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I have a .ply file which contains coordinates of vertices. I've been trying to create a smooth surface which should look something like this. Boundary surface

How can I create such a surface? Is there a efficient way to make it fast and automatized? I have lot of .ply which I need model and I wasn't able to create a single one on my own.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you post an example file to experiment with? $\endgroup$ – Ed Tate Mar 12 '16 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ Just click on the .PLY and you will be directed to a file. $\endgroup$ – Peter H. Mar 12 '16 at 19:20
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A solution is to use meshlab to generate a surface then import the stl into blender. This is how the image below was generated from the .ply file.

enter image description here


Detailed Steps

  1. Open Meshlab (get from http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/ )
  2. Import the .ply file (File>Import Mesh ...)
  3. Select all points ( Filers>Selection>Select all )
  4. Compute normal ( Filters>Normals, Curvature, and Orientation> Compute normal for point set)
  5. Create a surfaces ( Filters>Remeshing, Simplification, and Reconstruction>Surface Reconstruction: Poisson )
  6. Export Mesh as an .stl file ( File>Export Mesh... )
  7. Import the .stl into Blender.

You should be able to automate the meshlab step using scripts. See http://www.andrewhazelden.com/blog/2012/04/automate-your-meshlab-workflow-with-mlx-filter-scripts/ . You can automate the process from within Blender using Python to call the meshlab scripts.


A tutorial on this is at http://fabacademy.org/archives/2014/tutorials/pointcloudToSTL.html

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  • $\begingroup$ Before I tried Blender I used Meshlab. When I created a surface in Meshlab it connected places which shoul not be. See the pic bellow drive.google.com/file/d/0B92Nk-QHod5xSjRlUG1LZGtfbm8/… The sides of this model should be empty and the wholy body is hollow. $\endgroup$ – Peter H. Mar 12 '16 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ 1) Is there structure to the point clouds that would simplify working with them? For example are all of the clouds tubes with hollow interiors? Are all of the clouds the same length? 2) Can you preprocess the point clouds to add points, then use an operation like a cut to remove he end caps? $\endgroup$ – Ed Tate Mar 12 '16 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ All the models which I need to make have hollow interiors They are not the same length and have different shapes and the rest of those .ply files contain much more vertices. This one which I supplied has about 15k vertices. Other files have about 50k. I cant add points but it is OK to just cut off the end caps. $\endgroup$ – Peter H. Mar 12 '16 at 22:14

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