Yay...does someone know how to create 3D images ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SeRgIo_42, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. SeRgIo_42 macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2004
    It must be long shot but if someone has an idea about how to start this, it will be all worthy.

    I need to build one tridimensional image from dots. By "dots" you can think about spatial positions XYZ. So, what I have is a huge collection of these individual positions in a single file. Then, if you are able to plot these positions altogether using some 3D program and then build a "surface" on top of them, you would see a tridimensional object.

    I looked around sourceforge and I did find an interesting solution using GNUPLOT but the image quality is very poor (and later on, I would like to know how to compute its volume or area surface which GNUPLOT can't do it). Since a friend of mine has Cinema 4D, I did a research but that's not the way to go because I am not trying to create a movie but just one image.

    I imagine that there must be some pro software that could trivially do this task but I am not aware of its existence...

    Maybe someone could shed a light to this problem. ;)

    Thank a bunch,

  2. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    I don't know alot about the app, but maybe Mathematica can do it?
  3. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Sounds like you are looking to do some ray tracing. The open source software "POV" is a reasonable start.
  4. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    If you know anything about programming, I'm sure you could whip out a quick OpenGL app to read the file without TOO much trouble...
  5. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    You mean something like Realviz's Image Modeler? Awesome program, but steep learning curve and pricey...
  6. SeRgIo_42 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2004
    Thanks for all posts so far.

    Years back I looked to POV-Ray but despite its powerful tools, there were pitfalls. In this specific case, the problem remains because when you have too many points around some position (ie, you have to withdraw them before building any surface otherwise the program does not know which surface belongs to which point). It is not a bug but a numerical limitation. Anyway, it was good to check what they did int the newest version. Thanks !

    Mathematica works best with functions. I know it is possible to build a point-by-point line, but I do not believe this would work because there are too many points. I build one 3D surface once after overlapping several 2D lines and it was a pain to setup the code.

    So, I could write a script to get rid of these points but still there could be a better way...about OpenGl, I will give a look now. I do know how it works but I read somewhere about molecular visualization which uses OpenGl.

    I will keep my hope.

  7. SeRgIo_42 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2004

    I am not working with pictures but points.
    Imagine you are at Florida Keys :)D) building a sand castle. Each grain
    of sand is what I call "dot". After putting gazillions of dots altogether the castle object is formed.

    That's exactly what I want to do. I will put all dots together but what really matters at the end is the final external surface defining its volume. That's it.

    I should consider changing careers... :rolleyes:

  8. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Ultimately, the problem you face is that 3D modelling is done in terms of surfaces. Generally these surfaces are broken up into triangles.

    It sounds like you just have a collection of points and you want to determine the external surface. In Computer Graphics terms, you want to determine the convex hull that will contain the points. You may be able to find an example program on the web that allows you to enter a set of data points.
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Look into a product called Cyclone from Leica Geosystems. Its really a HW and SW package that allows you to take data points and do what you're asking to do with them. I've seen it work and its pretty neat. But it's really expensive and you need a really fast computer (Dual CPU P4@3.2 and about 4GB of RAM.)

    The Software is called Cyclone Suite (version 5.4.1 is the latest). They also have CloudWorks which can handle the point files. There's also a plug-in for AutoCAD. I'm not really that familiar with the software other than what I've already posted, but you might want to look into this.


    Edit: Oh, BTW, these are Windows only.
  10. vitruvius macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2002
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Hello, youre looking for a process called "Point Cloud Re-engineering" that is take some amount of 3d point in space and convert to a volumetric 3d mesh, some software can do it, i know FormZ has a plug in for that ( http://www.formz.com ) , if you google for " Point Cloud " youll find some other options,



Share This Page