New here (and hopefully in the right place), looking for some opinions/advice in relation to importing 3D models/surveys from Agisoft Photoscan into ArchiCAD. I am a surveyor using PS to create point clouds and 3D models from UAV (drone) data capture. I have a client using ArchiCAD and the idea is to be able to provide a file that can be directly exported from PS to ArchiCAD in the most direct way possible and with the least amount of processing on the client side (i.e. manually tracing from the mesh). Most jobs involve surveying an existing building, which generally then becomes adapted and/or extended. Topo surveys are less of an issue.
I can create a mesh from the point cloud data (as .e57), which can also be converted to a 3DS file. The problem with this is that even a regular surface (render etc.) creates many faces in the mesh, and features cannot be easily distinguished. I would like to be able to provide a file that an Architectural practice can take directly and import without having to then spend hours tinkering with in order to be of use.
Accuracy was previously an issue, but this is now resolved by the use of GPS ground stations in the survey data.
Does anyone have any experience of this, and any suggestions for the import process? Any thoughts would be most welcome.
nathanw wrote: The idea is to be able to provide a file that can be directly exported from PS to ArchiCAD in the most direct way possible and with the least amount of processing on the client side...
Good news: as you figured out by now, you can export your point clouds to ARCHICAD without any problems. ARCHICAD will read them fine, but they will be just that — non-intejligent point clouds and ARCHICAD user will have to trace over them with building elements.
nathanw wrote: I can create a mesh from the point cloud data (as .e57), which can also be converted to a 3DS file. The problem with this is that even a regular surface (render etc.) creates many faces in the mesh, and features cannot be easily distinguished.
Bad news: you did everything correctly, but there are no currently available software algorithms that would mesh your 3D point cloud with a reasonable (read — intelligent) mesh. None. Period. All available meshing algorithms are dumb and the only option you have is to "simplify" the mesh, meaning lower the number of triangles to a specific number. Naturally, this simplification will lead to loss of details, as all surfaces are "simplified" proportionally.
Notes for the future. As it happens, one of the development projects I am currently working on is a solution for this exact problem (turing 3D scan into intelligent model), but given the fact that very few people I talked to understand the importance of this development in particular and BIM in general it is hard to get it to the market.
Thanks for the reply Anton. This is pretty much exactly where I got to! It is something that could have multiple applications. As I mentioned, almost all of my projects involve some kind of extension/alteration to an existing building. For now I may resort to employing someone who specialises in 3D modelling to trace over the point cloud as you suggest, but it is far from ideal!
I would be very interested to hear how your development goes and will be keeping an eye on this as it develops.
Thank you, Barry.
Yes I did read that post and I would like to explain where I stand in relation to Pointfuse, PointCab4BIMm and similar offers mentioned in that thread.
All current companies offer similar services in meshing your point cloud and sometimes (in case of Mesh Generator) converting those meshes to very specific ARCHICAD element (morph or shell).
Pointfuse went a bit further along as, after meshing your point cloud, they offer an ability to break away certain objects into separate meshes. Not a new concept ether. This break-mesh-away concept was developed for game development and works great, but not for Architecture, as the resulting meshes are just as dumb as the first one. You just have more of them.
Other than that, no matter what software or service you use the result is the same. You get a dumb mesh of your point cloud that you still have to trace over (even in your own example of a castle).
I think the work needs to go in a rather different direction. We, for instance, working (albeit slowly) on an application that can result in you taking your iPad to a site, walk around the building and come out a few minutes later with usable ARCHICAD model that will require no additional work. It sounds really weird, but this how it will work for everybody in a decade or so.