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ColourCloud News Release - 04/03/15


  • Breakthrough means end of stitching, processing images and manually clicking placement points
  • iSTAR® camera captures a 50 million pixel image within 20 seconds - the same resolution scan (without colour) would take around 20-30 minutes

NCTech Limited, creators of the ground-breaking iSTAR® 360º panoramic digital imaging device, is launching ColourCloudTM, the world’s fastest automatic HDR point cloud colourisation software. This offers speedy, pixel-perfect overlay to support iSTAR® files and e57 industry standard laser scan outputs from leading scanner manufacturers including Trimble, Leica Geosystems and Faro. 

This now allows HDR images are captured at each scan position in just 20 seconds and the ColourCloudTM batch processing capability reduces post-capture scan colourisation to a fraction of the time normally taken.

The ColourCloudTM process provides fully automatic colourisation which speeds up workflow rates, requires no stitching, resolves parallax issues and is precision calibrated to sub-pixel accuracy. The end result is full colour HDR overlay from any laser scan to within +/-2 pixels. 

Neil Tocher, Chief Technical Officer of NCTech Limited, explains the concept and development of ColourCloudTM:

“ColourCloudTM is designed to use a single open file format to integrate into the existing output from software across all manufacturers scanning devices and is a significant improvement on existing processes which can take considerable time to colourise a single 3D scan from a scanner. 

This means that hundreds of millions of 3D scan data points can be colourised from an iSTAR® image in seconds. We are redefining the colourisation process with total automation in a fraction of the time it currently takes."

As a comparison, NCTech Limited highlights an example in which the iSTAR® camera captured a 50 million pixel image within 20 seconds; the same resolution scan (without colour) would take around 20-30 minutes. 

A high dynamic range capture of up to nine exposures takes just over two minutes with iSTAR®. This is a fully automatic process, done at the push of a button.  

NCTech Limited's CEO, Cameron Ure, adds:

“This is a significant milestone in offering the laser scanning market an innovative step-change solution, whilst delivering a leap in visual quality and detail. 

“It not only saves time, but seamlessly assists the entire workflow and the ability to automatically colourise an entire point cloud. This is ground-breaking for the laser scanning industry.”

More details are available at

NCTech will be holding a webinar on the 10th March to mark the launch of their exciting new ColourCloud automated point-cloud colourisation software. The webinar will demonstrate how the software works and why it is so significant to the laser scanning community. Two sessions will be held to accommodate different global time zones, the first at 09.00 UK time and the second at 17.00 UK time. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Link to the registration page:



Editor’s Notes

1. The illustration shows All Saints Church in Lilbourne, Northamptonshire. Built in the 11th and 12th Centuries of Northamptonshire stone, the illustration was produced using a Leica C10, taking nine scans at medium resolution, and then colourised in HDR within 15 minutes using ColourCloud. 

2. NCTech is a pioneering immersive imaging company based in Scotland and founded in 2010 by Neil Tocher and Cameron Ure.  The company launched its first product, the iSTAR®, a fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera, in the spring of 2012. 

Originally developed for the military and police, this new type of rapid reconnaissance camera is predicted to displace current technology and has multiple applications: from covert operations and police reporting of crime scenes to 3D laser documentation and asset management for the engineering and heritage sectors.

iSTAR is the first camera to have the power to process its images internally, with no need for a computer to complete post-production processing or stitching. Small, light and robust, it is easy to transport, quick to set up and does not need special training or photographic skills. 

Originally self-funded and still privately held NCTech recently received investment from business angel syndicate Archangels and is listed on the Scottish Enterprise high growth stream. 


Neil Tocher, Co-Founder and CTO NCTech: t: 0131 202 6258 

Cameron Ure, Co-Founder and CEO NCTech: t: 0131 202 6258

Chris Dryden, Commercial Director, NCTech: t 0131 202 6258

Kevin Dorrian, Acumen PR: t: 0131 661 7027 m: 07786 386300

Alistair McLean, Acumen PR: t: 0131 661 7027 m: 07870 651915

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