This is a much underrated product in the AEC community but it has its strengths and is great for those that need good results that can be exported into most mesh formats.
Ok it costs £42 a month as a subscription to Recap Pro which also handles registering of laserscan data from many manufacturers. With this you get a certain amount of Cloud credit for processing your images or pointclouds into mesh models. This is not great as at last check 1 cloud credit was $1 and upto 300 photos will cost you 12 credits so even though you pay that £42 a month, every project will cost you between £10 to £50 depending on how many images you use.
This brings me on to the next issue, Photo models or closeups can only be 20-300 images and UAV / Drone Models can only be derived from a maximum of 1000 images. Considering photogrammetry tends to need at least a 30% overlap of image data to create tie points between images, you are not going to cover a great deal of area for you £50.
Ok thats the negative and why it quite rightly gets a slam from the AEC community over the costs but there are so many good things about it like:-
- It is fairly accurate time after time
- You only need a standard cheap laptop so there is a cost saving.
- It has a simple GUI system to upload your project images to the cloud and download the result.
- Once uploaded to the cloud, you no longer need to tie up your computer with processing images to models and can get on with other aspects of your business which is the strength of cloud based solutions as if you stop work, you probably lose 5 or 6 times more money than the processing cost but if it is not as expected then you have to pay again to process another project – no refunds for bad models.
- You can optimize the export format of the model to many bits of software including Blender so no lock into autodesk products.
- Autodesk supports students and education facilities with free access to many of their products on a Education Licence.
- It ties in seamlessly with other Autodesk software like Maya and 3DS which are used extensively within many Industries so it adds to a great workflow.
There is also a 30 day trial available on Autodesk products so it is worth trying out for yourself.
On test it produced a model better than that of non CUDA Open source software to the extent of picking out the Cigarette Butts that had been discarded in the trough which is pretty good for that set of images. Please have a look at the video below which illustrates what you can expect. Do also note how much extra background imagery has been converted too.
I did also like how it computed a bottom for the trough even though there were no deliberate images of the bottom.
For a complete look at this software go to Autodesk Recap Page
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