Working with Massive PLY Meshes

Hi all, I’m working with massive .PLY meshes and I’m having an intractable problem between 2 GB and 5 GB file sizes. I’ve tried importing into ZBrush and Meshmixer with errors and crashing problems. Rhino does actually import these files, but it is slooooooow. I will continue to try to work this in Rhino until I learn a better way, but I have dozens of these files and I don’t have time to do this slow process in Rhino for all of them.

Does anyone have any advice about how to get around this issue? I just need to get them into some software where I can decimate the models to a usable size.

Many thanks for any info you can share.

How long does it take for Rhino to import one of your .PLY meshes? How many GB/sec does Rhino manage on these files?

I have written a script for fast import of .OBJ mesh files that achieves several GB/sec. Perhaps I could modify it to handle the .PLY format. Or perhaps the .PLY could be converted to .OBJ?


You could try Meshlab to decimate. I’m not sure if it will be faster than Rhino, but it may be your only option to try outside of a license for Geomagic or Polyworks,

At some point it may be more effective to sample the original scan point cloud and generate a new mesh than to decimate an existing mesh. I am assuming you are stuck with the files you have now, so that may not be an option.

Thank you for this offer. In this case the file was either too big for my hardware or too big for Rhino to do the decimation. It ran overnight until a memory error occurred and I had to shut down. I’m not technical enough to know which is to blame but I have had to take the approach of asking for smaller PLY files.

Thanks, you are right that the most effective thing was to go back to the scan provider and ask for smaller files.