Cross Section

Tools > Cross Section

Our Cross Section tool is a versatile feature to 

  • Clip the scene to limit your view to select regions.
  • Extract sections from point clouds.
  • Animate clips and cross-sections for videos.

Enable the Activate button to define a cross-section plane. Use Additional Plane tabs to define up to three cross-section planes at the same time.

TIP: The Main Plane (as defined in the first tab of the above window) acts as a drawing area when Snap to Main Plane from the Actionbar is activated.

Enable Clip scene to clip the scene against the cross-section plane.

Plane Definition

We offer several ways to define a cross-section plane:

  • There are three methods of defining cross-section planes interactively
    • Change Origin defines a plane based on a user-chosen location on the viewport and the orientation in the two boxes above. 
    • Vertical plane from two points generates a vertical plane based on two user-defined points.  
    • Plane from three points produces a plane based on three user-defined non-collinear points.

TIP: All three methods respect snapping tools that can be activated from the Actionbar.

  • The orientation of the plane can be further adjusted by two angles.
    • is the angle between the plane and the ground plane.
    • is the rotation angle of the plane around the z-axis.
  • The plane origin can be parametrically defined by entering coordinates in the respective boxes.
  • Toggle Flip to invert the plane’s direction so that the opposite side of the scene is visible.
  • Use Copy from Section to restore plane parameters from a previously created section.

TIP: When changing individual plane definition parameters with the mouse wheel, use CTRL + mouse wheel or SHIFT + mouse wheel to increase the increments of each scroll.


We show a preview of points with a distance tolerance to the plane. Creating a section projects these points onto the plane and generates a 2D point cloud from them.

  • Distance tolerance determines the thickness of the points that will be projected onto the plane. For sparse point clouds, you may want to increase this parameter.
  • You can create up to 50 additional sections on either side of the plane.
  • If multiple sections are being created
    • Interval determines the distance between the sections. 
    • All sections will be populated in a group with the given name in the Object List.
  • The resulting section(s) can be exported as point clouds or DXF files.

Tips to Improve Sparse Sections

A point cloud can have outliers far away from the point of interest, or a point cloud can cover a large spatial area. These cases can cause the generation of sparse sections. To avoid sparse sections, make use of Additional Planes to clip unwanted regions of the point cloud, and make sure that the chosen Distance tolerance is not too small.

Display Options

Choose if and how the plane and the section preview are displayed.

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