Interactive dense point clouds in a game engine

Juho Pekka Virtanen*, Sylvie Daniel, Tuomas Turppa, Lingli Zhu, Arttu Julin, Hannu Hyyppä, Juha Hyyppä

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
808 Downloads (Pure)


With the development of 3D measurement systems, dense colored point clouds are increasingly available. However, up to now, their use in interactive applications has been restricted by the lack of support for point clouds in game engines. In addition, many of the existing applications for point clouds lack the capacity for fluent user interaction and application development. In this paper, we present the development and architecture of a game engine extension facilitating the interactive visualization of dense point clouds. The extension allows the development of game engine applications where users edit and interact with point clouds. To demonstrate the capabilities of the developed extension, a virtual reality head-mounted display is used and the rendering performance is evaluated. The result shows that the developed tools are sufficient for supporting real-time 3D visualization and interaction. Several promising use cases can be envisioned, including both the use of point clouds as 3D assets in interactive applications and leveraging the game engine point clouds in geomatics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-389
Number of pages15
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Game engine
  • Point cloud
  • VR


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