A point cloud is a set of data points in space. Point clouds are generally produced by 3D scanners, which measure a large number of points on the external surfaces of objects around them.
Point clouds are supported on Sketchfab 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
This is identical to the XYZ format, which can be uploaded by renaming ".xyz" as ".asc"
We process point position and color, but we do not currently support other flags in the file like point size. You can set a size for all points in the Scene tab of your 3D Settings.
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?
@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
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.
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.
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!
Hey, what happens when you try to export and upload the point cloud? What format did you export?
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.
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...
Hey, I was wondering if any kind of spatial data structure is used for point clouds? Is visualization of point clouds done by constantly loading scan points from the hard disk/Sketchfab account based on point visibility or how it is put into practise?
Hey, I'm sorry, I'm not sure I quite understand your question. Are you trying to use the Sketchfab viewer to visualize a point cloud that you're storing locally? Or are you asking about how we render point clouds?
Currently, the model is processed on our end and the viewer loads all the points for rendering.
Do you expect to support annotations with point clouds anytime soon?
Sorry for the outdated article! I just updated the page. You can place annotations on point clouds now.
Hey James, I can't seem to figure this one out. Point files load in as one column of points. I managed to get one uploaded successfully. But, ran into the same problem again and can't work through it.
That tends to happen with overly precise vertex positions and/or a bounding box very far away from the origin. These are the stats on my end:
The X and Y coordinates are so precise that it does appear like a single line in the Z axis.
Are you using a world coordinate system? Are you able to translate to a local coordinate system / recenter the bbox to the origin?
Coordinate system - WGS84 (EPSG:4326)
I tried reducing precision but then just switched to a local coordinate system and it displays properly now.
Yeah, WGS84 would do it. Looks great!
This point cloud feature is great!
I have uploaded several point clouds from lidar scans which work really well but I seem to be having a size constraint issue of late.
Is there a max point/file size limit for point clouds on sketchfab?
When you say size constraint, do you mean the file size? This is limited by your plan ( https://sketchfab.com/plans ). We also support uploading compressed ZIP / RAR / 7z files, which can save a lot of space, and point clouds tend to compress very efficiently.
Or, are you talking about the total number of points? We should be able to handle 10s of millions (although the viewer might not perform very well on all machines). Did you see an upload error? Can you share a link?
James, thats for rapid response!
Firstly im on Pro and am aware of file size limits, I was referring more to point count. Glad to hear "10s of millions" and yes I can imagine these will not run on all machines particularity well and am constant surprised at how well large clouds do run on even average machines/mobile devices.
I got the file I was having issue with working by exporting to .ply as apposed to .Las
I did get a upload error but not an error code, here is the link to now working file
I ran this through Cloudcompare to bake in some AO after processing in Realworks maybe this messed with the .las export.
One other thing, https://skfb.ly/6JnE6 this file, for some reason only shows up as black points on my phone, Samsung S6 edge plus
but is fine on computers, im going to try the .ply route when I get time, but if you have any ideas that would be great.
Ah interesting, glad PLY worked for you.
I'm not sure about the black points on your phone. At 5 million points, I'm surprised a mobile device can load it at all. I usually recommend keeping your models at 1-2 millions faces/points at the most if you plan to view on mobile.
Hello James. I am trying to upload a dense pointcloud from Metashape but keep getting a Connection Closed message and error code: 0, The sparse pointcloud has uploaded OK, but its the dense pointcloud we really need for detail.
I have a model that I would like to be able to see within the poincloud. Is this possible?
@aerial-cam Sorry I missed your message, it was flagged for approval by a moderator. Are you still having trouble?
@kreendurron Yes, it's possible to display a point cloud and a mesh, but it can be a bit tricky and typically you need to combine the models in other software. What software are you using?
Thanks James, I did have few that returned the same error, one or two I got to work by shortening the file name, but not sure if this was the problem.
@James I attempted to create an FBX and the model came in, but not the pointcloud. Again, I'm not sure what the proper workflow is for this operation. I can only find help files on how to upload the PointCloud or the Model individually.
Is there a recommended workflow to do this?
I suspect that the points are not exported to FBX. It is possible in OBJ, but may need some work using a script to set up properly for Sketchfab. Something like this discussion: https://forum.sketchfab.com/t/upload-pointcloud-and-obj-files-together/11573
What software are you using? What format is the point cloud in?
Would there be a way to upload PTX files with Sketchfab?
I'm using Leica Register 360 to export the point clouds. The other formats that can be exported are (PTS, PTG, E57, and RCP).
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
I just contacted you separately to discuss. I think we might be able to do something with the PTS file.
I really want to try something like that. In my country, we have really big historical places. I hope someday I can scan and publish one of them on Sketchfab.
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