ReCap 360’s Reality Capture Brings 3D Imaging to All

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Of all the ways to start construction, renovation, or remodeling work, reality capture is the most efficient.

Instead of starting from a “blank page,” you can use reality capture solutions like Autodesk’s ReCap 360 to generate a 3D data set of your site as it was built. This gives you an accurate and complete capture of your site’s measurements, which helps to reduce the time you spend on design and virtually eliminates costly re-work.

If you haven’t started using reality capture because it sounds too complicated or too expensive—it’s not.

Simple Workflow

ReCap 360 is designed to make every step of the reality-capture process as easy and user-friendly as possible. Here’s how the software’s two major workflows break down:

You can use a LiDAR scanner to automatically gather precise, detailed 3D measurements of your site. Next, import the scans into ReCap 360, where you can process them using simple tools that align, measure, markup, and edit your data into the deliverable you need.

ReCap 360 also allows you to choose a photogrammetry workflow, which comes at a considerably lower cost than using LiDAR. This involves taking photos of your site using a high-definition camera—a task you can perform from the ground, or aerially, by attaching a camera to a UAV. After that, upload the photos through ReCap 360 web portal, which automatically generates a detailed, photo-realistic 3D point cloud or mesh, or an orthographic view.

Of course, every project is different, and there are some use cases where you might want both LiDAR and photogrammetry data to ensure that you’re getting the most complete measurements of your site. ReCap 360 will combine these two data sets. Use that feature, for example, when you need to append your laser-scanned point cloud with photogrammetry of areas you can’t capture with LiDAR, like a rooftop.

3D Capture for Everyone

Autodesk’s ReCap 360 solution makes reality capture more accessible by simplifying the workflow, but it’s worth noting that the software also comes in at a very aggressive price point. Autodesk offers a free version of ReCap 360 that you can use to get your feet wet, and a Pro version that adds a lot of features at a cost of only $300 a year.

Benefits of Going Pro

This Pro version offers a bunch of powerful processing tools that make it easy to get clean, usable 3D data from your scans or photos. Like the free version, it includes a whole suite of tools for processing terrestrial laser scans (colorization, registration, clipping, regioning…), but the Pro version also boasts several data services that leverage the power of cloud computing.

The Scan to Mesh feature, for instance, uses Autodesk’s cloud services to turn large terrestrial laser point clouds into smaller mesh files that are easier to use when you’re ready to work on the model in Revit or Infraworks. The Fly features also use the cloud to process your drone photos into a point cloud, orthographic views, and photo-textured 3D meshes.

Other features allow you to add survey control to your 3D data, or save you hours of work by automatically cleaning noise like people and cars from your scan data. These are just a few of the tools on offer.

Once you’re done with the 3D data in ReCap 360 Pro, use the sharing options to export it to Autodesk design software like AutoCAD or Revit.

In other words, ReCap 360 is designed to be user-friendly, affordable, and powerful. It enables a wide range of people to make their construction, remodeling, and renovation work faster and more efficient by exploiting the power of reality capture.

For more about ReCap 360, or to download a 30-day free trial of ReCap 360 Pro, see Autodesk’s official page.

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About Author

SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D's weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and spar3d.com. Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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