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California State University, Long Beach
CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Day 24

Posted on June 27, 2013

Day 24 was Wednesday, another work at the barn day. I spent the day wrestling with PhotoScan. I’ve got around 200 photos of the cliffs and they’re loaded into PhotoScan. PhotoScan has a number of procedures that need to be run against your photos in order for it to complete its magic act of turning a bunch of flat photos into a 3D model. The first procedure is called “Align Photos”. Depending on the quality level you run it at, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, for the amount of photos I have. I’ve learned that running this procedure on “High” is worth it because it creates the 3D point cloud that future steps rely on. So, I spent hours waiting for it to do its job there. Then you have to run “Build Geometry” which creates a 3D mesh out of the point cloud and creates the 3D surface for which your photos will be textured onto. This step has the potential to take the longest. I have an i7 processor with a good graphics card and an SSD drive, basically, I have one of the baddest laptop computers currently available, I just got it before this trip. Even with all that awesome hardware, it still takes my computer over 3 hours to complete this next step, even on the “Low” quality setting, that’s some hard core math. After that, you have to run the third procedure called “Build Texture” which applies the photos to the 3D models creating an amazing three dimensional model of your subject area. So, after hours of processing and trial and error, I labored to produce this 3D model. For now, I’ll show you what you get after the first step “Align Photos” which is what’s called a sparse point cloud (if you want to see the final product, read day 25):



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