Tutorial #04 : multiple workspace objects management

Workspace objects management


Welcome to the 3DF Zephyr tutorial series. In this recipe, you will learn how to manage multiple objects within the 3DF Zephyr workspace.


  • Step 1 – Introduction

Having multiple copies of the same object (or parts of them) within the same workspace is very useful: you might want to do different reconstructions with different settings for different areas of the point cloud / meshes.
3DF Zephyr comes with very easy to use tools for this purpose, namely the “New Object by Cut” and “New Object by Copy” tools.
This tutorial will use the dataset below, however, feel free to use any dataset you like

Download Dataset – Workspace merge (199MB)


  • Step 2 – Making a copy of an existing object

From the “Project” tab, simply right click the object you wish to duplicate (1) (point cloud or mesh) and left click “Make Copy” (2). A new object with the same name (with “Copy 1” appended to its name) will appear in the workspace (3).

You can now use this newly created object in an independent way: for example, you can clean this point cloud and then feed Zephyr the new copy as input point cloud when generating a mesh, so you can always go back in case you realized you removed too many points.

Remember that these copies will increase the .zep filesize considerably.


  • Step 3 – Making a copy from cut / paste

Select a subsection of your subject by using Select tools (4) as explained in Point cloud cleaning Tutorial. When finished, the select area will be highlighted in red (remember you can use the “Invert Selection” tool if you wish to do an inverse selection).

At this point, all you have to do to cut or paste your workspace object is to click the “Copy” button (5) or the “Cut” Button (6).

New Object by Copy: will create a new object in the workspace by copying the selected area into the new object. (7)

New Object by Cut: will split the currently selected object – the selection will become the new object, will everything that hasn’t been selected will remain in the subject of origin. (8)


  • Centering an object / Moving the grid

The move the object with respect to the grid, you can use the Gizmo (9). Note however that with the release of 3DF Zephyr 7.0, we added the workspace support to multiple reference systems in the same workspace: this means that there can be many “grids” within the same project. Professionals who use georeferencing in their projects will find this feature very useful, and for that reason rather than moving the object towards the grid, in some cases you may want to move the grid towards the object instead using the Transform Grid tool (10).

If you do not need multiple grids or georeferencing in your project and are just looking to move the object around the workspace, make sure to check that the “detach grid” (11) option is selected. You can also use the “Normalize” button in the dialog.

However, if you are using control points and/or georeferencing in your project, we strongly suggest using the move to origin option as well as using the control points to drive your workflow. Your workflow may vary depending on your needs in accuracy, precision, and georeferencing.

  • Final notes

Experiment a bit with these tools since they can be a great aid in your workflow.

The next tutorial will explain how to clean point clouds when needed. Click here to proceed to the next tutorial.