Pointfuse Software Powers Virtual Reality 'Preevues' for West End Shows
Maidenhead, 12 July 2018 – Pointfuse point cloud software is helping to boost the appeal of West End and Broadway shows. Used by laser scanning and virtual reality specialist Preevue, Pointfuse is dramatically reducing the time taken to process complex laser scans into usable and accessible 3D models to be used as part of their visualizations. These visualizations, created with Preevue’s in house Virtual Reality (VR) software, are used to see how a set design fits in a new theatre, optimize line of sight modifications to maximize ticket sales and provide virtual site visits. Preevue has already used Pointfuse to good effect on Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell The Musical when it made its West End debut earlier this year.
“The foundation of all our visualizations is laser scanning. Many theatres have no plans or they are inaccurate if they do exist, so laser scanning is a time and cost effective starting point,” commented Ryan Metcalfe, Founder and Managing Director Preevue. “However, visualizations are only ever as accurate as the scans you start with, so scanning to an accuracy of 2 millimeters gives us absolute confidence in the outputs we produce and the decisions that are subsequently made. This level of accuracy can, however, present its own issues such as the long turnaround times on triangulated meshes from the point cloud. Using Pointfuse allows us to get to work much sooner with a quickly generated 3D model.”
For example, working on Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell, Preevue completed a thorough laser scan of the Dominion Theatre in London’s West End using a FARO Focus X330. Capturing more than 150,000,000 individual measurements the resulting point cloud was more than 40GB in size. Prior to the introduction of Pointfuse to the workflow this raw data would have taken many days to process. However, using Pointfuse to create a 3D model with classified surfaces took just a few hours, giving the Preevue team a workable model to use as a base from which they could begin modelling in a fraction of the time.
The resulting outputs, including VR visualizations were used for both production and ongoing marketing including set design, site line checks, ticket pricing and venue and set CAD drafting. Preevue also developed a first of its kind augmented reality app to enhance the audience’s experience.
“Working on the Bat Out of Hell project we used Pointfuse to rapidly turn the point cloud into a mesh we could use to start modelling as soon as possible and within very tight timeframes,” continued Metcalfe. “We are excited to work closely with Pointfuse to further develop the software so we can achieve even better accuracy, even quicker!
Pointfuse is a powerful modeling engine that delivers an automatic, precise and flexible way of converting the vast point cloud datasets generated by laser scanners or photogrammetry into segmented mesh models. Pointfuse uses advanced statistical techniques to create 3D models where individual surfaces can be selected and classified as new layers in the Pointfuse environment and exported to IFC and FBX for manipulation in any industry-standard CAD system.
Offering ‘selectable surfaces’, Pointfuse provides a unique approach. Surfaces within the 3D mesh models produced by Pointfuse can now be identified, grouped and classified. These advancements within Pointfuse bring a catalyst to the workflow of design and engineering projects, offering efficiencies that have not been possible when working with point clouds or traditional mesh models.
Pointfuse also significantly reduces the file size of 3D models created from point clouds. In simple terms, the data density within each surface is reduced whilst still maintaining the fidelity of the model. This results in a reduction in model size by a factor of ten, making ongoing use of the model easier, faster and more efficient.
Preevue is a visualisation and VR consultancy company that provides its services for theatre, architecture and construction.
Combining LIDAR laser scanning and the latest virtual reality technology, Preevue creates highly accurate visualisations that allow designers, theatre producers, architects and contractors to be working in exact virtual replicas of spaces.
VR removes any ambiguity that exists with either physical models, renders, or 3D models on a screen. It takes seconds to understand a theatre, residential apartment block or building site when wearing a headset and walking around a 1:1 scale model, providing confidence in proposed design choices, sightlines and the feel for a space.
Past and ongoing projects include Bat Out of Hell The Musical, the 2017 Astana World Expo, Leeds Playhouse, King’s Head Theatre, and the redevelopment of Broadway’s Lyric Theatre in New York for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.