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PCL and ParaView -- Connecting the Dots

The PCL plugin for ParaView, developed by Kitware, Inc., allows users to access algorithms from the Point Cloud Processing Library (PCL) within ParaView. ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization framework. The plugin also provides Python bindings for the filters using VTK's python wrapping, thus enabling fast prototyping and integration with NumPy and SciPy. With point cloud data loaded in ParaView, users can interactively apply PCL algorithms, color the point clouds by different attributes, and compose complex processing pipelines to explore the point cloud data.

The PCL plugin for ParaView will be presented during the demo sessions of the International Workshop on Point Cloud Processing and the PCL tutorial at CVPR 2012 in Providence, RI (Saturday, June 16, 4.55pm - 6.30pm and Sunday, June 17, from 4:30pm).

(PCL is a proud sponsor of CVPR 2012.)

PCL logo Paraview logo Kitware logo CVPR 2012 logo

At the current stage of development, the plugin provides several of PCL's core algorithms for point cloud processing, including:

  • Euclidean cluster extraction
  • Robust plane/cylinder fitting (using RANSAC)
  • Surface normal estimation
  • VoxelGrid filter for downsampling
  • Radius-based outlier removal


The following video demonstrates the Point Cloud Library plugin for ParaView. Using the ParaView GUI, a pipeline of PCL filters is constructed to segment objects sitting on a tabletop. A Microsoft Kinect camera supplies a continuous stream of point clouds and the segmentation pipeline is updated in real-time within ParaView.

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