CupixWorks Support Center

Point Cloud Alignment

Point Cloud Alignment

If a capture exists, you must align the capture and point cloud to each other so that surfaces in the point cloud and digital twin match within the SiteView.

Point cloud alignment involves defining the same point in 360° photos and the point cloud, then using constraints to translate and rotate the capture so that the point locations match each other in 3D space. We recommend using checkerboard scanning targets when scanning and photographing the jobsite to use as reference points in CupixWorks when aligning the capture to the point cloud.

Note: You must be a team member in order to align point clouds within a team's project.

Point Cloud Upload

Point clouds cannot be uploaded through the CupixWorks web app. Instead, they must be uploaded through the Cupix Connect desktop app, which is available for users with a CupixWorks license. To upload a point cloud from Connect, follow the instructions in Upload Point Cloud. CupixWorks accepts the following point cloud formats: .las, .laz, .ply, .pts, .xyz, .rcp, and .rcs.

Note: At this time, if you do not have a CupixWorks license, you must contact us at support@cupix.com in order to upload a point cloud to a project.

Open Point Cloud and Capture in Capture Editor

You will need to open the point cloud and its matching 360° capture area together in the Capture Editor in order to align them to each other.

Note: Before starting point cloud alignment, make sure that the Capture QA team has finished aligning your capture areas.

To open the point cloud and capture area:

  1. In the Project Center, from the left menu click Captures, then double click the name of the capture that contains the point cloud and capture area(s).
  2. On the Capture Detail Page, select the point cloud to open by clicking the List Point Clouds Uploaded icon, then clicking on the checkbox next to the point cloud name.
  3. Select the capture area(s) to open by clicking the List Areas Created From Panos icon, then clicking on the checkbox next to the area name(s).
  4. From the Info menu on the right, click Open in Capture Editor.

The Capture Editor will open in a new tab and display the point cloud and selected capture area(s). All areas and the point cloud will be listed on the left tree menu under the Areas tab.

Navigating Point Cloud in 3D Mode

The Capture Editor will initialize with the point cloud displayed in 3D mode. Navigating the point cloud in 3D mode is similar to general SiteView navigation in 3D mode:

  • Click and drag the mouse left and right - Rotate the reference plan/floor plane and 3D model of the point cloud clockwise and counterclockwise, respectively. The model will rotate around the currently selected pano on the reference plan shown to the right.
  • Click and drag the mouse up and down - Rotate the reference plan/floor plane and 3D model of the point cloud away and toward the screen, respectively. The model will rotate around the currently selected pano on the reference plan.
  • CTRL + click and drag - Drag the reference plan/floor plane and 3D model in any direction your mouse moves.
  • Mouse scroll wheel - Zoom in and out of the reference plan/floor plane. The center of the window will be locked on the currently selected pano, and zoom is centered on the middle of the window regardless of where your mouse pointer is placed.

Reposition Point Cloud

The point cloud will automatically be displayed in 3D mode on the left display window. This point cloud may not share the same coordinate system as the one in CupixWorks, ie: It may be floating far above the plane that defines the floor of the capture. Start by approximating the position of the point cloud to the origin, then fine tune the origin point of the point cloud by using constraints. Make sure you are using the same origin point used to align the capture.

Remember that viewing the capture in walkthrough mode displays images based on pano position. If your point cloud initializes far away from where the capture is located in 3D space, you will need to approximate the position of the point cloud in order to view the floor and select the origin point on the point cloud. Otherwise, switching the walkthrough mode will show the point cloud in an inaccurate and unusable location.

Rotate Point Cloud

Rotating the point cloud is similar to rotating an area in the Capture Editor.

To rotate the point cloud:

  1. From the left tree menu under the Areas tab, click the name of the point cloud to display its Info menu on the right.
  2. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, use the following controls under the Rotate field to orient the point cloud:
    • In the degree field, enter the degree the point cloud needs to be rotated.
    • Click the up and down arrows to adjust the angle of rotation by 1° clockwise or counterclockwise, respectively.
    • Click the dial icon to the left of the degree value to rotate the point cloud by 90° clockwise each time.
    • Click and drag the dial to manually rotate the point cloud.
  3. Once the point cloud is rotated the correct amount, click Save in the upper right.

Translate Point Cloud

Unlike translating area clusters by clicking and dragging, point clouds can be translated along the X, Y, and Z axis only from the Properties tab in the point cloud Info pane.

To translate the point cloud:

  1. From the left tree menu under the Areas tab, click the name of the point cloud to display its Info menu on the right.
  2. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, use the following controls under the Translate field to move the point cloud:
    • In the translation value field(s), enter the distance the point cloud needs to be moved in the X, Y, and/or Z axis.
    • Click the up and down arrows next to each value to adjust the the position of the point cloud along the axis in the positive or negative direction, respectively.
  3. When translating the point cloud along the Z-axis, try and align the floor of the point cloud with the floor plane displayed in 3D mode.
  4. Once the point cloud is translated a sufficient amount, click Save in the upper right.

After rotating and translating the point cloud so that it approximately matches the position of the 360° photo capture cluster, switching to walkthrough mode should show the point cloud approximately overlaid on its corresponding surfaces in the pano.

Set Point Cloud Floor

Position the point cloud's floor so that it is in the same plane as the floor plane by using the Point to Floor constraint. This will set the Z-axis origin of the point cloud.

To set the floor:

  1. Switch the capture display window to walkthrough mode by clicking Walk-through Mode on the capture display window toolbar.
  2. If the capture display window does not show the floor in the point cloud (ie: If you are standing in a pool or a ramp), navigate to a region that shows the floor.
  3. From the left tree menu under the Areas tab, click the name of the point cloud to display its Info menu on the right.
  4. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, click Constraints > Add Constraint > Point to Floor.
  5. In the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select On Point Cloud.
  6. Click a point on the floor of the point cloud.
  7. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, make sure the following options are selected:
    • Ignore Z of Pt-Pt Const. - OFF
    • Allow Translation - ON
    • Rotate around Z - Multiple of 90-deg
    • Scale - Keep X, Y, Z Proportions
  8. Click Solve to apply the point to floor constraint.
  9. Switch the capture display window to 3D mode and verify that the bottom of the point cloud is now flush with the floor plane.
  10.  Once the floor is satisfactorily set, click Save in the upper right.

The floor plane is now located at the origin of the point cloud's Z-axis.

Set Point Cloud Origin Point

Set the origin point of the point cloud by adding reference points at the CupixWorks' coordinate system's origin and the desired origin in the point cloud, then using the Point to Point constraint. This will set the origin of the point cloud along all three axis.  Make sure the selected point cloud origin point matches the origin point used in all other captures on the current level.

To set the origin point:

  1. From the left tree menu, click the Objects tab, then the Add Ref. Point icon.
  2. Under the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select Add at Origin.
    Note: This automatically adds a reference point at the origin of the CupixWorks coordinate system, and it is visible as a point at the origin of the reference plan.
  3. Switch the capture display window to walkthrough mode by clicking Walk-through Mode on the capture display window toolbar.
  4. Navigate through the point cloud until you see the location you want to set as the origin of the point cloud.
  5. From the left tree menu under the Objects tab, click the Add Ref. Point icon.
  6. Under the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select On Point Cloud, and click on the point that will be set as the point cloud's origin.
    Note: A reference point is added at the selected position, and this point will also appear on the reference plan.  If you've accurately approximated the position of the point cloud, this reference point should be located close to the point at the origin.
  7. From the left tree menu, click the Areas tab, then click the name of the point cloud to display its Info menu on the right.
  8. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, click Constraints > Add Constraint > Point to Point.
  9. In the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select Reference Object.
  10.  On the reference plan, first click the point cloud point, then click the point at the origin.  An arrow pointing from the point cloud point to the origin should appear.
  11.  Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, make sure the following options are selected:
    • Ignore Z of Pt-Pt Const. - ON
    • Allow Translation - ON
    • Rotate around Z - Multiple of 90-deg
    • Scale - Keep X, Y, Z Proportions
  12.  Click Solve to apply the point to point constraint.
  13.  Switch the capture display window to 3D mode and verify that the selected origin of the point cloud now matches the origin point of the coordinate system.
  14.  Once the origin is satisfactorily set, click Save in the upper right.
  15.  Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, click Lock Transformation to avoid accidentally moving the point cloud.

You are now finished setting up the point cloud's origin and coordinate system.

Align Area to Point Cloud

After setting the origin point on the point cloud, you can now align the capture area to the point cloud.  To do so, you'll need to set reference points in the capture that coincide with the reference points on the targets in the point cloud, then use constraints to match the capture reference points to the target reference points.

Set Reference Points on Capture

Setting reference points on the capture involve visually examining the capture in walkthrough mode, then placing reference points on the checkered targets shown in the panos.

To set reference points in the panos:

  1. Switch the capture display window to walkthrough mode by clicking Walk-through Mode in the capture display window toolbar.
  2. From the left tree menu under the Areas tab, click the Hide icon next to the point cloud name to hide the point cloud in the capture display window.
  3. Under the Areas tab, click the cluster of the area that you want to align to the point cloud to select it.
  4. Navigate through the area and find a pano that has a target.
  5. From the left tree menu, click the Objects tab, then click Add Ref. Point.
  6. In the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select Stereo Matching.
  7. Click the center of the target where the white and black squares touch.
  8. After the Capture Editor navigates you to a second pano, click the center of the same target, and a reference point will be created at the selected location.

Repeat steps 4 through 8 in the area until all targets you want to use have a reference point. Remember to click Save in the upper right to save your new reference points.

Set Reference Points on Point Cloud

Point clouds from jobsites with scanning targets automatically generate reference points at the center of each target.  However, if there are no point cloud reference points, you can still add them.

To set reference points on the point cloud:

  1. Make sure the capture display window is in walkthrough mode by clicking Walk-through Mode in the capture display window toolbar.
  2. If the point cloud is hidden, from the left tree menu under the Areas tab, click the Show icon next to the point cloud name to show the point cloud in the capture display window.
  3. Under the Areas tab, click the name of the point cloud to select it.
  4. Navigate through the point cloud until you find a scanned target.
  5. From the left tree menu, click the Objects tab, then click Add Ref. Point.
  6. In the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select On Point Cloud.
  7. Click a point on the center of the target where the white and black squares touch, and a reference point will be created at the selected location.

Repeat steps 4 through 8 in the point cloud until all targets you want to use have a reference point. Remember to click Save in the upper right to save your new reference points.

Set Constraints

Next, you will need to set point to point constraints for each matching pair of points in the area and the point cloud.  These constraints are used to designate which area reference point corresponds to each point cloud reference point.

To set constraints:

  1. From the left tree menu under the Areas tab, click the cluster of the area that you want to align to bring up the cluster Info menu on the right.
  2. In the Info menu under the Properties tab, click Constraints > Add Constraint > Point to Point.
  3. In the Point Selection Method box that appears in the capture display window, select Reference Object.
  4. Click a reference point from the capture area to designate it as a point that will be moved when constraints are solved.
  5. Click the matching reference point from the point cloud to designate it as the point where the first point should be when constraints are solved. An arrow pointing from the capture area point to the point cloud point should appear.

Repeat steps 2 through 5 to pair each set of target points on the capture area and point cloud. Remember to click Save in the upper right to save your new constraints.

Solve Constraints

Once all constraints have been added, you can have the algorithm solve all constraints simultaneously to position the capture area more closely to the point cloud.

To solve constraints:

  1. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, make sure the following options are selected:
    • Ignore Z of Pt-Pt Const. - OFF
    • Allow Translation - ON
    • Rotate around Z - Multiple of 90-deg
    • Scale - Keep X, Y, Z Proportions
  2. Click Solve to apply the point to point constraints.
  3. In walkthrough, use the clipping panels to verify that the point cloud now closely matches the surfaces shown in the panos of the capture.
    Note: Refer to The Clipping Tool section in our article on Viewing Point Clouds in SiteView if you need help using the clipping panels.
  4. Once the area is satisfactorily aligned to the point cloud, click Save in the upper right.
  5. Under the Properties tab in the Info pane, click Lock Transformation to avoid accidentally moving the capture area.

You are now finished aligning the area to the point cloud.

Publish Point Cloud

Once the capture and point cloud have been properly aligned, you must publish the capture and point cloud to make them available for viewing in SiteView.

To publish a point cloud:

  1. In the Project Center, from the left menu click Captures, then double click the name of the capture that contains the point cloud.
  2. On the Capture Detail Page, click the List Point Clouds Uploaded icon to display the point cloud list.
  3. Right click on the point cloud name, then click the Publish checkbox.

The point cloud is now published and available in SiteView.

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