Many studies have been focusing on reconstructing the branch skeleton of a three-dimensional (3D) tree structure that is based on photos or point clouds scanned by a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), but leaves, as the important component of a tree, are often ignored or simplified because of their complexity. Therefore, we develop a voxel-based method to add leaves to a reconstructed 3D branches structure based on TLS point clouds. The location and size of each leaf depend on the spatial distribution and density of leaves points in the voxel. We reconstruct a small 3D scene with four realistic 3D trees and a virtual tree (including trunk, branches, and leaves), and validate the structure of each tree through the directional gap fractions calculated based on simulated point clouds of this reconstructed scene by the ray-tracing algorithm. The results show good coherence with those from measured point clouds data. The relative errors of the directional gap fractions are no more than 4.1%, though the method is limited by the effects of point occlusion. Therefore, this method is shown to give satisfactory consistency both visually and in the quantitative evaluation of the 3D structure.
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