Working with CAD files and Pointcloud files in Houdini?

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116 posts
Joined: June 2016

I work @ work with 3d scanners (FARO scanners) pointclouds i merge and fix in program named Scene
Files that i can save out from it are:

Revit where i can then draw walls etc can open up this pointcloud file and i am able to export out from Revit following files types:

My problem with those is that those files are not accurate 3D elements (OBJ files).
Added images as samples.
My goal is to find good workflow when working with pointclouds and creating 3d model from those.

1. is there a way to load in Pointcloud file directly to Houdini? (formats that i can save out are:
.e57 (E57 Files)
.wrl (VRML Files)
.dxf (DXF Files)
.xyz (XYZ Ascii Files)
.xyb (XYZ Binary Files)
.igs (IGES Files)
.pts (PTS Files)
.ptx (PTX Files)
.pod (Pointools Files)
.fls (SCENE Scan File)
2. If there is no support for pointcloud files is there some sort of option that i can some how turn those files to proper 3D elements whithout starting to model everything from scratch.
I do not need to use Revit as modeling tool. I use revit as reference tool as inside of revit i have pointcloud and i can rotate it around and start drawing walls and floors and windows by following pointcloud.

3. How to fix topology for FBX format model?

pointcloud to houdini3.png (54.3 KB)
pointcloud to houdini1.png (171.1 KB)
pointcloud to houdini.png (923.9 KB)

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85 posts
Joined: Oct. 2015
try this (free) open 3D point cloud and mesh processing software that's
Open Source Project CloudCompare []

export from the program above a .fbx or .obj

file formats it can read and export []

see if does a better job then Revit
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8 posts
Joined: Feb. 2018
Yes, it is entirely possible to import point clouds from Lidar or whatever. I can't remember which way it goes but Houdini imports either a .pts and .ply file. But they are basically the same thing you just change the header. That's what I did when I had to get data in from a Faro. Since that time there have been improvements to this workflow. As well you should look into the Houdini/Reality Capture plug-in that I think is out in beta.

I think that Houdini now has a Lidar Sop that natively handles e57 as well as something else…not in front of Houdini at the moment.

As far as free goes, a lot of work can also be done in cloud compare - []

From Revit, I would go.fbx and in some rare cases, I have had to use .iges which Houdini handles well. Most of your listed formats can be read into Houdini without issue.
Edited by jordanhalsey - Oct. 24, 2018 11:32:30
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116 posts
Joined: June 2016
I was able to import pointcloud to Houdini but is there a way to convert pointcloud to OBJ file / pollygon mesh. ?
End goal is to be able to do uv-d and texture model.
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467 posts
Joined: Dec. 2006
Maybe use []
should do everything what you need :-)
English is not my native language, sorry in advance for any misunderstanding :-)
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