For ParaView users, this update introduces support for much more modular filters. For example, the short demo video in the announcement shows that it is now possible to calculate normals or features in one filter and pass them to another via the ParaView pipeline. This gives users greater control over the PCL workflow and allows them to do things such as visualize intermediate data or swap out one feature descriptor for another with just a few pipeline clicks.
For ParaView and PCL developers, the new plugin provides a framework for rapidly developing new PCL filters. All that is needed is to copy 3 files, search-replace a name, expose some parameters, tweak some xml and implement the ParaView-independent PCL algorithm. This will be covered in detail in a follow-up blog post but anyone who wants to get an idea of the process before then is invited to take a look at the new PCLPassThroughFilter VTK class and XML file. The filter itself is essentially trivial and the code is fully commented so it serves as a good starting point.
The goal is to gradually add filters with a one-to-one correspondence to pure PCL functions so that we eventually cover most if not all of PCL’s functionality. We also plan to provide some filters to encapsulate common workflows either for convenience or to avoid the overhead of redundant data conversions.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the plugin or want to give feedback. I will try to follow this thread but email will likely get the quickest reply.