PointCraft: Harnessing Players’ FPS Skills to Interactively Trace Point Clouds in 3D

Kathleen Tuite, Rahul Banerjee, Noah Snavely, Jovan Popović, Zoran Popović
Foundations of Digital Games 2015 (Awarded Best Paper in Serious Games track)
[pdf] [video]

PointCraft is a first-person 3D modeling tool for tracing point clouds in 3D. It is for architecting solid 3D geometry from a point cloud that is too noisy for a computer to process, from a first-person perspective.


Latest version: 0.9

Why this is awesome

Say you've come into possession of a point cloud, maybe because you were previously working on a game called PhotoCity that produced a whole bunch of point cloud buildings, or maybe you've laser scanned something, or used your kinect, or reconstructed something from photos with an online service like Hypr3d. Anyway, you have a point cloud and you want to turn it into a nice, clean polygon mesh. TOO BAD!!! That's not entirely true, there are automatic surface reconstruction algorithms out there, but in my opinion, they're pretty crappy. They're lumpy or slow or impossible to compile (ohhh, grad student code) or they fail miserably on your data because the computer is making certain assumptions that just aren't true in your data. But YOU can see the structure in the point cloud, why can't you just get in there and mark out the shape yourself? This approach might turn out to be really tedious, but I think starting with something basic that actually works and figuring out how to make it better will be more successful than starting with something complicated and half-broken and trying to figure out how to fix it.

See? Nice, beautiful point cloud --> simple geometry

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