Point Clouds

Point clouds are supported in some formats such as PLY, DXF, ASC (text), VRML, OBJ, 3DC and LAS.

ASCII text files should be formatted with one vertex per line, optionally with RGB color information:

x y z r g b

We process point position and color, but we do not currently support other flags in the file like point size. Annotations cannot be placed on point clouds.

You can set a size for all points in 3D Settings.

Sketchfab 3d model point cloud point size settings slider

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Comments

  • Avatar
    jimmygunawan

    Love this POINT CLOUD feature! I tested just now using Blender and it works fine with XYZRGB. Wondering about a couple of things:

    - Will lighting and space ambient occlusion works with point cloud? Or I better use real sphere instanced into points?

    - Will the point cloud be able to be animated? If yes, how to set this up in ASCII?

     

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    James

    @jimmygunawan - By default, we don't calculate vertex normals for point clouds and automatically switch to Shadeless mode. Most point clouds are uploaded without them, so this helps performance. If you do include vertex normals, we will preserve them and you could have surface-like shading. However, as far as I know, this is not possible in ASCII clouds.

    We support animated point clouds in the Mimesys .q3d format: https://sketchfab.com/tags/mimesys

    Otherwise, you could do it with a Timeframe animation, but it might produce a very large file if you have a lot of points and a lot of frames: https://help.sketchfab.com/hc/en-us/articles/203058018-Animations#timeframe

  • Avatar
    jimmygunawan

    Oh wow so there is a possibility to include Vertex Normal information as well for Point Cloud? Currently I am happy with just Point XYZ RGB, but I was trying to animate it as well using timeframe. As for today I think sequence of ASC and timeframe still does not work. But I contacted one of your support and they said it is possible.

    I like the fact that Point Cloud is imported as true points with Radius control. Maybe Per Vertex Radius can be supported at some point? I always think that many Point Cloud points is better than triangulated mesh. And it is awesome that Sketchfab supports it.

    You said that ASCII cloud cannot insert in Vertex Normal information? If possible it would be interesting. For now, I can use instance on point clouds an actually upload it as deforming mesh.

    Will look at mimesys, but for now, I will try using PLY ASCII or ASC format. This is easiest way to script using Blender. Would be nicer if Alembic animation is supported via Blend. Otherwise I will use Morphing mesh. But yeah, but Blender does not support PLY for just points, unless I write my own Python script for ASCII exporter. 

  • Avatar
    James

    Yep, we're investigating why your Timeframe failed.

    We might revisit per-vertex radii in the future. I think ASC format documentation includes it as x y z r g b size ?

    We support Alembic animation (.abc), but it might not be the most robust right now. I'm not familiar with Alembic + Blender.

  • Avatar
    harriergeographics

    Hey all, I'm having no luck importing point cloud files into Sketchfab that were produced in Photoscan Pro. Any ideas would be helpful, I'm just starting out with this whole point cloud thing. All my other models derived in Photoscan Pro load and view just fine in Sketchfab. Thanks! 

  • Avatar
    James

    Hey, what happens when you try to export and upload the point cloud? What format did you export?

  • Avatar
    harriergeographics

    I've exported a point cloud file from photoscan pro in three types: PLY, DXF, and OBJ. They upload to Sketchfab but do not display anything. Actually, one file format displayed what seemed to be all the points stacked in a vertical column. Strange. 

  • Avatar
    James

    Are you using geo reference flags or similar features that would place the model in a world coordinate system? You should try disabling those features before exporting to Sketchfab. It can cause precision issues because the coordinates are so large and/or the bounding box is really big and far away from the world origin.

    You can also upload the textured mesh (in OBJ format) directly from PhotoScan by going to File → Upload model...