18th July 2018 Grzegorz Ciępka

Applications of TruView

The problem with presenting point cloud data is that regardless of the file format it requires some sort of software to present the graphical data. TruView made by Leica is an exception to this rule. It presents point cloud data using the simple internet browser and does this in the most intuitive way for people – a panoramic view from the scans position.

Screen from sample TruView.

TruView combines detailed view with point cloud features without any dedicated software

Features of TruView

TruView’s display mode – Panoramic View

From the user perspective point cloud presented in a TruView are very similar in appearance to panoramic photos. Despise a few differences we can treat it, as a panoramic photo and just use it to look around the registered area. This makes point cloud data easily accessible for people not familiar with CAD software.
TruView have significantly fewer requirements for computer hardware than regular point clouds displayed in any CAD environment. Because of that, it can work properly not only at workstations, but also on computers in conference rooms and portable devices usually not suited to handle a large amount of data.

Jumping around the site

Leica’s plugin has a very intuitive way of navigating within 3D space. Because it only presents data from one scanner position at the time there is no need for view cropping tools. In all views, we have icons that are used to jump to the adjacent scan position directly from the current one.

To make looking around even more efficient TruView project always comes with a site plan to quickly jump to distant position. This feature is also a great way to search and display scan position of interest

Taking simple measurements

If we want to measure some linear dimension visible from single scan position we can use tool build in a TruView plugin without a need to run any CAD software. This feature certainly does not offer the flexibility or precision required to build a precise 3D model or drawing, but can be successfully used to estimate key dimensions.

Screen from TruView showing measure distance tool in operation

Measurments in TruView are not taken very precisely, but are great for evaluating some dimensions

Draw directly on a panoramic view

Plugin comes with a variety of markup options that can be used to add some extra information to the panoramic view. Notes are made as an overlay to the certain view and are saved within .xml file.

Screen from TruView plugin showing sample user created markups

Panoramic image is a background for any markups made within it

Applications of TruView

Reviewing site

Having all registered area available to review on basically any computer is a huge facilitation for people that want to manage any action within such area. Because of “jumping” from scan position to adjacent on TruView in most cases can efficiently replace visiting the site for the negligible cost of few GB of Hard Drive space.

Screen showing TruView from a very dense industrial plant, very hard for people to access.

Even most remote site areas are easily accessible with complete TruView project

Verification of details

TruView is also a great way to verify details not visible on point cloud in CAD. In most cases cloud presented by Leica’s plugin have enough detail to serve as a photographic documentation, but it is still much easier to operate than separate photos.


Markups mentioned created in TruView are XML files. This makes them very easy to share. If multiple people share the same copy of TruView files on a server they see each other markups saved as “Views” in a particular scanner position. Each position can have a multitude of saved views and each view can contain an unlimited number of notes.
Such markups are very easy to share by email. All notes created in TruView are easily exportable to separate XML file. To use such files all users have to import notes to their copy of the TruView scan position.
To make organization of such files easier, every “View” can have a unique name, author and creation date. Files containing notes for TruView are usually only a few KB of size and can be easily shared via email. This is certainly one of the most efficient ways of marking something on the image without the need of actually sending large image files.

Types of TruView

Despise similarities between them, TruView files have two variants. One contains all point cloud data and the other uses fixed background image created as a screenshot from actual points.
The second option is the reason why TruView can be run onto almost any computer setup. This lightweight version requires about 1/10 or even less of memory needed to run full version, but along with the points, an ability to take measurements was removed.
While ordering TruView it is good to make sure what versions are the best for our task.

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