CloudCompare is a 3D point cloud (and triangular mesh) processing software. It has been originally designed to perform comparison between two dense 3D points clouds (such as the ones acquired with a laser scanner) or between a point cloud and a triangular mesh. It relies on a specific octree structure dedicated to this task.  Afterwards, it has been extended to a more generic point cloud processing software, including many advanced algorithms (registration, resampling, color/normal/scalar fields handling, statistics computation, sensor management, interactive or automatic segmentation, display enhancement, etc.).

cloud/mesh comparison
Cloud / mesh distances computation

User interface

CloudCompare relies on Qt and OpenGL.

user interface snapshot
User interface snapshot

Thanks to Eugene Liscio (, here is a first introductory tutorial video:


For a (maybe not so) exhaustive list of CloudCompare functionalities check the documentation page (especially the wiki).


CloudCompare also supports an extension mechanism based on plugins. 2 types of plugins are available:

raw  pcv
Ambient occlusion of a raw point cloud with the qPCV plugin

CloudCompare GL filters
Example of real-time GL filters applied on raw point clouds

See the complete list of plugins here.

Supported file formats

CloudCompare can loads many open point cloud formats (ASCII, LAS, E57, etc.) as well as some manufacturer's formats (DP, Riegl, FARO, etc.). It can also load triangular meshes (OBJ, PLY, STL, FBX, etc.) and a few polylines or polygon formats (SHP, DXF, etc.). Some SfM formats are aslo supported (Bundler, Photoscan PSZ, etc.).

See the complete list of supported formats here.