Using Scan Essentials

Scan Essentials Toolbar

Tip: Keyboard shortcuts can be assigned to any of the features in the Scan Essentials toolbar. Assigning shortcuts to the most frequently used features can improve your productivity while working with point clouds in SketchUp.
Loading & Unloading a point cloud

To load a point cloud into a SketchUp modeling session, use the File Open button () to select and load the point cloud file.

The supported point cloud file types are: RWP, TZF, e57, LAS/LAZ, and PLY. If the TZF, e57, LAS/LAZ, or PLY point cloud file type is used, the Scan Essentials extension will create a Realworks project file (RWP) during the loading process.

Multiple point clouds can be loaded into SketchUp by selecting multiple files at once during the loading step. The point clouds must be aligned with each other before importing into SketchUp.

Note: The point cloud used in SketchUp is session based only. The actual points will not be saved within the SketchUp model SKP file. A reference to the original point cloud file will be preserved in the SketchUp file for the purpose of reloading the point cloud in subsequent sessions.

To unload a point cloud from the SketchUp modeling session, us the Unload button (). This action will remove the point cloud from the SketchUp session.

Adjusting the Point Cloud Position

There are two methods to adjust the position of a point cloud in SketchUp’s modeling environment.

Move Point Cloud: Similar to SketchUp’s native Move tool, the Scan Essential Move tool allows you to move the position of the point cloud anywhere in 3D space.

Tip: When starting a new SketchUp file with a point cloud, for best results, move the area of the point cloud you will be using closest to the SketchUp origin.

Rotate Point Cloud: Like SketchUp’s native Rotate tool, the Scan Essential Rotate tool will rotate the point cloud about a user defined point.

Point Cloud Blending

There are multiple visual Blending modes you can set for the loaded point cloud and the model geometry together. These blending modes can assist in the modeling and visualization process.

  • 0% Blending: Point cloud is visually removed from the modeling window.
  • 50% Blending: Point cloud is at 50% transparency.
  • 75% Blending: Point cloud is at 75% transparency.
  • 100% Blending: Point cloud is at 100% transparency (fully visible).
  • Conditional Blending with Half Resolution: Half of the points are displayed around the SketchUp surface.
  • Conditional Blending with Transparency: 50% transparency is applied to points that are close to SketchUp entities.
Point Cloud Interaction

The interaction modes set different levels of prioritization when interacting (inferencing and snapping) with SketchUp geometry and the points in the point cloud.

Disable Point Cloud Snapping: This mode only allows for the detection and interaction with native SketchUp entities. Use Case: When SketchUp entities are in close proximity with points in a point cloud.

Point Cloud Pick: This mode prioritizes the snapping to points in a point cloud over native SketchUp entities.

SketchUp Pick: This mode prioritizes the snapping to SketchUp entities over points in the point cloud. This is especially useful when attempting to snap to SketchUp geometry that is positioned behind a elements of a point cloud.

Guide creation Tools

The Scan Essentials extension provides a few tools that allow you to mark specific points and distances between points in a point cloud for reference.

The Guide Point tool places a construction guide point on a point cloud.

The Guide Line tool places a construction guideline between two points on a point cloud.

Tip: Holding Alt Key will create a guide line perpendicular to a referenced surface.
Clipping Box Tools

The Scan Essentials extension provides a few ways to control how much of the point cloud you would like to see in the modeling environment. Along with SketchUp’s natve Section feature (see below), there is a point cloud Clipping Box that can be created in order to isolate specific areas of the point cloud for visualization.

  • Reset Clipping Box Transformation
  • Deactivate Clipping Box
  • Create Clipping Box from Point Cloud
  • Create Clipping Box from current SketchUp selection
  • Create Clipping Box from Cloud Selection