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How to visualize depthimages from rosbag file with RViz?

asked 2016-08-07 07:11:00 -0500

lisa gravatar image

I have a *.bag file which contains depthimages from a Kinect 2 Camera. I want to visualize them in rviz and convert them to point clouds.

So far, I don't succeed in visualizing the data in rivz. There is the following warning:

Global Status: Warn
Fixed Frame No tf data. Actual error: Fixed Frame [map] does not exist

I'm not really sure where to go from here on and would be thankful the more detailed the instructions are.

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2 Answers

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answered 2016-08-08 10:54:31 -0500

Marcin Bogdanski gravatar image

updated 2016-08-08 17:43:38 -0500

RViz requires not only data to display, but also TF transform information that is published on separate topic. If TF data was not generated when .bag file was recorded, then it would be missing. Thus you probably need to spoof some dummy TF transform, just so RViz is happy.

The other problem is that, to spoof TF data correctly, you need to spoof them with timestamps corresponding to data from .bag file. Which means you need to use simulated clock from bag file.

Try the following:

1) start roscore as normal

2) setup roscore to use simulation time (I read that rosbag should do it automatically, but it didn't seem to work for me):

rosparam set use_sim_time true

3) start dummy TF transform

rosrun tf static_transform_publisher 0 0 0 0 0 0 map dummy_frame 100


  • 0 0 0 0 0 0 is offset and rotation for child frame "dummy_frame" - this does not matter
  • map is source "global" frame - this is the one you are missing (this should really be fixed in RViz, if no frames, then assume global frame exists with default name?)
  • dummy_frame - static_transform_publisher needs some child frame to work with - does not matter
  • 100 - publish rate in ms

4) Play bag file along with clock signal for other ROS nodes

rosbag play --clock mydata.bag

5) Start Rviz

Hope this helps.

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Thank you for your detailed answer. It was so clear, I succeed on first try =)

lisa gravatar image lisa  ( 2016-08-08 14:21:11 -0500 )edit

I just realized parameter description got folded into one long unreadable blob. Now fixed. Happy to help.

Marcin Bogdanski gravatar image Marcin Bogdanski  ( 2016-08-08 17:44:24 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-08-08 01:52:51 -0500

Nico__ gravatar image


The issue is your fixed frame, you need to set in which frame your point cloud is expressed. You can find it by doing "rostopic echo name_of_topic | grep frame_id" after launching your bag file.

Then change your fixed frame on Rviz to the name of that frame.


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Unfortunately, I only received another warning (WARNING: topic [/name_of_topic] does not appear to be published yet). However, the other answer worked. Thanks for the help!

lisa gravatar image lisa  ( 2016-08-08 14:24:01 -0500 )edit

My bad by name_of_topic I meant your actual name of topic =) but yes Marcin Bogdanski answer is very clear !

Nico__ gravatar image Nico__  ( 2016-08-08 21:08:30 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-08-07 07:11:00 -0500

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Last updated: Aug 08 '16