Retrace v1.2 Walkthrough


Retrace is a lightweight companion tool for viewing point clouds produced by PX-80 and reviewing work site scans.


In the main menu bar, select  File > Load.

Navigate to the Retrace scan file and click  Open.

Scans can also be dragged and dropped from their stored location into an open instance of Retrace.

Loaded scans will appear in the bottom panel.

Note: Do not unzip scans.


Main Viewport

  • Click and drag the right-mouse button to rotate your view.
  • To move forward through the scan, press the "W" or "up arrow" key.
  • To move backwards through the scan, press the "S" or "down arrow" key.
  • To move to a specific pose, left click one of the target icons in the scene.

Selecting a scan in the bottom panel will display the selected scan. 


Top layout

  • File: Load scans and exit Retrace.
  • Minimap: A navigable bird’s eye view of the scene.

Bottom layout (from left to right)

  • Scene Tools
    • Tape Measure
    • Annotations (Enabled if scan contains annotations from capture)
  • Scan List: A collection of the currently loaded scans.
  • Scene View: View settings.

The bottom panels can be collapsed with the green bar(s) at any time.

Scene Tools

Tape Measure

Tape Measure enables a user to quickly make and reference measurements in a scene. 

  • Clicking the “Ruler” icon in the bottom left panel will open up the Tape Measure Tool window.
  • This tool contains a list of tapes in the current scan.
  • Adding tapes:
    • While the tape tool is open, left clicking in scene will create a tape end.
    • Continue to click to add tape ends.
    • Left-clicking near an already placed tape end will add a final point, a finishing segment, and complete that tape.
    • Pressing “enter” will also complete the tape, without adding an additional tape segment.
  • Editing tapes in the scene:
    • Drag an already placed tape end by right-clicking on it. Left-click to finish dragging. 
    • Pressing "Backspace" while hovered over a tape end will remove the end. Pressing "Backspace" over a tape line will remove the line.
  • Removing tapes:
    • Press the "X" button next to a listed tape to remove that tape.
    • Click the "Trash" icon in the tape tool window to remove all tapes in the scene.
  • Tape attributes:
    • Clicking the "Ruler: icon (with a subscript "m/ft") will toggle the type of unit displayed in the scene tape.
    • Clicking the ‘Eye’ icon will toggle the visibility of a tape.
    • Clicking the ‘Pin’ icon will jump the view to the pose where a user started the tape.
    • Select the first part of the tape label to change the name of the tape.
    • Clicking the broader part of the tape will select it and highlight the tape in scene.
    • Hover over a tape in scene to check the distance. 
  • Export
    • Clicking the ‘Save’ icon will output an .obj file containing all tapes in the current scan.
    • Checking the “Selection Only” box, in the export dialogue, will only export tapes that the user has currently selected.
    • Importing the obj in a 3D editing program will show the tapes as lines. Below is an example exported to Cloud Compare.

    • Note: the axis and orientation differs for each program. 
      • Retrace is Z forward, Y up
  • Close:
    • Press the “Ruler” icon in the bottom-left panel again or the ‘X’ button in the tape tool window to close 
    • Tapes are visible while the window is open and hidden while the window is closed.

It is recommended to use multiple views when measuring. Toggling the visibility of the Point Cloud and Photosphere will also aid in refining measurements.

Annotations: (visible if scan contains annotations during capture)

The Annotations feature is available if any annotations were made while scanning. It contains a list of user-created notes during capture and allows the user to quickly jump to where those notes were taken.

  • Toggle the visibility through “Show Annotations” option in the bottom right panel.
  • Left-click an annotation in scene to jump to the closest frame.
  • Right-click an annotation in scene to edit.
    • “Update” will save the changes to the annotation.
    • Currently however, updated changes will not be remembered on application close.
    • “Close” closes the edit window without updating any changes.
  • Select the “Pen and Paper” icon in the bottom left panel to open the Annotation Tools window.
  • The tools window contains a list of annotations in the current scan.
    • Expanding an annotation will display more details.
    • Clicking “Jump to” in the expanded details will update the user’s position to the listed annotation in scene
Scan List:
  • Scan Thumbnail
    • Selecting will update the scene with the selected scan.
      • Details (top-left icon): Opens a sub-menu with info about the scan.
      • Remove (“x” icon): Removes scan from the list and scene
Scene View:
  • Photosphere :: Point Cloud (Toggle between 3 view states)
    • 1) Enable only photosphere.
    • 2) Enable both photosphere and point cloud visibility.
    • 3) Enable only point cloud.
  • Show Trajectory
    • Toggle the selectable view icons.
    • Toggle trajectory to view path as line or points
    • Toggle to view trajectory withwith Start (Green) and Stop (Red) points
  • Show Annotations
    • Toggle annotation visibility if scan contains them.

"More Settings:"

  • Clip Near and Clip Far
    • Adjust the clipping ranges of the camera. Does not affect the photosphere.
  • Point Size
    • Resize points. Larger values may lead to slower viewing.


The minimap provides a bird’s-eye view of the scan. The trajectory and user’s view orientation is displayed as an overlay on the point cloud. Selecting a pose on the trajectory will move the user’s position in the minimap and view as well. 

  • Zoom with the mouse's scroll wheel or adjust the "Zoom" slider.
  • Clip the near values (ceiling) by adjusting the "Camera" slider
  • The ‘Reset’ button will return the clipping and zoom values to default.
  • Toggle the visibility of UI elements with the "Eye" icon.
  • Toggle the "Lock" icon to pan over the scan. When unlocked, right-click and drag to pan. When locked, the map will lock to the user’s view position.
  • Left-click a trajectory frame icon to jump to that position in scene.
  • Grab the corner of the minimap window to resize.


Exit the application through  File > Quit or by simply closing Retrace.

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