In the first post about Point Clouds I talked Recap 360, you can read it HERE if you missed it. In the second post it got rather large so I blogged HERE, this post includes a whitepaper which can be downloaded through the same link.
In this post I will be talking about Infraworks 360. If you have access to it via an Autodesk Suite of products, you may have the LT version. This post refers to both the LT and the full version of Infraworks 360. Because this is a blog, it’s short and sweet. For more detailed information, be sure to click on the link at the end for the white paper.
Point Clouds in Infraworks are evolving all the time and this latest release has some real insights into where the software is developing and what Autodesk are looking at based on what you need in the Infrastructure arena.
When you add a Point Cloud into InfraWorks 360 you get 3 buttons to play with. Point Cloud Themes, Point Cloud Modelling and Point Cloud Terrain.
First things to do is the Point Cloud Terrain. This is a smart tool. I mean really smart. It does so much more than terrain. It also looks for linear and vertical features. It also outputs another Recap File (if you want it to) that just contains the Ground Points, or the Ground and Linear points. And this Point Cloud is Classified, even if your original one isn’t!
It takes this > and turns it into this:
And here is the first clue as to where Autodesk are going with Infrastructure Point Clouds. They are trying to find both horizontal and vertical features. This is a big ask, and it’s very much a ‘version 1’ of this application. When we want to model a point cloud we must consider the ground, any vertical features such as Lamp posts, fences and trees, and also the horizontal features like Kerbs, White Lines etc. Up to now, we have only really had success with the ground, and this was not bad, but not great. For the features, both horizontal and vertical we have had to either remove them or draw them manually. The software is not there yet, so don’t get too excited. This is a little insight into where the next development is currently looking.
Of course, it has also updated the Infraworks surface. You’ll notice a new terrain surface in the Data Sources Panel.
Now look at the feature modeller.
It’s basically looking for vertical objects, and adding an Infraworks feature. At the moment, it concentrates on trees, Lampposts and signs. but you can add your own content if needed. It also scales the IW feature to fit the Point Cloud.
The big takeaway from this is that Autodesk are addressing the Point Cloud problem in Infrastructure and are doing a great job. Autodesk are actively developing the tools we need and on first look are really going in the right direction. Did you know you can get involved too? Go have a look at the Infraworks 360 Community. You can get great tips and tricks, participate and learn from the forums and the Idea’s station is a great place to have your say. What do you want Infraworks to do next? What will give you the competitive edge?
Have a look at my Whitepaper for more information on how to work with Point Clouds in InfraWorks 360, you can download it by filling the form below: