Photogrametry freeware

(Luis Rodriguez) #1

Anybody knows any piece of software dedicated to photogrammetry running under the GNU General Public License (GPL, or “free software”)?

Is there any initiative for such porpoise yet that you may have heard of?


(Tom Goskar) #2

There's a really useful list and comments of experiences with most of the open source photogrammetry software here:

TL;DR: The author found SMVS to be the most effective.

Personally, I use PhotoScan (commercial) in conjunction with MeshLab and CloudCompare (both open source) for editing, quality checking and scaling models and am happy with the results.

Hope this helps.


(Vibrantnebula) #3

Great link Tom! I've seen claims that SMVS can outperform Photoscan in the right hands. As far as I'm aware, what keeps a lot of the freeware software from being more widely adopted is the UI/UX so I'd encourage you to be patient and not get frustrated with photogrammetry as a whole if the opensource options prove to be unwieldy. Autodesk Remake will allow you to process 50 photos for free but it's fully automated which may or may not be a good thing depending on where you're coming from. There's 123D Catch as well.

(Luis Rodriguez) #4

Thanks for that prompt response!
Really interesting link. It's probably not an easy task to get all that running but I enjoyed a lot the "workflow diagram". Photogrammetry is indeed evolving really fast so I hope we´ll see some of that gui easy to use stuff in next future). I also use photoscan from a couple of years ago and it is really an amazing program. Meshlab also rules.
About Autocad photogrammetry software well, I tried 123Dcatch at the beggining of my personal research but did not like (and still probably do not like) software as a service (SaS). Just an old man maniac habit I guess!

(Vlad) #5

No, SMVS not outperform. I think it also not scalable and not optimized like OpenMVS, that on small resolution and good data can give more details than Photoscan, because it have photoconsistency mesh refinement step.

(Vibrantnebula) #6

I'd imagine the claims are based more on the SMVS UX than the actual technical capabilities of the software. The best tool for a job is the often one you're most comfortable and familiar with. After reading your reply I've decided to download OpenMVS and give it a shot since the refinement step sounds promising and I want to have experience outside of the paid solutions.

(Vlad) #7

For OpenMVS already problem (on refinement step) work with more than 100 16Mpx images. Even 64Gb RAM is not enough.

(Geoffreymarchal) #8

I did use for a long time Memento Beta, now ReMake. ReMake is still partially free to process 250 pictures to get a model in medium quality if I am not mistaken. If you are student / academic / scientist most of the company propose educational deal. I will point out AutoDesk (ReMake, ReCap) as they give 3 years educational licence for free.

Capturing reality offer you a 3 month licence for 99$ and this is a very good deal according the quality of the reconstruction. (
Agisoft also offer a version of his software for 179$. So relatively cheap according the market (

Disclaimer* I am not associated to any brand or company :wink: *Disclaimer

(Mesheritage) #9

I think VisualSFM is very good, in some case I got better result than photoscan (but fair to say that it was with a very bad dataset anyway!)
The problem I encountered is for to get a mesh out of the point cloud with additional step like openMSV or Meshlab. It's not a big issue when the dataset are good (standard/ normal way to take picture for photogrammetry) but is still longer and less straightforward than pro software.

I think CMPMVS are the guys behind Catpuring reality, phd project to successful compagny :wink:

Otherwise you have COLMAP, another software from a PhD project, but this one is still going so there is more activity around and reply from the maker. I heard it gives great results despite few bugs currently being corrected and it includes all the steps. Better to have a GPU for that, there is option to not use it but it seems to not work that well.

(Luis Rodriguez) #10

wow COLMAP looks very interesting!

(Luis Rodriguez) #11

actually I did not mean free in terms of financial cost, otherwise stated as gratis, but regarding the licence and accessing to source code if willing to. Maybe I should have said Libre (French and spanish word for free meaning freedom not price).
here is some "free" workflow that looks nice in a video tutorial:

(Geoffreymarchal) #13

sorry for the wrong answer. I found Regard3D:


(Tom Goskar) #14

For anyone looking to try out COLMAP, it is available here:

COLMAP is a general-purpose Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and Multi-View Stereo (MVS) pipeline with a graphical and command-line interface. It offers a wide range of features for reconstruction of ordered and unordered image collections. The software is licensed under the GNU General Public License.