Photogrammetry – What You Need

What do you need to get started with photogrammetry? 

The most important thing you’ll need is passion, persistence, and the desire to learn. During your first attempts, you’ll experience glitches and imperfections, however those challenges can be overcome. Trial and error is an important part of any learning process and this is especially true with photogrammetry.

In this video, I’ve listed out the tools, hardware, and software you’ll require to begin working with photogrammetry.

Just a disclaimer, while watching these tutorials it’s helpful to have some basic manual photography knowledge and computer literacy. Being comfortable using technology will make this process much easier. However either way, I’ll do the best I can to explain things in a simple and understandable way for all types of audiences.

Getting Started

First off, you’ll need something to capture photographs with. Preferably a DSLR Camera. A DSLR provides quality images, with sharp detail at high resolutions. This type of camera enables you to have maximum control over the images that you produce. 

If you do not have access to a DSLR, then a smartphone or point and shoot camera is a potential alternative. Smartphone cameras are not only common, but they’re also very accessible.

Overall, the main requirement for any camera that you choose to use is that it must have manual settings. “Manual settings” means that you’re able to control the amount of light you let into the camera. Most smartphones and digital cameras automatically choose how much light is to be let into the camera in order to get what it thinks is the best brightness for the image. However, it’s important to be able to override this automatic function so you can decide what the images will look like, rather than the camera.  

Most DSLRs will have the ability to shoot in manual. However, not every smartphone will have this. The solution to this is to download some kind of manual camera app that overrides your smartphone camera.

The next thing you’ll need is a capable, modern computer. This computer’s specifications should include:

  • A high speed multi-core CPU (4+ Cores at 3.5GHZ+)
  • Minimum 8 gigabytes of RAM (Recommended 16GB+)
  • Dedicated GPU such as a GTX 970, RX580, or better / equivalent

Due to the data intensive complexity of photogrammetry, it’s very memory hungry! Ultimately, you’ll be limited in what you’re able to create by the amount of RAM in your system. If your PC is capable of gaming, video-editing, or any kind of CPU intensive work, chances are it’s capable of doing basic photogrammetry as well.

You’ll also need some photogrammetry software. In my tutorials I’ll be demonstrating how to use Meshroom and Agisoft Metashape. Here’s a list of potential software you could use.

Other then a photogrammetry software, any other software tools that you need is really dependent on what you plan on doing.

It’s useful to have an image editing software such as Gimp or Photoshop and some 3D software such as Blender and Meshmixer.

In the next tutorial, we’ll explore methods on creating great photographs for processing them into 3D models!

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Thanks,
Crew

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