Knowledge Base

Article Number: 53 | VC4 | Post Date: December 21, 2017 | Last Updated: January 29, 2018

I have a point cloud in las format from Pix4D, how can I load it into Virtual CRASH 4? How do I export point clouds from CloudCompare?

You cannot import LAS files directly into Virtual CRASH 4; however, using the free app CloudCompare, it only takes a few minutes to convert the LAS file to pts or xyz format for Virtual CRASH 4. Pix4D also allows users to export point clouds in xyz format. We review the required steps below. 

Method 1: Open las file in CloudCompare and export as pts. Load pts in Virtual CRASH 4

First start by going to and go to the download page.

Scroll down the download page and download and install the desired version.

In this example, we are using version 2.9. Load the las file into CloudCompare. A dialog box will appear with various options. In most cases, you can simply press “Apply all”.

If your coordinates have large values, such as points given in State plane, CloudCompare will give you an option to globally shift all points so that no numerical precision is lost when displaying the point cloud within the viewer. Simply press “Yes to All” here.

Now you should be able to see your point cloud in the CloudCompare viewer. Using methods shown Chapter 18 of the User’s Guide and Appendix 5 of the User’s Guide, you can crop and remove unwanted points.


Exporting pts files from CloudCompare

Left-click on the point cloud object in the left-side object browser in order to select it.

With the file selected, go to File > Save. You should now see the file browser appear. Using the file type dropdown menu, select ASCII cloud. Give your file a .pts extension. Here we named our file “myScene – Cloud.pts”.

Take care to ensure that the separator is set to "space" as currently only white spaces can separate columns for point cloud files imported to Virtual CRASH.


Finally, the Save ASCII file dialog box will appear. Under “order” select “[ASC] point, color, SF(s), normal”. Now press “save”.  

The pts file will be created with the format: x y z red blue green. This is shown below. Here the x y z positions are not shifted, but are the original values from the las file (here in state plane).

You can now import the pts file into Virtual CRASH, as shown in Chapter 20 of the User’s Guide.

Method 2: Export data in xyz file format from Pix4D

Pix4D also lets you export data in xyz format, which is supported by Virtual CRASH 4. Click here to learn more.

Tags: las files, pts file, opening las file, Pix4D, pix 4d, drones, point clouds, convert las.

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