Visualization: Extractions

Paul TiceArchitecture, Engineering, Construction

Taking pictures is just the beginning of today’s data sets. People want to mine visualizations for all they’re worth. It is not enough in the AEC world to simply have a visual representation of infrastructure. They want to have geometry extracted from it. They want it measurable. They want it navigable. They want to hold it and pet it and call it George

It’s really important therefore to find new methods to deliver in a variety of ways to clients. There are a few power software platforms out there that are able to extract geometry (aka, Feature Extraction) from point clouds such as Edgewise3DPolyworks, and Geomagic, to name a few. And from plain photographs, programs like 3DF Zephyr (free), Pix4D, Agisoft , ContextCapture, and (a reversal of a common industry term) CapturingReality, can generate not just mesh geometry but point clouds as well, all of which are measurable and translatable to most CAD, BIM, and GIS platforms.

Designable Revit model extracted from point clouds – by ToPa 3D
Point cloud from photos – by ToPa 3D

A dear friend of mine recently told me that she still has no idea what I do for a living, yet supports me none-the-less. I suppose it is a bit difficult to describe what those of us in this industry really ‘do’. I usually start with,

“I’m an animator…” Which is usually met with great praise. “…of architecture.” Which loses about 1/2 of my family and friends.

“I do laser scanning.” Which loses 3/4 of the 1/2 still remaining.

“I extract geometry from point clouds and photographs to create 3D models and 2D as-builts that help architects and engineers to determine the best strategies for things like MEP installation.” Which results in my standing alone in the kitchen while everyone reconvenes in the living room.

Who else is extracting? More to come…

ToPa 3D~