3D Meshes with Leica Cyclone 3DR
Making Digital Reality Accessible for Everyone
Digital reality appeals to service providers across industries thanks to its ability to deliver photorealistic 3D models to businesses. Deliverables like light mesh models provide non-traditional reality capture users like architects, engineers, surveyors, real estate professionals and others with a way to share highly accurate and visually engaging models with clients, no matter their level expertise.
Yet, even as capturing spatial data with scanning becomes more accessible, the complexity of post-processing and deliverable creation has kept many would-be reality capture entrants from expanding into the field. With a collection of new mesh modelling features, Cyclone 3DR’s latest release was designed to address this complexity, opening the doors of digital reality to new users and enhancing efficiency, scalability and productivity for all reality capture professionals.
Yannick Stenger, Product Manager for Cyclone 3DR, details the latest 3DR release and explains how it invites everyone to participate in digital reality.
Cyclone 3DR: adaptable tools for point cloud deliverables
Cyclone 3DR is a reality capture deliverable solution that works seamlessly with Leica’s reality capture workflow and streamlines point cloud project processing. With a range of adaptable tools for cleaning, inspection, modelling and meshing, you can create 3D deliverables and reports tailored to a variety of use cases, making it an ideal tool across industries. 3D mesh models are one of the high-value deliverables Cyclone 3DR enables you to generate and the latest release includes new features to make textured mesh creation and customisation easy and intuitive for everyone.
The advantages of textured mesh models
Mesh models are a very approachable deliverable for service providers and their clients alike. They are much lighter weight than point clouds, meaning they have a much smaller file size, while retaining a high degree of detail and appearing solid.
Textured meshes overlay images captured alongside a point cloud to create a photorealistic model that can be loaded into the Leica TruView viewer for easy, unlicensed distribution, making it simple to share easily understandable 3D models with clients and collaborators. For visualisation applications, a mesh is often the most versatile format to handle.
Scan-to-Mesh and the streamlined workflow
Cyclone 3DR 2022.1 contains a new digital reality experience thanks to a series of updated features, many of which are focused on mesh models. Already a leader in mesh and texture algorithms, Cyclone 3DR’s new Scan-to-Mesh feature makes the most of these capabilities to help you achieve professional results no matter your experience level.
The mesh model can be created in one-click with a range of level of detail (LOD) settings adapted to all Leica Geosystems laser scanners, including the BLK Family, the Leica RTC360 and P-Series. The wizard-based tool helps you select the appropriate LOD for your sensor. This kind of intuitive guidance means that no matter which sensors you use, Scan-to-Mesh easily integrates into and speeds up your current workflow.
Previously, users would conduct point cloud cleaning and meshing in two steps using refinement from point cloud interpolation – a complex process with advanced parameters. Scan-to-Mesh reduces the need of cleaning and migrates the workflow from a series of features to a single command whose parameters are easy to understand, making the work more than 3 times faster.
The digital reality experience expanded: Textured Mesh, Doll House Visualisation and export options
Smart Texture is an empowered texturing engine helping you get the most out of images to deliver a realistic mesh model. Smart texture optimises the texturing from several images of the same type and provides better image blending to avoid “black holes” - areas where there are no points. Additionally, you can output a lighter textured mesh from the original. The Smart Texture feature is most useful when you have several pinhole or spherical images with or without mask.
Since visualisations are key to successful deliverables, Cyclone 3DR added the Doll House visualisation mode for indoor applications. This realistic and user-friendly representation of meshes in the 3D scene allows you to provide a realistic visualisation of indoor models. From the user’s point of view, surfaces in the foreground are hidden, and you can adjust the transparency of surface models and display scenes in high resolution.
In addition to already supported formats like OBJ or GLB, the new release allows you to export to FBX, a popular file format with widespread interoperability in design software. More export choices give you more freedom to continue developing your data in software packages that work for your use cases, in particular in the Construction industry but also in the Media & Entertainment industry.
New and experienced users benefit
The ability to make textured meshes with one-click with Cyclone 3DR offers an access point for new users, like real estate professionals who need to create realistic 3D models of apartments and houses, an information-rich resource drawing buyers and renters to engage with their listings. Professionals already in the digital services industry can now confidently add scanning without worrying about processing complexity knowing that easy-to-use tools will allow them to offer entire solutions to their customers.
Surveyors and engineers already using scanning will also benefit. For example, engineers that need to design, compare, and visualise realistic models in software that doesn’t support heavy point clouds now have an easy solution, along with surveyors who can add creating meshes to their service offerings without disrupting current workflows or investing in advanced training.
These use cases give a picture of the possibilities but are not exhaustive – the more digital reality expands into new industries, the more applications for Cyclone 3DR will emerge.
Product Manager, Leica Cyclone 3DR
Reality Capture Division