Point Clouds are becoming more and more relevant in the Infrastructure arena and we have always had trouble working with them efficiently. Well here is my take on the various tools available to us.
The key products available to Autodesk users are: Infraworks 360, Civil 3D, Map 3D, AutoCAD and Recap 360.
In this part 1 of my Point Cloud blog I’m going to concentrate on Recap 360. Part 2 will look at the AutoCAD variants and part 3 will look at Infraworks 360. The new tools in Infraworks 360 are amazing by the way, so it’s worth following this blog.
Firsts things first, use Recap to cut the Point Cloud down to the useable area and clean up any noise. Use the limit box (bottom of the window) to cut it down and just select any noise points and delete them.
Now, notice you can use Recap for measurements before you even start up your AutoCAD based product. This will give you vital information early. For example, what is the clearance of the overhead cables? Height of the Barrier? Road width?
While we’re noticing things, have a look at the cloud services on the left of the Recap Window. The “coming soon” asks you to tell Autodesk what you want Recap Services to do. This is a great opportunity for you to tell your local Autodesk what you need the software to do. Like with the error reports, they do read them and most of the progression in the software capability is driven by you, the end user. After all, if the software doesn’t do what you want it to do, you won’t use the services.
There are lots of ways of displaying the data to help you visualise and understand the scene. Have a look at the Gradient Background tool. There are some pre-sets in there and you can create your own colour mix.
In the pro version you can export images now. Either jpeg or png. With png you can have a transparent background. Just like the one at the end of this blog. Brilliant for presentations.
A beta application that is in the new release (just above the image output button) will also allow you to add a Navisworks model. This could be used for as-built comparisons or to compare the federated model to the original scan as you progress through the project.
You can add notes too. These are searchable and can include images.
Lastly have a go at the navigation shortcuts. For example, you can use the ‘C’ key with the left mouse button to fly around your model.
So, Recap 360 will not only show you your point cloud, it will save you valuable time understanding the real world place, sharing it with the various stakeholders, asking questions, answering question and all from the comfort of your office chair.
Have fun with your point clouds :) and stay tuned for the next instalment that will talk about AutoCAD, Civil 3D and Map 3D and what you can do with the point cloud there. Remember, the final instalment will show the new tools in InfraWorks 360.
To find out more about Recap 360 or to subscribe to Recap 360 Pro, just contact Graitec on (023) 8086 8947 or click the button below to request more information.