render with a few quick
hacks and duplicating the colour data onto individual vertices (maybe
not the best idea).  I ended up switching to VTK and ParaView for most
of my scientific data visualisation, but I would be interested if
someone were to implement a basic pipeline as described by Jace Priester
but with a step 6:

        6) Support for community add-ons (through python) for preforming
        basic data/point processing/rendering operations.

ParaView provides a large selection of operators, some of which would be
trivial to implement in blender if a pipeline was set-up.

This idea might also be of interest to Shabbir Marzban, whose recent
GSoC email to the mailing list included a proposal to integrate Bundler:

        "1) Automated rigid structure reconstruction from set of
        un-ordered images: A very common structure from motion (SFM)
        tool, Bundler[1] can be used to recover 3D point cloud from such

Isaac Lenton

PS: The mailing list seems to be blocking some of my emails, not sure if
this will get through.

On Mon, 2013-04-29 at 15:02 -0700, Jace Priester wrote:
> I wrote in point cloud support for Blender over a year ago, but I have been
> told repeatedly by the developers that there is no interest in the
> community and therefore they aren't interested in implementing it.
> Hopefully another voice will help with that.
> The code isn't extensive as is. It requires a custom data layer to support
> true per-vertex color (as Blender currently implements vertex color as part
> of face data - not vertex data). There's a bit of extra code in the mesh
> drawing functions to access the colors in the custom data layer, and then
> it draws points to the screen using the set colors. As a bonus, it also
> supports per-vertex sizing which allows for point distance attenuation
> (which is necessary for a good appearance). My current code does *not*
> integrate with any rendering engine - it only works in the editor window -
> and I gave up trying to get help taking it any further, as I don't use it
> that often anyway.
> If a developer knowledgeable enough about BI/cycles wants to hop in and
> help with finishing this, I'd be happy to collaborate. I see no need for
> blender to be a point cloud editing program. Meshlab and others are better
> suited to that, as that is specifically what they are built for. But the
> ability to import and display point cloud data, in my opinion, is vital to
> Blender being usable in more fields than it is now. So that said, I think
> short term and easily attainable goals should be to
> 1) import point cloud data in a couple common formats (I have done this
> already)
> 2) display points with colors and distance attentuation (also done)
> 3) export point cloud data (also done)
> 4) some user interface controls for turning colors on/off, adjusting
> displayed vertex size and attenuation (have not done any of this)
> 5) support for render at least in BI
> On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Antoine Cottin <acottin at ultiscan.com>wrote:
> > Hi y'all,
> >
> > Sorry for the repost this might be obvious or not, but after re-reading my
> > previous post, I feel that need to mention that our goal is not to produce
> > a tool dedicate to our sole use. Our goal is to develop a tool for us and
> > the Blender community that will be release under GPL.
> >
> > Cheers.
> > Antoine
> >
> > #######
> >
> > My name is Antoine Cottin, I'm a research scientist specialized in active
> > remote sensing applied to earth sciences. For the last 8 years I've been
> > working for/with a laser scanner manufacturer developing processing tools
> > chain for laser scanner data processing. I have an extended knowledge in
> > the various laser scanner systems (hardware and software) and their
> > associated data format.
> >
> > I'm the founder of Ultiscan, a French base company, specialized in laser
> > scanning services.
> >
> > Our main objective/activity at Ultiscan beside laser scanning assets is
> > data fusion between laser scanner data (points cloud) and 3D assets for 3D
> > rendering and animation. Here is an example of one of our last project.
> > This purpose of this project was to merge a 3D asset (the front gate of the
> > heritage building) with a point cloud of the whole building to show to the
> > client how the restoration of gate of the building would look like (some
> > work on texturing is still required):
> >
> > https://www.dropbox.com/s/u6bj80fi8ajqq8r/00_Gruss_Fusion_100p_Black.mp4
> >
> > The gate have been mesh, from the laser scanner data, and then
> > retopologize (from ~2500k faces to 600 faces), texture and render with
> > Blender. The points cloud animation was done with a commercial software.
> > Then the two pieces was merged together. To do that, we used Blender for
> > the camera tracking, the render and the compositing of the final result.
> >
> > Needless to say that it is doable but a bit tedious. Also, reconstructing
> > the 3D space from camera tracking defeat the initial purpose of using 3D
> > laser scanning data which are per essence more dense and most likely more
> > accurate.
> >
> > My company, and I, would love to have the points cloud capability
> > integrate to Blender to being able to generate this kind of animations (but
> > nicer),
> >
> > https://www.dropbox.com/s/qrlmt3zq84knlpq/00_Gruss_PointCloud_Animation.m4v
> >
> > but also to streamline and help with some of the VFX pipeline.
> >
> > So we did some scripting to test the capability but obviously python
> > scripting isn't the good approach to read and display millions of points.
> > It also remain the question on how to efficiently display a points cloud ?
> > as point cannot be rendered, a turnaround is needed. We tried to put a
> > small circle at each point of the points cloud but this literally overflow
> > Blender.
> >
> > In the shed of our tests, we have to get into Blender development for this
> > and we are willing to give a try. I've contacted Ton Roosendaal and he told
> > me to post the idea in here to discuss it's relevance.
> >
> > I'm a self taught coder and I've been coding for the last 13 years mainly
> > in IDL/ENVI, which is a dedicate remote sensing/data visualization
> > language. I've knowledge and more limited expertise's in C and
> > object-oriented language like python and objective-C.
> >
> > I think the best way to succeed to such project would be to team-up with
> > some mentor(s) that already have experience in Blender development. So if
> > someone is interested in this project, please give us a shout.
> >
> > Please give us your idea on this project.
> > Looking forward to discuss this exiting project with you.
> >
> > Respectfully your.
> > Dr. Antoine Cottin
> > -------------------------------
> > Ultiscan
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Bf-committers mailing list
> > Bf-committers at blender.org
> > http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-committers
> >

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