This article gives several tips and tricks for a successful point cloud project/workflow in Pythagoras. 

These recommendation will make sure that performance will be as high as possible while handling your point cloud project.

On our Pythagoras Showcase video page you can find several videos about point clouds. Be sure to check it out: 

1. Project Size

Always try to keep the size of the point cloud as close to the actual size of the project. 

Point clouds which are much larger compared to the real world project make it harder to move around in the 3D window of Pythagoras. 

It will make it harder to find that part of the point cloud that is of interest to you.

2. Deleting Point Cloud Points

Pythagoras software has the ability to erase parts of a point cloud in the 2D and 3D window. You can find these tools on the lefthand side of the 2D or 3D window.

2D window:

3D window:

All the clipping requests are stored in a separate file to avoid having to reconvert the point cloud after every clipping request.

3. Section Boxes / Sections

When you imported a larger point cloud in Pythagoras and you want to evaluate, analyze or vectorize parts of this point cloud, sections and sections boxes are a very powerful tool to isolate parts of the point cloud.

Pythagoras has three types of sections:

  • Vertical section (1st tool)
  • Horizontal section (2nd tool)
  • Section box (3rd tool)

The vertical and horizontal section tools create a section in the entire point cloud.

The section box tool can isolate a specific part of the point cloud.

Horizontal or vertical section:

When creating a horizontal or vertical section you will see a result as in the above image.

Within the red rectangle you will see two yellow arrows and one red circle. With the yellow arrows you can change the thickness of the slice. Using the red circle you can change the location of the slice.

Section box:

When creating a section box you will see a result as in the above image.

Within the red rectangle you will see a small blue arrow. With the small blue arrows you can change the width of the slice in the blue direction. The same behavior can be expected from the small yellow and the small green arrows on the outer limits of the section box.

Within the blue rectangle you will see a large blue, yellow and green arrow. With these arrows you can rotate and move the section box in the blue, yellow or green direction

The use of sections and section boxes is crucial for a smooth point cloud workflow in Pythagoras.

4. Drawing Planes

To easily draw in the 3D window we implemented the use of drawing or projection planes in Pythagoras. 

Pythagoras has three types of planes:

  • Vertical plane (1st tool) - For façade and elevation drawings
  • Horizontal plane (2nd tool) - For floor plans
  • Free plane (3rd tool) - For sloped roofs

When a plan is activated all objects that are drawn in the 3D window will be projected in the active plane. 

When creating a plane in any direction you will see a result as in the above image. 

The plane is presented as a light grey plane (compared to the darker grey area that represents the 3D drawing area).

Within the red rectangle you see a magenta dashed line. This line represents the projection direction. When a point is drawn in this location, it will be projected on the light grey plan.

The use of drawing or projection planes is crucial for a smooth point cloud workflow in Pythagoras.

5. Screen Settings

To have better views on point clouds and to better analyse point clouds we implemented several screen settings.

The two most important settings are highlighted in the above image.


Also known as Eye Dome Lighting. This settings will create of shade in your point cloud to highlight objects that are apart from each other. 

Dynamic (point size):

Dynamic point size is a very important tool when moving close to a specific part in the point cloud. By changing the size of the point cloud points dynamically, Pythagoras will create a model-like effect that avoids parts of the point cloud of becoming less visible and transparent. 

6. Helmert Transformation

It is possible to do a Helmert Transformation on a point cloud. For smaller projects this transformation will have no big effect, but larger projects will become less performant in Pythagoras when a transformation is active.

It is best to make sure the actual coordinates of the point cloud are correct before importing the point cloud in Pythagoras by georeferencing the point cloud in the software provided by the hardware manufacturer. 

This to keep the point cloud as clean as possible in Pythagoras and performance as high as possible.

7. Combining Data

It is possible to combine other data with a point cloud. 

When the area of the other data is much larger than the area of the point cloud performance will drop. 

For example: combining a large GeoTIFF image with a smaller point cloud of the same area could cause a performance drop because of the higher performance requested from the graphics card and processor.