CloudDigitiser 2014


CloudDigitiser is a program to help digitising point clouds. Typically these point clouds have been obtained using some form of photogrammetry or laser scanning. CloudDigitiser allows the user to orient and scale the point cloud as required and then record measurements from the surface of the object. It was written to support Sellers WI, Hirasaki E. 2014. Markerless 3D motion capture for animal locomotion studies. Biology Open and we would appreciate it if you cite this paper in any scientific study that uses the program. In particular the program was written to allow rapid, manual digitisation and as such it is designed to record data flexibly, with the minimum number of key presses. The measurements produced are the means of the points contained within a user specified sphere centred at the point nearest to where the uses has the mouse when a letter or number key is pressed.
CloudDigitiser Screen Shot
The program is released as open source under the GNU licence and full source code is available. It is written in C++ using the Qt toolkit and so will compile under MacOSX, Windows and Linux. Binaries are available for MacOSX and Windows. The program requires OpenGL version 3 or higher so is unlikely to work in virtual machines. It also requires that the point cloud can be loaded onto the graphics card which means that it requires significant graphics card memory although anything fairly modern should be able to cope.
Please note that we didn’t write any of the actual photogrammetric software, just the tool to make digitising the results easy and the python scripts that allow you to process sets of movie files. These tools are easily installed on Linux distributions but require quite a bit more work to get them working on other computer systems. We have compiled them as static binaries for the Mac which means that the programs can just be copied to somewhere convenient and run from there. There are also links to all the source code required to compile the binaries on the Mac. We use ffmpeg for video editing so a recent version of this will need to be installed.
The best way to try out CloudDigitiser is to download the sample data and the correct binary file and open the Measurements.xml file from within the program. You can then step through the frames with the arrow keys and add, move or delete points using the letter and number keys. The mouse lets you move around the views using the left, right and centre buttons.
As always we would appreciate any feedback on our software. We do occasionally fix bugs and add features!