[ros-users] surfels and rviz

Radu Bogdan Rusu rusu at willowgarage.com
Wed Feb 2 18:47:12 UTC 2011


We recently addressed the surfels discussions internally, and couldn't come up to a conclusion on whether they make 
sense for processing or not. While they are certainly useful for rendering (they were developed for that purpose in 
Computer Graphics), we're not sure if they would complement or heavily intersect with the other primitives that we've 
been using. We already have points with normals and support size and other features, and we've been using them for 
years, except they are called differently.

In terms of adding another point type to PCL, sure, that is possible, but please use pcl-users@, and let's discuss it 
asap, so we get it in 1.0. We're more than happy to extend the family of supported types, especially if people want to 
use them.

As far as PointCloud2 support goes, diamondback is locked and we cannot make any changes. For RViz again, I'm not sure 
exactly what they would bring new... I guess the visualization would be a bit prettier and you would have non-uniform 
point sizes? :)


On 02/02/2011 10:41 AM, Stéphane Magnenat wrote:
> Hello,
> In the continuation of our work with the kinect, we are interested at
> looking into combining multiple scans using surfels. Surfels [1] are
> oriented surface elements (point+normal+radius), and typically hold
> color information and view statistics, to provide intelligence to the
> update process. Recent works [2,3] tend to indicate that surfels are
> well-suited for RGB-D sensors such as the kinect.
> We are interested in adding surfel support to rviz/ros. To that end, it
> would be nice to agree on a naming convention for surfels, maybe to add
> a corresponding type to pcl/point_types.hpp, and to add support in rviz.
> Are there other people around interested in surfels? Are there some best
> practice on how to extend the PointCloud(2) support in rviz?
> Thank you, kind regards,
> Stéphane
> [1] Pfister et al., Surfels: surface elements as rendering primitives
> http://www.cg.inf.ethz.ch/Downloads/Publications/Papers/2000/p_Pfi00.pdf
> [2] T Weise et al., In-hand Scanning with Online Loop Closure
> http://www.mmp.rwth-aachen.de/publications/pdf/weise-onlineloopclosure-3dim09.pdf
> [3] Henry et al. - RGB-D Mapping: Using Depth Cameras for Dense 3D
> Modeling of Indoor Environments
> http://www.seattle.intel-research.net/RGBD/RGBD-RSS2010/papers/henry-RGBD10-RGBD-mapping.pdf

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