Monday, April 30, 2018

Better point cloud visualization in Cloud Compare with Eye Dome Lighting shading

Typically, LiDAR point clouds are displayed as a mass of colored points without perception of depth in a viewer. This can be hard to visualize objects or find your orientation in the point cloud. CloudCompare has a shading filter called the Eye Dome Lighting or EDL for short that can be used to apply a sort of depth outline around objects in the point cloud.

To use the EDL shader, do the following:
  1. In CloudCompare, load a point cloud file.

    The point cloud is displayed.
  2. Optional. To color the cloud, select the menu option Edit | Colors | Height Ramp.

    The Gradient color dialog box appears.

  3. Accept the default settings and click OK.

    The cloud is displayed with a default height ramp from blue (lowest) to red (highest).
  4. Now improve the display by applying the EDL Shader. In the menu, select Display | Shaders and Filters | E.D.L. (Shader).

    The shading is applied to the point cloud.