3D photogrammetry guide

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3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Twit » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:45 pm

Short intro to 3D photography.

Have to thank fisher 1266 for all of this for making aware of free software and its capabilities :D .

The download link is

https://www.3dflow.net/3df-zephyr-free/

I'm running it on a 2ghz (peak I think) 2gb ram tablet with 10gb disk space and it works on those minimum specs.

There are a series of tutorials and longer explanations online, and I'll list a few simpler links at the end for some depth, but here I am going to keep it very simple - the software is near automatic IF you start with the right input, which is good photos that the software can recognise and work with.

Here is the start of the discussion with fisher 1266 , and he provides a very good image of how the turntable and markers benefit from being set up.

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=98885&p=878626&hil ... ed#p878626


There are a few requisits for a good photo set:

The more in focus the better, phone cameras have fixed aperture, but digital cameras can benefit from decreasing it (larger fstop) . Phone cameras in general have no fixed or manual focus ( rooted it is possible I think), so each shot is autofocus hit and miss as you go along...keep trying for each shot until it seems ok.

The clarity is helped by tripod, delayed shutter release, good lighting, low iso etc.

Lighting. The idea is to have consistent lighting and avoid shadows or large changes in surface appearance that confuse the processing. A phone flash, which is sat next to the lense, leaves almost no visible shadows in a photo, but it does leave high reflections and over highlights certain areas. I managed to get some sets accepted using a phone fill flash, but only had two whole sets ( from different heights) processed correctly using a light tent, pictured below :

_20180311_162737.jpg


This was a few hours project, all thin ply, the turntable is a chair wheel swivel, the bracket at left holds the phone at four different angles, the light is a battery bar led one, the light tent is paper on wood frame, the top sheet is much finer paper to let in light. Turntable surface and background can be white or black, I am still working out which is best, as well as how to get a complete 360 image without the base. Total cost @ £10.

So you will be taking at least one circle of at least ten pictures ( though it is possible to do just say a front surface not 360) , better results are two rows of twenty or so each, and be asking the program to figure them into order to give a geometric 3D calculation of the position of the object in space. Sometimes it manages only part of a set, gives half a view etc. .

This first step is called the sparse cloud, which is made up of points shared by different photos that are recognised by the programme. It is the one you have to get right, as once the programme has properly placed all (or most) of the pictures, the rest is just refinement.

After the sparse cloud is judged ok by the user, you ask it to make a dense point cloud... which is as name suggests, reconstruction of many more common points.

The next step is to ask it to create a triangle mesh representing the surface between points.

Finally you ask it to colour in the mesh - textured mesh.


The only step that is difficult is the first, the rest work afterwards.

The download and installation of the program was fine ( @ 300 mb) , and straight off to try a set of photos.

I started freehand without turntable at night with whatever lamps and torches I could find, but it only accepted a few photos from each set ( e.g. three of twenty) ... so tried in daylight and a bit better, then with backdrops, masking, simple marking etc.... and still at best only half a model.... then put together a turntable and tried fisher's style of markings, bought a small tripod, and was getting near a single set accepted...sometimes... so decided the tripod was awkward and built the station pictured above and was close... one full set but not quite enough to give clear detail in places... like background folding into the model.... so started messing with different backgrounds and markings and took two sets ( one low angle, one higher) that I considered good as possible and tried processing those ... anyone using a proper camera might have better results, but the camera on the Sony Z5 is rated also.... and it also gave mixed results:

As mentioned the main aim is to get as many photos accepted in the sparse cloud... so all from one side and none from the other will not do etc. On sparse cloud generation presets you can set the level of effort from fast to exhaustive, and the time to process increases at each level. So to cut a long story short I had the windows tablet running occupied 12hrs a day for several days with the various efforts.

With the last set I had eventually started "exhaustive" to try to get it accepted, but after hours and still processing I figured that would not do either, stopped it, and decided to mess with some advanced controls to teach it all a lesson... as the progress bar neared complete I was ready for another half finished offering and had already thought of taking another set, or of using a different model maybe.... but there it came through with just 3 of the pictures left out. Those settings took under an hour for a good sparse cloud - acceptable.

The dense point cloud always takes longer, and on my computer it warned everytime of low RAM before starting, and that it might not finish.... but it always did.... took something over an hour.... the mesh is faster....and the textured mesh also

BUT

if you pick an intense setting, or if you adjust parameters to high definition.... etc.... you might end up with several hours computing for any step ... and when that is to produce a starting sparse cloud that you just have to wipe clean and start all over again from.....

Add to that that high definition settings do not necessarily provide better results either.


:D




The Sparse Cloud settings that accepted all photos with 1 hr processing time, using title abbr. of first letter of word for all on "Advanced"

KD-VL
MT-A
MSD-F
RET-W
R-D
RE-G
BA-LAS
PO-AG

The Dense Cloud settings that gave minimal process time

Raw
NonC-3
Res-10
NF-50
DL-Low
VT-Direct
HM-Dis.


Those are a starting point maybe, for better quality - higher settings work but increase processing time.

So https://sketchfab.com/models/99a18b9550 ... d905dcbc76
took twelve hours on my setup for dense cloud using more intense settings than those listed above.

https://sketchfab.com/models/b0a5bc146a ... ec57266287 is the result of using the faster half hour dense cloud settings as listed above.

https://sketchfab.com/models/2412bd55a7 ... 515d434a00 is the faster settings listed above plus an added step of Photoconsistency Based Optimization (PBO)

PBO only worked using lower resolution settings on my setup due to RAM size ( had to lower Res. and No. of Cameras etc.)

This is the quality of the input images, as compared to the lower resolution example tested below:


_20180316_125449.jpg

No effort made to tidy the results.

Mesh settings used on all were :

PC-M
Smooth.-50%
Water-10%
RT-Smooth
PBO-off (it can be run alone later - took half an hour in this test)

Took under quarter hr

Textured Mesh settings were Advanced at default.

Took around half an hour




Equipment used :

PC Intel Cherry Trail 1.5ghz @ 2gb Ram 10GB free on disk Win 10 1709
Camera Sony Z5.

Zephyr version 3.701 ( when they update the versions they sometimes insist on accepting the update before allowing you to use the program.... but if you close it and go offline it carries on as normal without the update...but if you want to upload your model onto the 3D web portal sketchfab for sharing it it is done by the program and obviously online... so you might be obliged to update... the updates are just improvements without major changes though... so far.... so no reason not too. I suppose having used Android a lot and being so fed up with constant updates that aren't improvements I am used to having updates turned off by choice :) )


Here is a good overview of the process

https://blog.sketchfab.com/getting-star ... phyr-free/


3Dflow has a series of tutorials

https://www.3dflow.net/technology/docum ... tutorials/

Of which Parameters
https://www.3dflow.net/3df-zephyr-param ... ing-guide/

Point cloud filtering
https://www.3dflow.net/tutorial-point-c ... h-filters/

Density
https://www.3dflow.net/technology/docum ... d-quality/

though a bit technical, were of much use.

Also a good technical look at photo quality vs hardware at
http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/doe ... ze.matter/


I leave it at that, a basic intro with some tips to getting started and working ... the rest is anyone's own adventure.


::g

Addendums:

LOW RESOLUTION CAMERA RESULT

Using the worst camera to be found a test was run with the above settings. The camera has 1.5 mp ( as opposed to 23mp of the above results). Fixed focus, no choice of iso, only one level of exposure compensation ( dark-medium-bright) etc. It is an older Alcatel one touch phone camera... even webcams do better.... and it was zoomed with relatively poor light due to not using the above light tent but a direct led light. So this is the quality of one of the photos:
IMG_20180320_231213.jpg
Which is original size. 18 photos were taken from a slightly elevated angle, this is the rough shot you should be looking for for a set of photos - object, turntable surface, and markers... only. For a lower angled additional set it would include a backdrop, which I keep blank. The program processed them all in around half an hour total ( due to lower sized photos) to complete without problem, on the first attempt using the above settings. The sim card was put there just so that there would be a clear reference to the level of detail kept... not that there was too much to start off with.


https://sketchfab.com/models/8335d31a8d ... 55df3f40aa


The result is as to be expected, no better than the quality of the photos, and lack of detail, poor lighting, means it merges surfaces together in places. It is a finished model however, and with no attempt made at tidying or improving the result.

Camera App.

I did eventually find one camera application for Android that gives manual focus and exposure lock, after trying most available. Others manage exposure lock. It does not give those options on all phones/devices, so on a Sony Z5 compact yes, but a Z ultra no.... you have to test it on own phone.

After testing it though, I could not achieve better fotos than with the stock application, probably because manual focus did not seem not reach the macro mode for closeups .... something to try anyway and might give better results for others.

It is called Footej , and is free on the playstore.
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Last edited by Twit on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:35 pm, edited 11 times in total.



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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by sweepstick47 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:54 pm

Hello 'Twit', A very interesting read and a fascinating subject. Many thanks for sharing it. ::g
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Boandtia » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:20 pm

Many thanks for all your hard work, very interesting indeed, and helpful.
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Saki » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:42 pm

Excellent guide Twit. Thank you ::g
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by mrix » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:44 pm

Another really useful guide ::g B-)
Thanks
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Twit » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:14 am

Thanks all for the thanks, much appreciated ::g

Hopefully it will encourage a few people and help overcome some, or most, of the difficulties of starting out in 3D photography. I think within a few years it will be made much easier for the average person to be able to just go ahead and shoot 3D images, the above software is almost there, as are some other platforms ( though not as good, or otherwise needing paying for) .

Photographing small objects is its own discipline, it may be easier to build larger outdoors pictures - have not tried yet. Will also try with a very cheap phone camera at some point to see if it is possible to process.

I will add a few extra details eventually to the post, a very short description on masking, and what ways the image can be tidied ....also I might try to photograph the setup I used in 3D and include the link.

To anyone trying - just be prepared with a fair amount of patience, it is not just point and shoot so reaching a first completed model is going to be a small project, if taken in its own time it should be fun though.

The first time I read mdf was re. density testing for gold, via a search, so just adding to the favour offered ....I would have done all the photogrammetry testing by myself anyway, so it seemed a shame not to spend a little extra time to write it all down and share the info.

:D

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Steve_T » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:53 am

I have had a go and the results were not too good, I should have watched the tutorials first

I may get a new video card that should help complete it in a better finished product, thanks for the time you have spent compiling this, as you say it will become more user friendly in the future and will see more and more and it will be the norm

There are a lot of 3D images on the PAS, your efforts are pretty close to theirs, it's almost tactile without actually holding the item

Regards Steve
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Twit » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:29 pm

Steve_T wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:53 am
I have had a go and the results were not too good, I should have watched the tutorials first

I may get a new video card that should help complete it in a better finished product, thanks for the time you have spent compiling this, as you say it will become more user friendly in the future and will see more and more and it will be the norm

There are a lot of 3D images on the PAS, your efforts are pretty close to theirs, it's almost tactile without actually holding the item

Regards Steve
If you were trying on a smaller object, fixed camera position at slightly elevated view, turntable with markers, twenty photos spaced evenly in one round, blank background "should" work ... decent focus and lighting and similar exposure on all will help.... with the settings described above it accepts the offerings first time with me. Start with a an object that has different detail and is well textured might help too... reflective or see through might throw it off.

The Cuda card will speed up processing but not sure if it provides a better final result ( but yes for a given time) ?

Once you get the photos right then afterwards it is just a question of repeating that quality or method.

::g

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Twit » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:01 am

Steve_T wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:53 am
I have had a go and the results were not too good, I should have watched the tutorials first
Just added an addendum on using a low resolution camera, shows the sort of photo that it likes, and the effect of low resolution ( or low quality photos) on the end result.

::g

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Fisher1266X » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:54 pm

Hi Twit,

Thanks for the acknowledgements and the superb write up.

Once all the basic requirements are satisfied the procedure should be straight forward.
As you say, once you achieve a good "Sparse Cloud" the rest should follow suite.
In a way, the software has too many settings and each one can alter the outcome of the next.
This however adds to the multitude of options and resolutions the the software can offer.

I'm looking forward to my next challenge.
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Twit » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:07 pm

Fisher1266X wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:54 pm
Hi Twit,

Thanks for the acknowledgements and the superb write up.

Once all the basic requirements are satisfied the procedure should be straight forward.
As you say, once you achieve a good "Sparse Cloud" the rest should follow suite.
In a way, the software has too many settings and each one can alter the outcome of the next.
This however adds to the multitude of options and resolutions the the software can offer.

I'm looking forward to my next challenge.
Thanks.... rl; ... I figured it was worth putting down the whole walk through from lay rather than just " use these settings, they work " as most people have barriers of some kind when it comes to dealing with technology and computers.....which isn't surprising given how even when you follow instructions to the T they can still go haywire, let alone when people help them in that direction.... I still have this trepidation that I will push "enter" with a wrong command, or that I will inadvertently push some button and that it won't work anymore 8-| .... which is why I learnt to do fresh install of the OS.... can mess around as I like knowing I can start the whole system from scratch and have it setup as new in an hour :D .

I know the software is aimed at the professional market, but they are obviously trying to draw in begginers and amateurs too, so it is surprising they don't have an "easy" setting using parameters like those above, even just on the free version :-/ .

Now it will be something to perfect a bit for me when I have time, figure out how to get that all round look of a floating object, and also to model some of the nicer finds.

::g

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Steve_T » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:08 pm

Just a heads up if you are looking for a cheap turntable, found a square lazy Susan bearing for £1.99, i will add some round board for the size i need. Its all metal and good quality 95mm or in English 3 and 3/4 inches across

Heavy Duty Metal Susan Bearing Rotating Swivel Turntable Desk Table Rack (for its exact title)

Or if you want a larger one they come in various round sizes, another alternative is a rotating cake decorating turntable for under £5

All from the well known auction site

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Steve_T » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:20 pm

My attempt at 3D

I have a long way to go before its any where near presentable but this was a second attempt and it didn't take too long, about 90 minutes to 2 hrs total

All 48 images loaded ok ::g

images were from a Finepix Z100fd, image size 3.48 MB, size 3264 x 2448
Aperture F3.9
focal length 5.9 mm
shutter speed 1/240 sec
F number F6.4
ISO 100
Exp correction +0.0 EV
(All setings were Auto)

Used home made turntable and wow that worked great

I used my main camera and yet to try that, high res and with macro lens so I will see how that pans out when time allows

I got so far and got quite befuddled with the next procedure, i had a couple off birthday present beers and thought they were a bit strong....checked and they were 10.0 % vol h;@
That could be the reason

Anyway here you are, my effort

https://sketchfab.com/models/ce18828f26 ... 1388872df5

Regards Steve
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Fisher1266X » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:39 pm

Steve_T wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:20 pm
My attempt at 3D
Regards Steve
Steve, thats a great effort ::g
I bet you were chuffed at the result.
The best part of this 3D thing is that you can always improve on your last attempt.
I can't to nail the "missing" bits part of the process.

Best
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Steve_T » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:57 pm

I have managed to get a bit further, i am determined to master this, its going to be fun, i am really liking this, i cant wait to try better res pictures and take even more care over the process, my home brew turntable and your tips of the markers helped greatly

surprised my machine has done this, i did get some warning messages over RAM being exceeded but it worked

And yes, chuffed to monkeys i have even managed this!!

It has been great inspiration from yourself and Twit that has spurred me on ::g ::g

Thanks Steve
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Steve_T » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:13 pm

And a little further!

I need to take photos (the first 24) at a lower angle, top of the image is not too bad

What a brilliant program and its free.....The fully paid one must be awesome

https://sketchfab.com/models/0f18b10ff1 ... e486528782

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Twit » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:11 pm

Steve_T wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:13 pm
And a little further!

I need to take photos (the first 24) at a lower angle, top of the image is not too bad

What a brilliant program and its free.....The fully paid one must be awesome

https://sketchfab.com/models/0f18b10ff1 ... e486528782

Regards Steve
Those are looking good ::g.

There are plenty of tools and settings to play around with also, which for me is fun learning.... there are really only two off-putting sides to it, which are actually getting a starting model, and processing time.

I didn't think creating a model was in reach of the hardware I had, thought it would be very technical in places, thought that any good software would be expensive or free versions very bare - so again a thanks to fisher for showing the way.

For processing time there is not too much you can do except start with higher quality inputs, and tweak the parameters to a level which isn't too demanding. Even my most basic pc will do the deepest processing if it is chosen, but that means waiting hours for the result. I suppose if you figure it will give a wanted result that could be left going overnight, but the faster results are near as good anyway.

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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Fisher1266X » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:21 pm

Steve_T wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:13 pm
And a little further!

I need to take photos (the first 24) at a lower angle, top of the image is not too bad

What a brilliant program and its free.....The fully paid one must be awesome

https://sketchfab.com/models/0f18b10ff1 ... e486528782

Regards Steve
A superb outcome there Steve, yes, it's one of those "I will master it" scenario's :D

There are three "better" programs from the 3D Zephyr people that are quite expensive.... but you get what you pay for lol!

Fortunately I have a CUDA graphics card that supports photogrammetry and a fair bit of RAM etc :D
Twit wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:11 pm
Steve_T wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:13 pm
And a little further!

I need to take photos (the first 24) at a lower angle, top of the image is not too bad

What a brilliant program and its free.....The fully paid one must be awesome

https://sketchfab.com/models/0f18b10ff1 ... e486528782

Regards Steve
Those are looking good ::g.

I didn't think creating a model was in reach of the hardware I had, thought it would be very technical in places, thought that any good software would be expensive or free versions very bare - so again a thanks to fisher for showing the way.
The free software is very powerful .....as it needs to be to create what we're trying to achieve.
For those of us that likes a challenge, whether that be "I want to find more hammies/Roman or get that great permission", this photogrammetry thing is something that may get bigger as time goes on :D
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Re: 3D photogrammetry guide

Post by Steve_T » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:19 pm

Fisher1266X wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:21 pm
Steve_T wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:13 pm
And a little further!

I need to take photos (the first 24) at a lower angle, top of the image is not too bad

What a brilliant program and its free.....The fully paid one must be awesome

https://sketchfab.com/models/0f18b10ff1 ... e486528782

Regards Steve
A superb outcome there Steve, yes, it's one of those "I will master it" scenario's :D

There are three "better" programs from the 3D Zephyr people that are quite expensive.... but you get what you pay for lol!

Fortunately I have a CUDA graphics card that supports photogrammetry and a fair bit of RAM etc :D
Twit wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:11 pm
Steve_T wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:13 pm
And a little further!

I need to take photos (the first 24) at a lower angle, top of the image is not too bad

What a brilliant program and its free.....The fully paid one must be awesome

https://sketchfab.com/models/0f18b10ff1 ... e486528782

Regards Steve
Those are looking good ::g.

I didn't think creating a model was in reach of the hardware I had, thought it would be very technical in places, thought that any good software would be expensive or free versions very bare - so again a thanks to fisher for showing the way.
The free software is very powerful .....as it needs to be to create what we're trying to achieve.
For those of us that likes a challenge, whether that be "I want to find more hammies/Roman or get that great permission", this photogrammetry thing is something that may get bigger as time goes on :D
Yes I am totally hooked and will master the prog with luck, I like to learn as i go trying different commands, the guides are great but not my style of learning.

The full program is expensive and don't think i can justify at this moment in time, but when photogrammetry takes off there will be other software packages i am sure it will become more affordable.

I need to source a more suitable camera mount for this style of photography, what i have at present is fine for static images, i need to incorporate it in a home brew photogrammetry platform with the turntable so focal length and lighting can be controlled and maintained. Good images are key to getting the software to accept them.

There are lots of 3D images on the PAS now, if recording items for the PAS who knows for self recorders there may be a way to access the software under licence from them in the future?

I self record and i may be useful to have another string to my bow, when i retire i would like to give some time to helping at the museum with what i can when needed.

King Regards Steve
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Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

Albert Einstein

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