Scan Essentials Guide lines don't work

Hello. I use guide lines quite often for certain drawings. I upgraded to Studio earlier this year mainly to use Scan Essentials with point clouds. Also just updated to SU 2022 this past week. The problem I’ve been having is that when the point cloud is visible I’m not able to set guide lines accurately–if I type a dimension and press enter while trying to set a guide line, it drops the guide line in some random spot. I can toggle the point cloud visibility to off and then the guides work as they always have, where I type a dimension and press enter and the guide line goes to the intended spot.

Is this a bug, or is there a trick I’m not aware of? I’m using a Lenovo P51 with a second monitor, with 3D Connexion SpaceMouse Pro wireless, CadMouse Pro wireless, Keyboard Pro, Numpad Pro. I’m generating the point clouds with a Trimble X7.

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Are you using the Tape Measure Tool to create guidelines, or are you using the Scan Essentials Guideline Tool to create a line between two points?

I just tested and it seems that the Scan Essentials Guideline Tool does not allow for inputting distance (dimension) like the Tape Measure Guideline Tool does. Instead, two points are selected.

I did notice that if I selected point 1, then selected point 2 to create a line, then ctrl+z to undo the line, the first point remains (like a construction point) but it is no longer the 1st point in a 2 point line creation pick. So the next point is a starting point for a new line. This leaves hard to see construction points that are sometimes inferenced with hard to see dashed lines. I had a weird behavior of unexpected lines (direction) a couple of times and it seemed related to using ctrl+z and esc while placing starting points to see if I could recreate the issue.

If you are using the Tape Measure Guideline Tool, do you have Point Cloud Pick, SketchUp Pick, or No Snapping Selected? Sometimes I ‘click through’ a point cloud to a SketchUp Model behind it.

Also, if you moved or rotated the scan, axes may not be in alignment.

My set up is similar to yours. I’m not sure I’m seeing what you are seeing but I’ll show a picture below of the difference between starting on a component and starting on the point cloud. I didn’t realize there was a difference until I checked it.

Hopefully this problem can be easily resolved.

Yes, I am using the tape measure tool to create guidelines as I work on the SU model. I have used the Scan Essentials Guide Tool to create “handles” in the point cloud which I can use to rotate the Point cloud, or use as a reference to draw parallel to the point cloud. The problem is the tape measure guidelines, and I realized also other dimensional input (like push/pull to an intended distance) does not respond unless the point cloud is turned off. Doesn’t seem to make a difference what the “pick” is set to. My current project has me resolving interior panels in tandem with the guys planning the cabinets, so lots of critical offsets and alignments. Tape measure and protractor guidelines are very helpful at this early stage, and it has been a hassle having to toggle the cloud off and on.

You mentioned that moving or rotating the scan might be leaving the axes out of alignment, I bet that’s it. I need to learn better what is going on when I move and rotate the point cloud to align with the SU model, as I always do at least move the cloud, usually rotate as well. For me the point cloud always imports with the origin at the scanner elevation, so tripod height. I prefer my origin at finish floor height, so always move the cloud up. Maybe there is a setting that could resolve that also! Is there a manual for scan essentials?

My workflow is -usually- to import point clouds (.las, or .xyz) created via photogrammetry. Photos are geolocated but I usually don’t have super accurate survey data. The point cloud models are fairly accurate regardless and I often create topography and other files during the processing stage that are aligned with each other. I therefore try not to move or rotate any of them at all.

I set Point Cloud Opacity to the maximum and Point Size up (to 2?, which is one click up), with Density at 100. This makes the point cloud visible without distorting it.

At whatever orientation the point cloud is to the axis of the SketchUp, I begin with the rectangle tool. I look for a long straight section of a structure (not sure I have ever found level, plumb and square!) and create a box. I rotate the box, aligning it with my target structure.

I iterate Push-Pull and Rotate to get close to a right angle with a face and another side (e.g., a roof top, soffit). Once my ‘box’ is aligned with the point cloud structure, I move the model axis to a corner of the box.

This is a building from the same point cloud. I used the align-box method and moved the model axis to it because the two buildings are not in alignment (and now I know where to align the axis when I draw either building).

Point Cloud off:

I don’t toggle the point cloud on/off all that much, as I use the face of the Box to see alignment with the point cloud. With the Box-Align-to-Point-Cloud and Axis-to-Box methods, you could make a ‘Wall Box’. Once you Rotate, Push-Pull the ‘Wall Box’, you could draw a ‘Floor Line’ then Push-Pull your floor plane. Align the model axis to that and you’re ‘squared up’ with no Point Cloud Moves or Rotations with your axis where you like it.

I don’t know if there is a manual for Scan Essentials… Trial and error, error, error, has been my go-to.

You may have a look at the Scan Essentials section in the Help Center: Using Scan Essentials | SketchUp Help

We will investigate the Guideline issues mentioned in this thread.

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Hi, after some testing I confirm that entering manual value will not have the proper behavior, when using the Tape Tool to create a guideline, as soon as “pointcloud pick” or “sketchup pick” option is enable.

If you select “no pointcloud snapping” option (instead of hidding the cloud) it will behave properly. Otherwise, entering a manual value will just create the guideline ignoring all kind of inference/constraint (like a lock onto an axis and the given distance itself), it will just create the guideline where the cursor is onto the pointcloud (which can be anywhere…)

I do have a shortcut set I use often that toggles between “pointcloud pick” and “SU pick”, but I will have to look into learning more about “no pointcloud snapping”.

Thanks for confirming my findings. Oddly, I have had a few times where entering manual values for tape measure guidelines, push pull, move, etc did seem to work very occasionally with the point cloud visible, perhaps related to settings for “no pointcloud snapping”.

I will do further testing regarding other tools, for the moment I did check Push/Pull and don’t find issues, if you have a specific workflow or any step-by-step (and have time to^^) to reproduce don’t hesitate to let me know.

And yes, the visibility of the PC is probably the same issue, both snapping options are using the PC, if it is off then the issue does not occur, if it is on then it occurs if the cursor snaps somewhere onto the PC (and not a geometry) so that it can looks random, that’s why the bug is pretty weird^^
That’s also why tour feedback is really interesting.

I appreciate hearing how you set up your alignments. I have not done much moving the model axis around. I took a slightly different but perhaps flawed approach. I rotate and move the point cloud to align as closely as possible with the model axis. For off-axis geometry (like the wall and cabinet portion in the image I attached above that is about 45 degrees off from the rest of the room) I use Scan essentials guide tool along with tape measure guide lines and protractor guidelines to position some initial reference geometry off-axis and properly related to the point cloud. Making sure I have the corresponding off-axis/pointcloud-aligned guide lines in place, I rotate the initial reference geometry to align with the SU model axis. At that point I turn it into a group, essentially locking in a usable axis alignment. Then I rotate the (box) back into alignment with the off-axis/pointcloud-aligned guide lines, and build a whole set of SU geometry inside that off-axis group. What you accomplish by moving the model axis, I accomplish by clicking into and editing the group.

I can’t get to my computer for another couple of hours, and am rushing to resolve paneling in this room—architects, contractor, fabricator waiting on me—but I will try to look more closely at the context for the issues I’m having once the dust settles.

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@Yannick_SU I tried testing a couple of Tape Measure Guidelines… 1) SketchUp Pick. I believe this is the default, which is enabled once a PC is imported. After aligning SU axis, I was able to enter lengths that snapped to axis. 2) Point Cloud Pick. Expected behavior. In neither case was I Measuring an SU model.

My normal use would be to start and stay in SketchUp Pick. Maybe there is an issue when the user is going between the two functions a lot.

It looks like @Jacques pointed us to the Scan Essentials section of the help center. The way the ‘Box-Align’ method works is similar to the Modeling Tips and Tricks #2. The Push-Pull of the box to get alignment is similar to using section panes. Manipulation of the face/plane of the box to get an ‘average’ or ‘best fit’ of the model to the as-built reality.

One thought occurred to me: are you using CTRL+Shift in 3DConnexion? While enabled, you can’t type numbers into the Measurement field. But if you are using Point Cloud Pick mode, maybe points remain selected (which are not highlighted as components would be), unbeknownst to you, when you go to make your next set of point selections? I say that because it is not clear in SU which exact point in a point cloud is selected, if any. So maybe like stray construction points, there are stray selection points. Just throwing that out there.

Our approaches may be different based on acquisition hardware. On import, I’m usually prompted with a message like, “Your model is far from the axis. Do you want to move it”. I suppose your axis is always at the point of the scanner, so not far from the model origin. I rely on SU to bring topography, mosaics, point clouds, etc. to the same origin/aligned with each other (a sort of faith-based, automagical approach? ;^). I don’t tend to move them because realignment of PCs to topolines is like snapping chalk lines on a sea floor.

What you wrote about your method makes sense. The key differences seem to be that I don’t move the PC, but move SU axes to it, and you use Scan Essentials tools more. You may have noticed a couple of ‘boxes’ in my previous post. Those are ‘Keystones’ or ‘Cornerstones’ that I added for alignment/anchoring purposes (for 2 property surveys in this instance). What it seems we are both doing is creating a known alignment point. I think there is a call for ‘anchors’. Anchors already exist in SU AR/VR but they are not visible. Groups/components seem like the answer for now.

It also seems that you are using the measuring tool (on PC) a lot, whereas I’m using ‘box-fitting’ to get my measurements. I’m curious as to why/how you are using the Tape Measurement Tool: if you are entering numbers, I presume you are making guides. But if measuring to a PC point, wouldn’t ‘box-fitting’ get you close enough -avg/best fit- (given that many walls, floors, etc. are a bit off anyway)? If you’re on the design side of things, you’re getting a ‘map of the territory’. It’s then the craftsperson who says, “I put the cabinet up. The wall was 1/4 off. I made it fit nicely anyway and the plans were good.”. Most of what is to be built can be drawn exclusively from/on the SU model. That gets you out of Scan Essentials and back into ‘normal’ Tape Measuring Tool mode.

But at the end of the day the tools need to work. I didn’t get much of the odd behavior you’re getting from the tools. Is there a glitch? Could different workflows solve the issue? Hopefully this problem is resolved soon and if you get to the bottom of it you’ll share the solution. Good luck!

Actually was using the normal tape measure, not Scan Essentials tools, beyond a few initial construction points on the PC to help align the SU with PC, with the PC “move” and “rotate” tools. My troubles are primarily with the normal tape not behaving when thePC is visible.

@CS9900 I’d be curious to open your PC to have a look around. Maybe I could monkey around with it to see what I come up with?

Plus, I’m jealous of your scanner and want to see what it can do!