Modeling using empties?

Is there a way, or perhaps the better question is convenient way to model using empties?

Here’s the problem: I am getting a number of survey points from a tracking program (let’s say Syntheyes). I would like to be able to use those points to create an environment to animate and render off of (catch shadows, physics, etc.).

The only way I can figure out how to do it is to jump in and out of edit mode, selecting points, hitting Ctrl-s and snapping the cursor to selected, then jumping back in to edit mode, hitting ctrl-s and snapping selected vert to cursor.

In other programs I’m used to being able to snap to objects not part of the original object while editing it. Is this (or something similar) possible in Blender?

Thanks in advance.

I should also note, there are likely to be a lot of points on a complicated mesh (like a hill), so anything that can help speed up the process beyond just making a simple quad, would be greatly appreciated.

you could try this script to generate a point cloud from selected empties… it may be faster to skin later with ‘F’ and some patience…? maybe search for a skinning script too

import bpy
points = []

for obj in bpy.context.selected_objects:
    if obj.type == 'EMPTY':

mesh ='points')
cloud ='new', mesh)

Is it possible to see / know the data your using, e.g. is it coming from a file and how is it formatted?

It’s coming in via a python script from Syntheyes. Unfortunately, I have an old version of Syntheyes so I’m stuck going through 2.49 then opening it in 2.58 (if only I had the $400 to update to Syntheyes 2011, it’d be one step…).

Does a point cloud exist as an object/set of vertices? If so, that could be exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t mind/prefer drawing the faces myself.

Thanks for all the help so far. But don’t let me stop you all there! Keep it coming! :smiley:

try the script above, select some -or all- empties and run it from a text editor…
you’ll get a pointcloud, yep

You, sir, are awesome. I’m looking forward to trying this out tonight. Thank you!