Photogrammetry – General

So what is Photgrammetry?

Photogrammetry is in general terms, creating digital 3D models from pictures. It is also known as Structure from Motion but essentially generates a 3D model (mesh) to fairly accurate dimensions which can also be geolocated in some instances.

There are quite a few different ways to calculate the shape of objects in images using different algorithms, which are improved all the time, and every manufacturer of photogrammetry software claims to have the best but they all require multiple shots from different angles which are then tied together, imagine making a box by stapling paper pictures together, So the accuracy of the camera and technique or coverage of pixels will have huge effects on output quality.

The question is what do you want to do with your model and what time constraints are you working to?

If you are just hobying then check out open source software. Do be aware that some require you to have an NVIDEA CUDA compatible graphics card, and in general the better the graphics processing, then the better the results but some will operate using non specialist graphics such as standard intel HD as supplied with the I5 2nd generation CPU onwards.

Really though it is more than just a fun hobby as these tools have real power if combined with a good camera, good PC and good photographic surveyor.

The List of Photogrammetry Software we know of is below but is growing all the time even though they can sometimes use the same algorithm, quite often you can find different software displays different results and we definitely encourage everyone to try out this open source software even for fun using your phone camera. Do make sure you have good cooling on your PC though as it is Processor intensive. I use a MV Power Laptop cooling pad

Open Source or Free

  • Regard3D – Does not Require CUDA
  • MeshRoom – Requires CUDA
  • OpenMVG
  • VisualSFM
  • MicMac
  • ColMap

Proprietary (normally have a 30 day trial to test)

  • Autodesk Recap Photo – Does not require CUDA as Cloud Processed
  • 3DF Zephyr – Does not Require CUDA
  • Bentley Context Capture
  • Agisoft Metashape (Photoscan)
  • Reality Capture
  • Photomodeler
  • PIX4D
  • DroneDeploy
  • Imagine Photogrammetry
  • iWitness

If we have not mentioned a software you know of then please mention it below or use the contact form.