Photogrammetry Models and 3D UAV Mapping Thesis

(Carowley) #1


My first time posting I have a few questions for the community. Currently my experience in photogrammetry is the ability to produce with a Nikon D5500 and Autodesk Remake(Recap) successfully for cemetery statues. Where do I want to be? Currently, I want to be able to document, digitize, and deploy museum interactive kiosk with digitized artifacts and historic land/structures.

Advice for objects, currently curators do not like the idea of using developer spray or any form of coating to help reduce reflection. What recommendations does any of the community have for tough subjects such as taxidermy, mechanical parts ex. rims, cars, pistons, guns, metal, glass, etc. Any advice and techniques would be greatly appreciated.

I have tested with an Artec 3D Eva scanner and a Creaform HandyScan the output on simple subjects such as stone statues compare to a camera was disappointing. My camera produced overall better quality. From research, I understand I need to pick up Zbrush to help assist in the reconstruction of scans. This software can also assist in patching holes. Does anyone in the community have any tutorials they want to recommend? I will be starting fresh into Zbrush and would the student version ZBrushCore be adequate enough to complete this process?

I am looking to invest in a Phantom 4 DJI Drone for 3D UAV mapping to perform 3D maps of historic areas to preserve history. I am also going to take lessons on how to fly, program, and to become certified this summer. I also want to use a drone to do memorial statues, statues, historic buildings, bridges, etc. From research it seems the Phantom 4 DJI Drone is a highly used model for this purpose. From searching scans I do notice melting, holes, etc. I understand the more time you put into a project to better overall quality. I have not tested yet but since my software is now ReCap instead of ReMake has anyone used ReCap to produce high quality UAV maps and photogrammetry with a drone? I know of AgiSoft etc. What is the communities software of choice? Any other advice and recommendation is highly appreciated.

Why do I want to preserve history? I have worked at the Indiana State Museum for ten years in the IT AV department. I have been finishing my bachelors and masters. My capstone for undergrad next semester will be a kiosk interactive with just a completed theme. Currently thinking of using Native American artifacts or Pioneer Tools to produce a themed kiosk to assist a visitor in the viewing and learning of the objects. I have worked with Sketchfabs API currently and does anyone know how I produce custom annotation boxes to populate in the same location when accessing annotation points? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

My final question is what tools, turn tables, etc. do you as a community recommend? I was thinking of purchasing a piece of glass to make into a turn table. I will also purchase some developer spray to use on my own objects just to get familiarity with the substance. When I want to capture the sides and bottom of objects do you use an x or tape down a box to make sure the object appears in the same area to help with the rendering process? Any advice is greatly appreciated, if you have read my full post thank you for your time. I understand I am asking quite a bit here. I am just attempting to iron out details for my thesis proposal. This thesis will last from the summer of 2018 to the spring "May" of 2019.

Again thank you all for reading and any comments.

(Geoffreymarchal) #2

Dear Carowley,

I cannot help for all the drone stuff, this is not my speciality. For 3D scan of grave, marker, tomb and other sculptures, I can share my advise. I can already tell you photogrammetry with ReCap will give you very good results and only high price 3D scan can do better (for more money). 3D scan a grave, tombstone and other pretty flat object will work the same way than a sculpture. Find below some general advice about 3D scanning. Personally, I will try first to 3D scan shiny object lighted with soft light before try to coat them. Remove coating can be very cumbersome and sometime just impossible. I already succeed to 3D scan a glass vase with success. Zbrush give very good result to fix hole and topology problem in 3D scan. Don´t forget all the other free software like MeshMixer, MeshLab, Blender, Instant Meshes, and newly simplygon to reduce polycount and bake Normal Map.

If you will, I could try to put you in contact with people at UWF university in Pensacola. They are doing a similar job at the St Michael´s Cemetery.

General advices:
In photogrammetry, photo quality is important indeed. But the way to take pictures is quite different. Usually I took between 200 to 500 pictures of the model. I turn around by 360 with 20 - 25 degree step. So to make a full 360, I have between 15 to 18 steps. At every step, I also take 3 to 4 pictures at different height, keeping the model in the centre of the frame. In addition, I might take more close up pictures to capture a specific detail (always taking 15 to 30 pictures at different angle and height per detail).
You have to think your photoshooting like a panorama. So every pictures should have something like 50% overlapping. Otherwise the software won´t be able to align the different pictures. Similarly, the close-up should not be to close. Always be sure to have a good overlapping between pictures otherwise the software will discard the picture.
The lighting condition is also important. You want a diffuse shadeless lighting. Keep a f-stop relatively high (at least above 5) to keep the model AND the background in focus. So if you can, use photo spotlight.

Last but least, the software! I use either ReMake or ReCap from AutoDesk or CapturingReality. Both are really good and will improve dramatically the quality of reconstruction. ReMake or ReCap are available for free if you are a student or researcher. I will recommend ReCap as it give you access to high quality reconstruction. However, both ReMake or ReCap accept only 250 pictures in educational licence. If you want use more pictures, you should pay. Other advantage, ReMake or ReCap do cloud computing. Therefore you do not need your computer to reconstruct the model.
Capturing Reality can work with more than 250 pcitures, but in the free version you cannot export the mesh. For 99$/3 months, you can export and use up to 2500 pictures for each model. However, this is not cloud computing and a computer with a good graphic card (mine is a GTX 960 with 6Gb) is recommended.

I wish you the best,


(Carowley) #3

Hi Geoffrey,

Thank you for the response. What would you recommend to overcome the reflective properties of civil war buttons, guns, etc. without the use of developer spray? Learn by doing? I would love to get in touch with other universities I will gladly accept your offer. I am a grad student at IUPUI in the New Media program and I also work at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

As of right now I am not doing this for the museum, this is for my Capstone and Thesis projects. While cleaning my laptop for file space Autodesk Remake account informed me they are moving the software to Autodesk Recap and can now produce renders using 1000 photos at a time. My goal is to build an interactive in full Autodesk products because I am also testing Autodesk Play. With the recent changes with Autodesk I have not checked to see if Recap renders will import as easily as Remake has done.

I have $2500 to invest into my Thesis project. I can wiggle in the cost of Zbrush full but do you think the ZBrushCore has the capability to clean objects? I understand if you do not know. I am so thankful for your input, I am looking forward moving into the scan community.

Best Regards,

Christopher A. Rowley

(Matthewbrennan) #4

Hi Chris,
I'm a PhD student in Informatics at IU Bloomington. I believe I was the first doing photogrammetry at IU when I arrived here in 2013, and have built a pretty big community in Informatics, Anthropology, Geography, and Geology here since then. We've even gotten Photoscan running on the IU supercomputer.
Shoot me an email through sketchfab and we can chat.

(Carowley) #5

Hello Matthew,

Thank you for the response I will be in contact with you shortly.

Best Regards,


(Perthvr) #6

I create models with p3pro drone make sure you get the p4 pro (will take much of your budget) it has the bigger sensor and 20mp. If you keep your flight plans simple ie dont vary your camera pitch within a flight use the pix4dmapper (the flight plan part is free) or you can use a combination of mission planner and litchi app for more complex flight paths. If you use a flight plan then you will need to keep the speed at the lowest setting to avoid blurry pictures. You can of course capture/fly manually but it is much harder to control the overlap

(Carowley) #7

Hello all let me start off by thanking you all for your advice. I have ran into a predicament while prepping my stations to do the work. Autodesk Remake is done .
I have installed Autodesk recommendation Autodesk Recap Pro and it charges cloud credits and I will be in some remote locations with no access to internet. I need to be able to render locally on my local machine. This is mostly educational purposes I was informed 12 cloud credits from Recap Pro to render a White Tail Deer femur as a test. This will not do because I will have a very large assortment of objects. I need another affordable software solution that allows local rendering. Autodesk CSR solution was disappointing. Any recommendations greatly appreciated.


(Carowley) #8

Reality Capture demo seems to not bring in all my cloud points or is it not reading my photos correctly? I am using a folder of images that Autodesk Remake produce successfully. I have watched the workflow video and have done everything that is being shown but the results come out as a melted mess. Is this because of the demo's capability?

(Perthvr) #9

there are a few open source options out there such as vfsm and webdom

(Joel Whitton) #10

Hello carowley, when you did your tests with 3d scanners (I mean Artec for example, because I use it in my work myself) you could try to do post processing at the Artec Studio. Their autopilot is pretty simple and informative even for beginners like me and gives pretty good results. As far as I know you can try the 30-day trial version and it seems there are no restrictions on the functional of the software. When working with other scanners, I used ReCap basically, it is convenient and simple, but there are many other good softwares for this, free or with low cost versions