FAQ

I got warning icons and Missing vertex normals, Missing vertex colors and Missing scalars messages in Display panel

Loaded data does not have normals, colors or scalar fields so affected shading options cannot work properly, missing values are substitued by default normal or colors (exact values are in PCV > Load > General).

Points are missing when blend file is saved and reopened?

  • PCV does not store loaded points in blend file because there is no suitable data type available. only PCV settings and path to data file is stored. when blend file is reopened, points need to loaded or imported from linked file again by clicking Draw button.
  • If you are working with multiple PLY clouds at once, you can use PCV 3d viewport panel (viewport header top right corner: cloud icon) to Draw all PCV instances in scene at once.
  • Any changes to points made with PCV have to be saved using Export panel to PLY before quiting Blender or loading blend file otherwise will be lost.
  • Other option is to use Pack option that will automatically convert points to hidden mesh datablock on blend file save and restore on blend file load, but since blender uses only single precision floating point numbers for vertex positions, geolocated point data will lost its precision and cannot be moved exactly back. If you don't need to export points back to "world" locations (i.e. LAS/LAZ or E57 files) you can ignore this limitation.

How to render points in Cycles or Eeveee (with colors)?

  • Points need to be converted to Blender native data type that can be rendered in engine. Conversion target is mesh vertices with Geometry Nodes to turn them to instances or points, see PCV > Convert panel.
  • Converting points will create suitable color data and adds basic material using it so colors are preserved and available for render engine.
  • Mesh instances can be rendered in Cycles and Eevee, points are supported only by Cycles.

Platform Compatibility

  • Windows, Linux and macOS
  • see Optional Libraries Compatibility for more details on 3rd party libraries

Blender Compatibility

  • PCV 3.0 is for Blender 3.6 LTS and later

Large Datasets

  • currently, PCV needs to load all points from source file and keep them in system memory
  • during loading, system memory usage will peak quite high, 4 (and more in some cases) times the runtime usage
  • for display, PCV need to upload all points that are going to be displayed (you can control amount with PCV > Display > Percentage slider) to gpu memory
  • to determine approximate maximum number of points your gpu can display at once you can use calculator in PCV preferences (for example 8GB gpu can display ~300M points with default shader and disabled scalars), calculator formula is simple:
ram = 8192  # MB
b = (1024*1024) * ram  # bytes
# default shader uses 3x float32 for point location and 4x float32 for color (rgba)
# float32 takes 4 bytes, hence 3*4 + 4*4 bytes
n = int(b / (12 + 16))
print(n)  # 306783378
  • trying to display more points (i.e. uploading more data than gpu memory can contain) will result in Blender crash or freeze
  • when extremely big data need to be loaded and is not required to work with exactly all points, alternative loading methods Every Nth or Slice can be used to reduce number of points during loading

Is there a trial version?

No, sorry. it is not possible.

I got an error..

Please let me know "Ask a Question" sidebar button.

Ideal for any bug report would be starting Blender from command line and repeating error situation. Then copy messages from console window, add steps to reproduce it. If it is related to loading a point cloud file include it in report if it is possible.

I'd like to have X feature implemented..

Please let me know "Ask a Question" sidebar button. I am always open to suggestions.