ColourCloud set to transform laser scans

An 11th Century church captured with 9 laser scans colourised in HDR using ColourCloud
An 11th Century church captured with 9 laser scans colourised in HDR using ColourCloud

THE creators of iSTAR®, the 360º panoramic digital imaging device, are launching ColourCloudTM, the world’s fastest automatic HDR point cloud colourisation software.

NCTech’s latest technology will offer architects and surveyors rapid, pixel-perfect overlay to support iSTAR files and e57 industry standard laser scan outputs from leading scanner manufacturers including Trimble, Leica Geosystems and Faro.

Architects and surveyors working on location can now capture HDR images at each scan position in just 20 seconds, significantly reducing the time spent onsite. The ColourCloudTM batch-processing capability also reduces post-capture scan colourisation to a fraction of the time normally taken.

Providing fully automatic colourisation, the ColourCloudTM process speeds up workflow rates, requires no stitching, resolves parallax issues and is precision calibrated to sub-pixel accuracy. The end result is full colour HDR overlay from any laser scan to within +/-2 pixels.

Neil Tocher, Chief Technical Officer of NCTech Limited, said,

“From our research, we know Architecture and Surveying professionals want the ability to speed up workflow rate where laser scanning and imaging is concerned. ColourCloudTM is designed to use a single open file format to integrate into the existing output from software across all manufacturers scanning devices and is a significant improvement on existing processes which can take a professional considerable time to colourise a single 3D scan from a scanner.

“This means that hundreds of millions of 3D scan data points can be colourised from an iSTAR image in seconds. We are redefining the colourisation process with total automation in a fraction of the time it currently takes.”

As a comparison, NCTech Limited highlights an example in which the iSTAR camera captured a 50 million pixel image within 20 seconds; the same resolution scan (without colour) would take around 20-30 minutes.

A high dynamic range capture of up to nine exposures takes just over two minutes with iSTAR. This is a fully automatic process, done at the push of a button.

NCTech Limited’s CEO, Cameron Ure, added,

“This is a significant milestone in offering the laser scanning market an innovative step-change solution for Architects and Surveyors, whilst delivering a leap in visual quality and detail.

“Via current and prospective clients we know that companies in these professions have been waiting for this product. It saves time, seamlessly assists the entire workflow and the ability to automatically colourise an entire point cloud is ground-breaking for the laser scanning industry.”