System Overview

Pointshop3D is a system for interactive shape and appearance editing of 3D point-sampled geometry. By generalizing conventional 2D pixel editors, it supports a great variety of different interaction techniques to alter shape and appearance of 3D point models, including cleaning, texturing, sculpting, carving, filtering, and resampling. One key ingredient of the framework is a novel concept for interactive point cloud parameterization allowing for distortion minimal and aliasing-free texture mapping. A second one is a dynamic, adaptive resampling method which builds upon a continuous reconstruction of the model surface and its attributes. These techniques allow to transfer the full functionality of 2D image editing operations to the irregular 3D point setting. Pointshop3D system reads, processes, and writes point-sampled models without intermediate tesselation. It is intended to complement existing low cost 3D scanners and point rendering pipelines for efficient 3D content creation.

Recently, Pointshop3D was enhanced to Boolean operations and free form deformation for shape modeling. Furthermore, tools for cleaning and reconstruction of scanned data were introduced. Thus, the whole pipeline from dealing with scanned data to appearance and geometry editing is now supported.

3D Content Creation Pipeline

Click on the images below to view a short video clip illustrating the individual stages of the pipelin.

Model Acquisition

Typically, point-sampled models are acquired using 3D scanning devices such as laser-range scanners, structured light scanners, or passive computer vision techniques.

Model Cleaning

Most scanning systems provide noisy point samples. Hence, in a preprocessing step, the point data has to be cleaned from scanning artifacts before further processing takes place.

Point-Sampled Model

Pointshop3D is purely based on point-sampled data. No mesh reconstruction is performed at any stage of the processing pipeline.


Pointshop3D provides a variety of surface editing functionality. One of the basic operations is texture painting.

Surface Sculpting

Additionally to conventional 2D editing operations, Pointshop3D also supports 3D editing of point-sampled surfaces. Here, the geometry of the surface is manipulated using a three dimensional tool.

Surface Filtering

Pointshop3D is capable of performing a variety of filtering operations directly on point-sampled 3D surfaces.


Pointshop3D features a novel algorithm for minimal distortion parameterization of point-sampled surfaces. The algorithm facilitates user-controlled re-texturing and re-sampling of complex surfaces.

Point-Based Surface Editing

Pointshop3D is an interactive 3D photo editing system entirely based on points. By generalizing 2D image pixels towards 3D surface pixels it combines the functionality of 3D geometry based sculpting with the simplicity and effectiveness of 2D image based photo editing.

(c) CGL, ETH Zurich,2004
Updated 14/05/2004