../../_images/icon_new_surface_points1.png

Surface Points Object

Overview

  • The Surface Points object can be used to generate synthetic point clouds from scene geometry by distributing points on the surface of one or more meshes.
  • The resulting point cloud will acquire relevant data like face Normals, Colors and UV coordinates from the source mesh.

Surface Points Rollout

  • The Surface Points Rollout contains the general object controls including name, point count, and auto/manual updating.
../../_images/surface_points_general_rollout.png

Name Field

  • The Name field shows the name of the selected object.
  • The name is generated automatically in the form SurfacePointsNNN, where NNN is an integer padded to 3 digits, starting and 1 and incremented with each new Surface Points creation.
  • The name can be edited by the user to better describe the purpose/function of the object.

Points Field

  • The Points field shows the number of points created by the object.
  • The field is Read-only - you can select and copy the value, but cannot change it.

Auto Update Checkbutton

  • When unchecked, the re-generation of the point data can be triggered only manually by pressing the [Update Points] button (see below).
  • When checked (default), the point data will be recreated automatically after every change to the object’s properties, as long as the [Use Auto Update] global option in the Task Manager is also checked.
  • If a previous update task is already queued in the Task Manager, it will be replaced by the new task.
  • By default, the update will start 1 second (1000 ms) after the last change. This value can be modified using Options > Configuration > Auto Update Delay (milliseconds)

Update Points Button

  • Pressing this button will force the re-creation of the points using the current settings.
  • When pressed, a new Task will be added to the Task Manager and the loading will be performed asynchronously in the background without blocking the UI and Viewports.
  • Note that selecting the onject and pressing F5 or picking the Main Menu > Display > Update Selected Object menu item will have a similar effect, but will also update any dependent objects (for example Meshers or Mesh Loaders) in addition to rebuilding the points.

Display Rollout

  • The Display Rollout contains the controls over the viewport display of the points.
../../_images/surface_points_display_rollout.png

Color Channel Dropdown List

  • The Color Channels list defines the data source to be used to draw the points in the Viewport.
  • The Color Channel list contains the point data channels found in the file, plus a [User Color] entry which enables the override color swatch to the right.
  • When the point data contains a valid Color channel, the list will default to it.
  • The list typically contains one of the following color sources:
    • [User Color] - overrides the color of all points with the User Color value defined by the swatch next to the list
    • Color - uses the Color channel (will exist if the source mesh contained a vertex Color channel).
    • Position - the Position channel defining the 3D positions of the point samples in object space.
    • Normal - available in a Surface Points object with a valid mesh source, sampled from the face normals of the source mesh.
  • Note that switching to any of the optional Channels like Position or Normal requires the rebuilding of the data by pressing the [Update Points] button for the change to take effect.
  • Switching to [User Color] override does not require a rebuilding of the point data.

User Color Swatch

  • Defaults to White.
  • Defines a single override color to be assigned to all points when displaying in the Viewports.
  • Clicking on the swatch to open the Color Picker will also automatically switch the Color Channel list to [User Color] for the change to take immediate effect.

Scale Channel Slider

  • Scales the Color Channel values.
  • Defaults to 1.0.

Use Lighting Checkbutton

  • Only enabled when a Normal channel is found in the point data.
  • When disabled, it will list the reason (Missing Normal Channel) in its caption.
  • When enabled, it can be checked to allow the shading of the points using the scene lights (if enabled for the Viewport via the Viewport Lighting And Shading toolbar).
  • When unchecked, no lighting will be performed.

Mesh Sources Rollout

../../_images/surface_points_mesh_sources_rollout.png
  • Lists the mesh source objects.
  • Double-click an entry from the list to change the selection to the respective object.

Add Button

  • Press to open the Object Picker Dialog listing all valid Mesh sources in the current document.
  • Highlight one or more sources and press [OK] to add them as inputs.
  • Objects that are already added to the Mesh Sources List will not appear in the Object Picker Dialog.
  • Alternatively, press [Cancel] to dismiss the dialog without adding.

Remove Button

  • Highlight one or more entries on the list and press the [Remove] button to disconnect the selected inputs.

Settings Rollout

../../_images/surface_points_settings_rollout.png

Distribution Dropdown List

  • Controls the distribution method.
  • Possible values are:
    • By Count - the total number of surface point samples will be specified via a dedicated Count slider (see below).
    • By Spacing - the Spacing between the surface point samples will be specified via a dedicated Spacing slider (see below).

Count Slider

  • Only visible when the Distribution dropdown list is set to By Count.
  • Default is 100,000.
  • The slider range is from 1 to 1,000,000, but higher values can be entered via the value field.

Spacing Slider

  • Only visible when the Distribution dropdown list is set to By Spacing.
  • Default is 1.0.
  • The slider range is from 0.001 to 10.0, but higher and lower positive values can be entered via the value field.

Seed Slider

  • Defines the random seed for the point distribution.
  • The same seed value will produce the same random pattern from a specific mesh.
  • Default is 0.
  • The slider range is from 0 to 1024, but lower and higher values outside of the range can be entered by typing into the value field.

Export Rollout

  • The Export rollout lets you export the Surface Point data to a supported file format on disk.
../../_images/surface_points_export_rollout.png

Export Object Space... Button

  • Pressing this button opens an “Export Point File” file save dialog.
  • Specify a file name and format and press the [Save] button to export, or [Cancel] to abort.
  • The data will be saved in object space, ignoring any world space transformations.

Export World Space... Button

  • Pressing this button opens an “Export Point File” file save dialog.
  • Specify a file name and format and press the [Save] button to export, or [Cancel] to abort.
  • The data will be saved in world space, taking into account world space transformations.