Unleashing Photogrammetry

The following are slides and external resources for a seminar talk I gave entitled: “Unleashing Photogrammetry”, discussing how to create virtual interactive environments from photogrammetry that will run smoothly on tablet devices for easy distribution.

Making 3D models of sites, and making them portable

Photogrammetry is a method for generating 3D models from images. It can produce fantastic results – models that can appear near photorealistic – and capture not only rock faces and their markings, but fine 3D details and the scale of the site. Recent use of such scans has allowed analysing and visualising of change in sites over time. It also has the benefit of not requiring bulky or exotic equipment: all it takes is a camera.

There are common problems associated with high-detail photogrammetry projects though:
they require high-powered computers to both generate and view, and the results can be very large and unwieldy, making sharing difficult.

In this talk, I will suggest approaches to solve both of these problems that will allow the resulting environment to be visualised and interacted with on a tablet device, and be more easily shared. I will describe how to use of cloud computing for the reconstruction process to give access to very powerful machines, and how to utilise modelling techniques from computer games – bump mapping and normal mapping – to massively reduce the size and complexity of models with minimal effect to the appearance. My own recent reconstruction of the Trafalgar St graffiti tunnel (a 30 million polygon model from 1200 photographs of the 35 metre long tunnel) will be used to illustrate the process, and provide a workflow for achieving the same results.


Download the slideshow (1.5mb PDF) that accompanied the seminar


Tunnel Reconstruction



Low-Geometry Proxy comparison on Rock Formation

Video tutorials for PhotoScan -> Unity 3D (via 3DS Max and xNormal)