Scan with the BLK360 & Best Practices

Choose the Right Scan Settings

From start to finish, a single scan on the Leica BLK360 can take anywhere from 2 to 9 minutes depending on the settings. Generally, you can set the Leica BLK360 to scan quicker at low quality (not recommended: poor 2D imagery and sparse 3D point cloud) or slower with high quality. Two different settings can affect quality, and thus the time required for each BLK360 scan.

1) HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR improves the 2D image quality of the panorama by balancing out light and dark areas. Choose a higher HDR setting if your area has a lot of contrast, such as if scanning by a window or in bright sunlight. Higher settings provide better images, but take longer to capture.

If you wish to export a scan into Recap Pro, set to HDR Off or HDR 3HDR 2, 4, and 5 cannot export into Recap Pro.

2) Scan Density

This refers to how dense your 3D point cloud is, and is a measure of how many points are captured during a single scan. This also affects the quality of the 3D mesh (Dollhouse View & OBJ file) after processing. We recommend using Medium for most work. Choose high density if you plan to export a point cloud from the BLK360 to another application in addition to Matterport Capture, when you require very high detail and accuracy. Higher settings take longer to scan.

Scan density setting affects the point cloud data captured and retained on the device itself. You can manually export this point cloud data. Learn more.

Tap the HDR or Scan Density buttons above the Capture button to change your settings.


You can set the HDR to:

Setting Speed Quality
Off Fast Satisfactory images in evenly-lit environments. Poor quality images in high contrast places. Can export into Recap Pro.
2 to 5 Higher numbers are slower 5 is the best quality in high-contrast environments. HDR 3 can export into Recap Pro. HDR 2, 4, and 5 cannot export into Recap Pro.

You can set the scan density to:

Setting Speed Quality
Low Fast Less accurate point cloud data than the Matterport Pro or Pro2 3D Camera. Learn more. Low-quality 3D mesh (Dollhouse View & OBJ file).
Medium Slow Default setting. Similar to point cloud data from Matterport Pro or Pro2 3D Camera. Satisfactory 3D mesh (Dollhouse View & OBJ file).
High Very slow Point cloud accuracy up to 6mm at 10m when exported from the BLK360 to other applications. Satisfactory 3D mesh (Dollhouse View & OBJ file).

See note about density above. To use the point cloud in other applications, you can download the point cloud from the BLK360 device directly.


Capture with the BLK360

When you are ready, tap CAPTURE 3D SCAN in the Capture app to begin scanning.

For a scan to be part of a Matterport model, you must start the scan from the Matterport Capture app. You can tap the physical power button on the back of the BLK360 to capture a scan, but it will not be part of a Matterport model.


While the device is scanning, be sure to get out of the way so you are not included in the 2D panorama or the 3D data. Scans with the Leica BLK360 can take from 3 to 15 minutes depending on the HDR and Scan Density settings.

You will hear a sound when the device is finished scanning. Data will automatically transfer from the device to your iPad, and the minimap will update accordingly.

Minimap Legend:

  • Green square — Leica BLK360 3D scan
  • Blue circle — Matterport Pro or Pro2 3D Scan
  • Dark green square or dark blue circle — Last 3D Scan you took

Move the tripod and scan again. Remember, if you are using the BLK360 then each scan position must have a line of sight and be within a certain distance of a previous scan.

Continue to mark mirrors while indoors and to trim excess 3D data. When outdoors, mark reflective windows as mirrors for easier alignment.

After every successful scan your data automatically transfers to the iPad to align with previous scans. For your convenience we also keep that scan data on the BLK360 device itself. This means two things:

  • You can export the raw, structured point clouds into another program. Learn how.
  • You have to manually manage data to keep open space on the BLK360. Learn how.


Switch to Matterport

First, press and hold the power button on the back of the BLK360 to turn it off. Unscrew or disconnect the Leica BK360 and put it back in it’s carrying case.

Next, mount the Matterport Pro or Pro2 3D Camera to the tripod and connect it to your iPad via WiFi.

You can use two tripods (one for each device), but be careful. The actively scanning device may see the other tripod as 3D data that is part of the scene. This can cause alignment issues in future scans.

Next, place the tripod with the Matterport camera in the next position and scan as normal. It’s easy to switch back and forth between both devices during a single scanning job.

Learn how to scan your first Matterport model. Learn our best practices for scanning with Matterport.


Best Practices

Both the Matterport and the Leica cameras have their own advantages, and you can use both devices on the same job.

The following are some basic rules of thumb to help you choose the right device for the right place and job. For your specific job, use your judgment or contact us for more information.

Matterport Pro2 3D Camera Leica BLK360

High quality 4K imagery — When 2D panorama imagery is very important (such as for inspection or construction documentation) then use the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera.

Speed — For efficiency when moving through a large site or for scanning dense areas that require lots of scans, use Matterport. Each Matterport scan takes around 20 seconds, compared to around 180 seconds for the BLK360 (low density and no HDR).

Big spaces — You can get 3D data at long distances and place the device further apart between scans. Spaces that lack unique 3D objects, like a large empty warehouse and buildings that have high ceilings are great candidates.

Exteriors and bright lighting — The Leica BLK360 excels at scanning in bright conditions, especially in sunlight. With the BLK360, you can capture 3D scans to get great point clouds and measurements in areas that were difficult to scan before.

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