npm i potree-core


Potree point cloud viewer library core components for easier integration in a three.js project.

by José Ferrão

2.0.3 (see all)License:MITTypeScript:Built-In
npm i potree-core

Potree Core

npm version GitHub version

  • This project was originally based on Potree 1.6 and is now since version 2.0 based on [fork]https://github.com/shiukaheng/potree-loader] of the Potree-Loader.
  • Potree is a web based pouint cloud visualizer project created by Markus Schütz.
  • This project contains only the main parts of the potree project adapted to be more easily used as a independent library (I have only adapted code from the original repository).
  • Support for pointclouds from LAS, LAZ, Binary files and Greyhound server.
  • Point clouds are automatically updated, frustum culling is used to avoid unnecessary updates (better update performance for multiple point clouds).
  • Supports logarithmic depth buffer (just by enabling it on the threejs renderer), useful for large scale visualization.

How to use

  • Download the custom potree build from the build folder or add it to your project using NPM.
  • Include it alonside the worker folder in your project (can be found on the source folder).
  • Download threejs from github repository.
  • The build is a ES module, that can be imported to other projects, it assumes the existence of THREE namespace for threejs dependencies.


  • Live demo at https://tentone.github.io/potree-core/
  • Contains the same model multiple times stored in different formats.
  • Double click the models to raycast the scene and create marker points.


  • Bellow its a fully functional example of how to use this wrapper to load potree point clouds to a THREE.js project
var scene = new THREE.Scene();
var camera = new THREE.PerspectiveCamera(60, 1, 0.1, 10000);

var canvas = document.createElement("canvas");
canvas.style.position = "absolute";
canvas.style.top = "0px";
canvas.style.left = "0px";
canvas.style.width = "100%";
canvas.style.height = "100%";

var renderer = new THREE.WebGLRenderer({canvas:canvas});

var geometry = new THREE.BoxGeometry(1, 1, 1);
var material = new THREE.MeshBasicMaterial({color: 0x00ff00});
var cube = new THREE.Mesh(geometry, material);

var controls = new THREE.OrbitControls(camera, canvas);
camera.position.z = 10;

var points = new Potree.Group();

Potree.loadPointCloud("data/test/cloud.js", name, function(data)
    var pointcloud = data.pointcloud;

function loop()
    renderer.render(scene, camera);

document.body.onresize = function()
    var width = window.innerWidth;
    var height = window.innerHeight;
    renderer.setSize(width, height);
    camera.aspect = width / height;

API Reference

  • The project has no generated documentation but bellow are some of the main configuration elements.
  • A example can be found in the repository index.html file.
  • Container that stores point cloud objects and updates them on render.
  • The container supports frustum culling using the point cloud bouding box.
  • Automatically stops updating the point cloud if out of view.
  • This container only support pointColorType set as RGB, pointSizeType set as FIXED and shape set as SQUARE.
  • Complete container with support for all potree features.

  • Some features require support for the following GL extensions

    • EXT_frag_depth, WEBGL_depth_texture, OES_vertex_array_object
  • Method to load a point cloud database file
  • Potree.loadPointCloud(url, name, onLoad)
  • Material used by threejs to draw the point clouds, based on RawShaderMaterial

  • shape

    • Defines the shape used to draw points
      • Potree.PointShape.SQUARE
      • Potree.PointShape.CIRCLE
      • Potree.PointShape.PARABOLOID
  • pointSizeType

    • Defines how the point cloud points are sized, fixed mode keeps the same size, adaptive resizes points accordingly to their distance to the camera
    • Possible values are
      • Potree.PointSizeType.FIXED
      • Potree.PointSizeType.ATTENUATED
      • Potree.PointSizeType.ADAPTIVE
  • pointColorType

    • Defines how to color the drawn points
    • Possible values are
      • Potree.PointColorType.RGB
      • Potree.PointColorType.COLOR
      • Potree.PointColorType.DEPTH
      • Potree.PointColorType.HEIGHT
      • Potree.PointColorType.INTENSITY
      • Potree.PointColorType.INTENSITY_GRADIENT
      • Potree.PointColorType.LOD
      • Potree.PointColorType.POINT_INDEX
      • Potree.PointColorType.CLASSIFICATION
      • Potree.PointColorType.RETURN_NUMBER
      • Potree.PointColorType.SOURCE
      • Potree.PointColorType.NORMAL
      • Potree.PointColorType.PHONG
      • Potree.PointColorType.RGB_HEIGHT
  • logarithmicDepthBuffer

    • Set true to enable logarithmic depth buffer
  • weighted

    • If true points are drawn as weighted splats
  • treeType

    • Defines the type of point cloud tree being drawn by this material
    • This should be automatically defined by the loader
      • Potree.TreeType.OCTREE
      • Potree.TreeType.KDTREE
  • Potree.PointCloudTree

    • Base Object3D used to store and represent point cloud data.
    • These objects are created by the loader


  • Since potree-core is meant to be used as library and not as a full software as potree some features are not available.
  • EDL shading is not supported by potree core (might be added later).
  • Removed classification and clipping functionality.
  • Removed Arena 4D point cloud support.
  • GUI elements were removed from the library
    • PotreeViewer
    • Controls, Input, GUI, Tools
    • Anotations, Actions, ProfileRequest
    • Potree.startQuery, Potree.endQuery and Potree.resolveQueries
    • Potree.timerQueries
    • Potree.MOUSE, Potree.CameraMode
    • PotreeRenderer, RepRenderer, Potree.Renderer
      • JQuery, TWEEN and Proj4 dependencies


  • The project can be build running the commands npm install and npm run build.

Potree Converter

  • Use the (Potree Converter)[https://github.com/potree/PotreeConverter/releases] tool to create point cloud data from LAS, ZLAS or BIN point cloud files
  • Potree Converter 1.8 creates a multi file structure with each node as an individual file.
  • Potree Converter 2.1 creates a single file for all points and separates files for hierarchy index, its faster to create files. Requires a HTTP server configured for file streaming.
  • Tool to create hierarquical structure used for point-cloud rendering using potree-core.
  • There are two main versions 2.1 witch generates 4 contained files with point data, hierarchy,
  • To generate a folder output from a input file run the command .\PotreeConverter '..\input.laz' -o ../output


  • The potree converter tool only supports las and laz files, so textural file formats such as .pts, .xyz, have to be first converted into a supported format.
  • The TXT2LAS tool from the (LASTools)[https://github.com/LAStools/LAStools] repository can be used for this effect.
  • To run the tool use the command .\txt2las64 -i input.pts -ipts -parse xyziRGB -set_scale 0.001 0.001 0.001 -set_version 1.4 -o output.laz