Brekel PointCloud v3 – FAQ

  • What are the minimum system requirements?

This is dependent on the amount and type of sensors you want to use.
You can find more info in the documentation included with the app.


  • Can I mix & match different sensor types/brands?

Yes definitely, the solvers were designed to handle data from different sensor types.
In fact combining different sensor types may be beneficial in some cases since they all have different noise/accuracy characteristics in the pointcloud data they can deliver.


  • What sensor/brand/type is the best?

As always ‘best’ is a subjective term and ‘it depends’.

Azure Kinect provides the cleanest pointcloud and can use hardware synchronization. Kinect v2 provides very good pointclouds but is restricted to one sensor per machine (due to driver/SDK) and has no hardware sync. Kinect v1 / Orbbec produce decent data, have low compute requirements but can interfere. RealSense has high resolution and framerate options but are generally very noisy. Depending on the underlying depth sensing technology not all sensors produce a unique depth reading per pixel (only Time of Flight sensors generally do), so resolution may be misleading.


  • How many sensors should I use?

The software works with one or more sensors (as many as your hardware can handle).
Adding additional sensors with different viewpoints can increase quality due to seeing parts that were occluded for another sensor.
So basically the more the merrier.


  • How many sensors can I use on a single computer?

This is dependent on the USB bandwidth of your machine, the type of sensors and the CPU/GPU of your machine.

Kinect v2 (XBox One) sensors have driver/SDK limitations restricting usage to a single sensor per machine.

For desktop machines you can add PCI-Express cards to expand your USB bandwidth.

You can use additional machines with a network connection and use sensors connected to them.

(see documentation for more information)


  • Why can’t I use multiple Kinect v2 sensors on a single computer?

Kinect v2 (XBox One) has a driver/SDK limitation that prevents access to more than a single sensor per machine, there is no way around this.
The reverse-engineered open source LibFreenect2 SDK could potentially access color/pointcloud data (on some hardware setups), last time I checked it installation was finicky and speed/efficiency was lower than the official drivers, LibFreenect2 is currently not supported.


  • How much better is a setup with sensor A, B, C versus a setup with X, Y or just a single sensor Z (substitute letters with your favorite sensor brands/types).

Generally speaking multiple sensors are always preferable since they see more angles of the subject and have less occlusions.
And newer sensor types almost always provide better/cleaner data than older ones, especially the Kinect sensor range.
Your particular setups I have most likely not tested so if you need a more specific answer, test it out with the trial and/or evaluation version.


  • Do I need multiple licenses when using multiple sensors/machines?

One “Multi Sensor” license allows you to connect to as many sensors/machines as you want.

When using multiple machines the idea is to run the GUI on one machine and the headless/console version of the same app on your other machines and use the “Network Sensor” option to receive data from sensors on networked machines.


  • Is there interference between overlapping sensors?

Yes and no.
Structured Light sensors (like Kinect v1 & Orbbec Astra) can produce a bit more noise in overlapping areas.
Kinect v2 (Time of Flight) can on occasions have some Z-wobble since they cannot be synchronized.
Azure Kinect can be synchronized fully reducing any interference.
Stereo sensors (like Intel RealSense D400 series) generally don’t interfere.
In general interference does not pose much of an issue for the solver.


  • Can sensors be synchronized?

Azure Kinect sensors have sync in/out ports on their backs (remove the cover) and can be daisy chained using a simple 3.5mm audio jack cable, the Brekel app will automatically detect this and set things up accordingly.
Internally the software synchronizes all incoming data using timestamps.


  • How is v3 different from v1/v2?

v3 supports a wider set of sensors and new sensors types/brands will be added in the future.
v3 supports aligning & fusing data from multiple sensors which can, depending on your setup, improve quality with occlusions and/or increase capture volume.
v3 has more output file format options, with possibly more coming in the future.
v3 is in active development.


  • Are there upgrade discounts for v1/v2 license owners?

Yes of course, you can find more info about updates & upgrades here


  • Why are there no sample files?

Data quality is dependent on how many sensors you use, their brand/type, how you set them up regarding angle/distance to subject.
Due to these variances it’s best to try things out for yourself for your particular setup.


  • Why don’t I see color when loading a Body v3 BPC file in PointCloud v3?

By default Body v3 is tuned for best body tracking performance and uses infrared streams where possible. As decoding this is generally faster than color streams and offers more stable lighting.

You can however switch to using color instead using this toggle from the top menu: “Settings > Force using Color for video”.


  • When can we expect a MacOS release?

Many of the supported sensors don’t come with MacOS drivers.
At the same time Apple dropping OpenGL support in favor of a proprietary substitute, not offering cross compilation, no NVIDIA CUDA support, forcing developers into a paid development subscription and stopping x86/x64 CPU’s makes MacOS not a very friendly platform to develop for. It would also require rewriting major portions of the apps for a very small user-base.
So there are currently no plans for a MacOS release.


  • What about a Linux release?

Some sensors offer Linux drivers and some portions of the app could potentially be ported to Linux.
At the moment there are no plans but things may change in the future if there is enough demand.