May 24, 2017

Winners of 2017 Bentley Institute Student Design Competition

I) WINNER: Reality Modeling (General)

Congratulations to Dalian Nationalities University in China who is the Winner for the Reality Modeling category!

This student team composed by Ting Li, Yuting Wang, Yuanpeng Liu, Falin Xiang decided to capture Buddha, as a means of sharing, in 3D, a piece of China’s culture and spirit with people all over the world who may never see it in person.

They used a UAV to take photos of the 69 meter-high Buddha, with four sides representing love, career, health, and wealth and its hundreds of hands representing control of everything.

With so much detail, it was very challenging for the team to carefully capture the statue.

They then used ContextCapture to automatically turn the images into a highly-detailed 3D reality model of the figure.

Look at the video  and the model!


II) WINNER: Use of Reality Modeling for Infrastructure (Advanced)

This student team from Shandong Urban Construction Vocational College (Jinan, Shandong, China) used a UAV to capture video images of a construction site, and converted that footage into a 3D reality model of the area using ContextCapture.

To make the reality model even more useful as a decision-support tool, they took measurements of two overhead high voltage cables in the working range of cranes—safely, from within the model.

Those accurate measurements were then used by the students to design protective shields for the cables, using MicroStation CONNECT Edition and AECOsim Building Designer.

Next the team created a models of the structure that will be built on the site, as well as models of three tower cranes, so they could simulate the working range of the cranes to determine the best installation position.

Finally, using Bentley LumenRT, they created a visualization of the construction project, with the cranes and structure, adding a natural environment and a video so stakeholders can easily envision the results.

Look at the video and the model!

winner advanced


III) Other 3D models presented during the competition

Dalian Nationalities University Roundabout

Dalian Minzu University

Jilin Jianzhu University

Latvian University

Southwest Jiao Tong University School of Hope

Southwest Jiaotong University Hope College

Xiamen University of Technology

Zhicheng College of Fuzhou University

May 17, 2017

ContextCapture Editor is released!

CC Editor 1

ContextCapture Editor

Interested in editing your Reality Modeling data using ContextCapture?

We are pleased to announce the release of ContextCapture Editor, a 3D CAD based on PowerDraft that allows you to leverage reality meshes, terrain models, and point clouds made of billions of points and triangles for use in information modeling workflows.
Take advantage of ContextCapture Editor, a module included with ContextCapture and ContextCapture Center.
This powerful tool can be used to extract features from both point clouds and reality meshes, extract ground models and ortho images from reality meshes, and extract ground models and classify ground points from point clouds.  You can extract terrain model from reality meshes or point clouds to deliver data compliant with legacy tools and workflows.
Key Reality Modeling Workflow Features:
  • Mesh Retouching – Enable productivity of higher quality meshes gain with limited clicks and better ergonomic and provides greater scalability
  • Generate Cross Sections with Reality Meshes – Enable easy analysis of 3D Reality Mesh through x-sections and to simplify 3D modeling and feature extraction to do measurements in x-sections
  • Extract Terrain Model from Reality Meshes or Point Clouds – Automatic extraction of Terrain points from a point cloud or a Reality Mesh as Classified Point Clouds and/or TIN file
  • Breaklines Extraction from Reality Mesh – Enable the creation of breaklines for better terrain model definition
  • Orthophoto Generation on Any Axis – Create highly portable/ interoperable deliverables and produce vertical orthoimages to be draped on terrain model and consumed in design workflows
  • Real-Time Mesh Classification – Allows access to business information about assets in a 3D realistic environment
ContextCapture Editor integrates Reality modeling data and engineering data to produce deliverables as i-models, 3D PDF and Ortho Images in any direction.
Check out our capabilities videos! Take advantage of this powerful tool for your Reality Modeling workflow!

April 14, 2017

ContextCapture Connect Edition Update 5 is released!

New engineering and visualization ready reality mesh available with new ContextCapture update!

We are pleased to announce the release of ContextCapture CONNECT Edition – Update 5 which offers the following new advancements:  
  • Leverage new 3SM reality mesh format directly inside real-time visualization product LumenRT CONNECT edition at full resolution. This same format will soon enhance your engineering workflows in the upcoming CONNECT edition releases of OpenRoads ConceptStation, MicroStation, Bentley Descartes and more.
  • Use static, aerial, indoor and mobile scan data (LAS or E57 files with trajectory files) for 3D reconstruction. You can use laser scanner data on its own or combine it with photos for optimal 3D textured reality meshes.
  • Increase photo input project size to 300 GPIX.
  • Touch-up workflow and reconstruction directly inside Bentley products using the new production Bentley DGN format.
  • Receive personalized support and learning recommendations with Bentley CONNECT Advisor.
  • Handle and display reality meshes of large scenes faster with the new unique mesh export.
  • And a whole array of improvements on performance and quality.
Coming soon, take advantage of ContextCapture Editor included with ContextCapture and ContextCapture Center. It features automatic ground extraction (DTM), feature extraction, generation of orthophotos, 3D PDF creation, point cloud processing, dynamic cross sections and much more.

ContextCapture is a comprehensive, scalable, and interoperable reality modeling application for producing 3D engineering-ready reality meshes for consumption in any visualization, engineering, or GIS workflows.

Check out ContextCapture CONNECT Edition – Update 5 videos!  


December 15, 2016

ContextCapture Connect Edition Update 4 is released!

We are pleased to announce the release of ContextCapture Edition Update 4!

This update introduces the revolutionary new capability announced at Year in Infrastructure delivering hybrid support for processing point clouds and photos. This innovation bridges the gap between sensor types used for capturing reality context and brings the best of both worlds to infrastructure professionals involved in design, construction and operations.

Main improvements

  • 3D reconstruction from point clouds.
  • User experience enhancements simplifying management of very large projects, user settings, user tie points and control points.
  • New aerotriangulation mode leveraging the accuracy of advanced positioning systems such as GPS with RTK.
  • Speed improvement of aerotriangulation.

September 6, 2016

New Reality Modeling Tutorial

Bentley’s ContextCapture is part a wider product line that covers a complete Reality Modeling workflow.

If you want to learn more about how you can:

  • Generate a 3D model with Bentley’s ContextCapture
  • Automatically extract a terrain model from the 3D model with Bentley’s Descartes
  • Use the terrain in Bentley’s ConceptStation as a basemap for early road/bridge design
  • Simulate traffic and enliven the model

  • Click here.

    Youtube video: Bentley's reality modeling

    To learn more about how to use ContextCapture, please visit our dedicated Youtube Channel.

    July 8, 2016

    Web publishing with Cesium

    The upcoming release of ContextCapture can generate 3D models with level-of-detail in the Cesium 3D Tiles format, for streaming and display in Cesium web applications. Cesium is an open-source JavaScript library for 3D globes and 3D maps.


    Check out the two demos below:

    Optionally, ContextCapture can generate a base Cesium application which can be directly published to the Web. Cesium is purely client-based, so the Cesium 3D Tiles data and the Cesium application can be hosted on a static Web server. Online file storage web services / content delivery networks such as Azure Blobs/CDN or Amazon S3/CloudFront are also supported.

    We will present this new feature at Siggraph 2016 in Anaheim, CA, in a Birds of a Feather session on Virtual Globes Using WebGL and Cesium: Tuesday, 26 July, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, Anaheim Convention Center.

    Stay tuned for this upcoming ContextCapture release!

    May 19, 2016

    ContextCapture new release!

    We are pleased to announce the new release of ContextCapture!

    Main improvements

      ContextCapture can now publish models for native use in ESRI workflows with applications like ArcGIS Pro through the new i3s export capability.
    video demonstration

    It also offers greater scalability and enhanced interoperability with:

    • An increase from 30 to 100 gigapixels as the maximum amount of imagery that ContextCapture can use to produce a model (ContextCapture Center remains unlimited)

    • New mesh export capabilities which allow abstracting even very large projects as unique multiresolution meshes that can be displayed with a common index. The most popular formats include 3MX, ESRI i3s, Google Earth KML, SpacEyes3D, OSGB, LODTreeExport

    Migration to ContextCapture for Smart3DCapture users

    All Smart3DCapture Advanced/Expert and Ultimate users, with a valid subscription service, are entitled to migrate to an equivalent ContextCapture Edition. Please contact your Acute3D representative or your local Bentley office to learn more about the procedure.

    December 22, 2015

    ContextCapture 4.1 released

    We are pleased to announce the release of ContextCapture version 4.1!

    Main improvements

    • Fisheye camera support.
    • New camera database (camera model, user database, user interface).
    • New user interface to import positions/rotations from text files.
    • Video frame import.
    • Aerotriangulation algorithm improvement (frustum, new input data min/max viewing distance, block type nadir).
    • Texturing improvement (texturing per sub-triangle).
    • New command line tool to export a unique LOD mesh from a 3D reconstruction composed of several tiles.

    Migration to ContextCapture for Smart3DCapture users

    All Smart3DCapture Advanced/Expert and Ultimate users, with a valid subscription service, are entitled to migrate to an equivalent ContextCapture Edition. Please contact your Acute3D representative or your local Bentley office to learn more about the procedure.

    October 8, 2015

    Smart3DCapture becomes ContextCapture

    Dear Smart3DCapture User,

    First of all, we would like to seize this opportunity to thank you for your confidence and support that proved to be constantly renewed over the past years. You may know, by now, that Acute3D has joined the Bentley Systems Group earlier this Year, and, as a consequence, some changes have occurred in our organization and product strategy.

    This changes are for good, and we are happy to offer you today the opportunity to join us on this new endeavor.

    What has changed?

    First, our product line has now be renamed into ContextCapture. Since the purpose of our solutions is to capture the existing conditions of a project or asset, that will be used as a context to your new design, surveying, mapping or inspection applications, we thought it would illustrate well its role in your workflows.

    Second, we have rationalized our packaging. How does it affect your investment?

    ContextCapture comes in 2 editions only, with an upgraded desktop version, now processing up to 30 Gpix of data per project, vs. 10 Gpix before, and supporting the batch processing for more flexibility. All former Smart3DCapture Advanced and Expert users will love ContextCapture for it comes with many improvements including: a new AT module, volume and area measurement, a brand new control/tie points editor, a new mutiresolution-3D mesh exchange format (3MX) supported by MicroStation, a new (long awaited by many of our users) web viewer, a new planes detection feature…

    Smart3DCapture Ultimate users will find ContextCapture Center offers the same level of improvements still maintaining its proven scalability, modularity, user friendliness and performance.

    Last, but not least, comes the new licensing system. As all other Bentley products, ContextCapture offers all the flexibility of Bentley’s SELECTserver. Users can thus easily change their machine, check out on their desktop machine to temporarily work on their laptop for instance, temporary increase their processing power by adding new licenses on a quarterly basis, etc.

    We strongly believe that our users will receive huge benefits from joining the ContextCapture community and we are sure you will as well.

    Is there any further training requested?

    ContextCapture comes with the very same interface and workflow as Smart3DCapture. You will not need any specific training to learn how to use it.

    How can you join the ContextCapture community of Users?

    All our users will be soon contacted by a Bentley Systems representative, and will be offered to join our SELECT program. SELECT offers more flexibility on the licensing, including check out/in of licenses when you want to temporary change your PC (when travelling for instance), add more licenses of eligible products on a quarter, access more Bentley products, and a lot more.

    This migration to the new ContextCapture solutions will be offered free of charge to existing Smart3DCapture users for the remaining period of your current (valid) maintenance and support agreement or subscription, if you sign up before December 15th, 2015.

    If you want further information, please contact your local Acute3D-Bentley systems representative or Partner.

    We will be happy to welcome you to the Bentley Community soon!

    The Acute3D-Bentley Systems Sales Team


    September 8, 2015

    Acute3D-Bentley Systems to launch the new ContextCapture solution for Reality Modeling from photos

    The new ContextCapture solution: better in all domains!


  • New packaging with updated features and capabilities: ContextCapture (with a higher limitation on the input up to 30 GPix/project) and ContextCapture Center for unlimited reconstructions.
  • New licensing based on Bentley CONNECT SELECTservices allowing quarterly term licensing and license pooling, making it more cost-effective for short-term project needs and making existing licenses more fully utilized by making it accessible to more users.
  • New webGL Acute3D Web Viewer and new 3MX format.
  • Improved aerotriangulation (improved robustness, new pair selection modes, new photogroup estimation modes).
  • Aerotriangulation measurement/orientation priors based on user tie points (allows the definition of block origin, scale or orientation).
  • New control points/tie points features (2D/Z control points, tolerance, check points), and upgraded user interface.
  • Improved aerotriangulation report.
  • Improved texturing (improved UV mapping, image blending, inpainting).
  • Improved production and level-of-detail processing, new production options (overlap, skirts, maximum texture size).
  • New planar simplification mode at the reconstruction stage.
  • Tiling/pairs on surface constraints (allows the generation of tiles on areas without tie points when a surface constraint exists).
  • Spatial reference system support for touchup and reconstruction constraints.
  • New production 3D view tab.
  • Surface/Volume measurement.
  • Export of 3D mesh with texture and level-of-detail to GoogleEarth KML.
  • Export of orthophoto to KML super-overlay.
  • Interoperability with Bentley platform: Pointools POD, 3MX support in MicroStation.
  • Block merging (ability to merge two existing blocks from the user interface).

  • Acute3dMarseilles _in_Microstation

    Example of an entire city loaded in Microstation

    Contact Acute3D or your local Bentley Systems representative for more information.