ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume X-1/W1-2023
05 Dec 2023
 | 05 Dec 2023


S. González-Domínguez, J. Balado, A. Novo, and P. Arias

Keywords: LiDAR, Game Engines, Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Mobile Laser Scanning, Geometric Features

Abstract. Trees are fundamental parts of urban areas and green urbanism. Although much effort is being put into the digitisation of urban areas, trees present great complexity and are usually replaced by predefined models. On the one hand, trees are elements composed of trunk, branches, and leaves, each with a completely different structure and geometry. On the other hand, the tree parts are closely related to each species. Therefore, in order to obtain a realistic digital urban environment, in 3D models such as CityGML or Metaverse, it is necessary that the trees correspond faithfully to reality. The aim of this work is to propose a method to digitise trees from Mobile Laser Scanning and Terrestrial Laser Scanning data. The process takes advantage of the differentiation between trunks and leaves for their segmentation by point cloud geometric features. Unreal Engine is then used to digitise each part. Trunk and branches are geometrically preserved. For dense canopy trees, predefined leaves according to the species are imported and the alpha shape of the crown is filled. For non-dense canopy trees, the canopy is imported and modified to fit the branches. The method was tested on four real case studies. The results show realistic trees, with correct trunk and foliage segmentation, but highly dependent on the life/canopy repositories. Unreal Engine was a very complete and useful tool for the digitisation of trees generating realistic textures and lighting options.