What Are the Benefits of a Color Laser Scan?

Laser Scanning: Color or Black and White?

Have you ever tried to watch an old black and white television after having a high-definition color screen in your home?

While it is still easy to understand what is happening on black and white TV, some of the details might be less obvious.

The same is often true for color versus an “intensity level” (black and white or greyscale) laser scan.

Case Western Reserve boiler plant in Cleveland, OH 3D scanning and modeling.

The Benefits of Color in 3D Building Scanning

Color Scans Are Easier to Visualize

One of the benefits of a color laser scan is they are much easier to visualize. Often, people will mistake the color 3D point cloud images produced by TrueScan for a photograph. Because a color scan can appear so true to life, at first glance point cloud images can look like a picture. While intensity level scans provide the same amount of data, color scans are easier to visualize. This is especially important in complex environments when it can otherwise be difficult to orient yourself.

Many Mechanical Systems Are Now Color-Coded

In many facilities, pipes — especially those carrying toxic gases, liquids, or other chemicals — are color-coded for safety. Additionally, they may have labels identifying the material being conducted.

By requesting a color scan, clients are able to more easily identify which pipe they are working with from inside the point cloud, without having to reference outside images or record drawings. Clients can easily follow a pipe through a building or differentiate one pipe among several because the colors are easy to see. Likewise, labels are easier to read because of the high level of contrast.

Color Scans Make It Easier to Visualize the Lighting

The most common use of color scans is still historical preservation. While an intensity level scan captures measurement data for every square inch of the space, it cannot provide the same “sense of a place” that color scans provide. Many of our clients have used scan data to work remotely, so they don’t have to constantly revisit a space that is not nearby. A color scan can provide a nearly true-to-life experience, highlighting textures, materials, and other architectural elements.

While an intensity level or greyscale laser scan still provides vast amounts of data and information, for many clients considering color may be a worthwhile choice.

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