Friday, May 24, 2013

Point Clouds in Revit 2014

The underlying engine for Point Clouds has been redesigned and implemented in Revit as well as in other Autodesk products. This effort is the result of integrating other technology acquisitions Autodesk has made (Alice Labs primarily and RealViz) in the past year or so. You’ll also want to check out Autodesk ReCap when you get a chance, image below.

The new point cloud engine uses RCP/RCS formats. The RCP format is a project file while an RCS file is a scan file. A RCP file is a group of multiple RCS scan files. If you have raw data in other acceptable formats Revit will index it in the background and let you know when the indexing is complete. It is also possible to run the indexing apart from Revit using Autodesk ReCap which is included as part of the Building Design Suites (image above).

There is a command line approach available too, using the “AdPointCloudIndexer.exe”. This application is stored along with other installation data in the Program folder. Ben Malone (BIMopedia) wrote about this shortly after 2014’s release. This is a link to Ben’s original post.

We can now control the colour mode for each point cloud import using Visibility/Graphics.

They enhanced Revit’s sensitivity to points and planes within the point cloud data. This should make it easier to sketch model elements using the underlying cloud data. Revit will detect planes that are perpendicular to the current work plane and very close to the cursor. Zooming in the view will cause Revit to reset the view and it will be necessary to detect a plane again. Snapping directly to point cloud data is a low priority in snapping order. Planar snaps are the initial focus for detection. You can use the TAB key to cycle through other possible snap options.


FMN said...

Nice work! i´m searching for blog opinions on point cloud and revit modeling from them.

Do you have real experience on this matter?

Do you know how many time takes to model a building from a point cloud?
i know that there is a lot variables in this kind of "estimation" but maybe you know someone that know someno that knows!.

Keep working on your blog, it help´s a lot!
Greetings from Argentina.


Steve said...


I've done several projects using point cloud data and Revit. I don't do the scanning myself. I've just done the modeling part using scanning data from a client.

Yes the time and effort required will vary wildly depending on the type of project, how much scanning data you have and what the desired results are for.

Bettina said...

Hey Steve,

thank you a lot for all the helpful information on your blog.

Are you currently working with Revit 2015 and Point Clouds? We are having a lot of trouble since we switched from Revit 2013 to 2015. We even skipped the 2014 version as the program works so slowly when working with point clouds that it just doesn't make sense. It seems to me that the problem lies in the new rcp/rcs-format.

All I read on various websites is that the new point cloud engine should work really great - it just doesn't with us. It would be a great help if you could share your experience with Revit 2015 and point clouds with me.

Thank you,


Unknown said...

Pointclouds in Revit 2015 work just fine. We noticed a higher density cloud.

What format are you indexing? whats the point count per scan?

We export to e57 files. (This way each scan is "child" in the RCP/RCS structure. ) Then we can insert each RCS on its own, and even place them on worksets for easy user opening and closing depending on who is working on what.

If you have any specific question please ask. I am willing to help.

Travis Johnson