Support Tutorials

3D Model Reconstruction
with Agisoft PhotoScan

Add Photos

To add photos select the Add Photos... command from Workflow menu or click Add Photos button on Workspace toolbar. In the Add Photos dialog browse the source folder and select files to be processed. Click Open button.

Mask Photos

It is recommended to mask all irrelevant elements on the source photos (background, accidental foreground, etc.).

Open a photo with an irrelevant element in Photo View double-clicking on the photo in the Photos pane.

It is recommended to mask all irrelevant elements on the source photos (background, accidental foreground, etc.).

Masks in PhotoScan are represented by contours bounding certain image regions. Modification of the current mask is performed in Photo View through adding or subtracting selections. To switch to the Photo View double-click on the corresponding photo in the Workspace or Photo pane.

To create selection use one of the supported selection tools (available from the Toolbar or Photo menu). The selection wouldn't be incorporated in the current mask until it is merged with the mask using Add Selection or Subtract Selection buttons from the Toolbar.

Masked areas could be ignored at Align Photos processing stage (Check Constrain features by mask option in Align Photos dialog) and are always ignored at Build Dense Cloud and Build Texture stages.

Align Photos

At this stage PhotoScan refines the camera position for each photo and builds the sparse point cloud model.

Select Align Photos command from the Workflow menu.

Set the following recommended values for the parameters in the Align Photos dialog:

  • Accuracy: High (higher accuracy setting helps to obtain more accurate camera position estimates. Lower accuracy setting can be used to get the rough camera positions in the shorter time)
  • Pair preselection: Disabled (for faster processing of the big number of photos Generic preselection can be used)
  • Key point limit: 40000
  • Tie point limit: 1000
  • Constrain features by mask: Enabled (if the mask covers any moving objects including clouds) or Disabled (if all masked area was static during shooting)

Click OK button to start photo alignment.

Set Bounding Box

After photo alignment is finished, refine bounding box position and orientation to fit the object.

Bounding box is resizable and rotatable with the help of Resize Region and Rotate Region tools.

This step is optional since PhotoScan automatically calculates bounding box dimensions and location. But it is recommended to check if any correction is needed, because geometry reconstruction step deals only with the point cloud inside the volume.

Build Dense Cloud

Based on the estimated camera positions the program calculates depth information for each camera to be combined into a single dense point cloud.

Select Build Dense Cloud command from the Workflow menu.

Set the following recommended values for the parameters in the Build Dense Cloud dialog:

  • Quality: Medium (higher quality takes quite a long time and demands more computational resources)
  • Depth filtering Aggressive (if the geometry of the scene to be reconstructed is complex with numerous small details on the foreground, then it is recommended to set Mild depth filtering mode, for important features not to be sorted out)

Click OK button to start building dense point cloud.

Points from the dense cloud can be removed with the help of selection tools and Delete/Crop instruments located on the Toolbar.

Build Mesh

After dense point cloud has been reconstructed it is possible to generate polygonal mesh model based on the dense cloud data.

Select Build Mesh command from the Workflow menu.

Set the following recommended values for the parameters in the Build Mesh dialog:

  • Surface type Arbitrary
  • Source data: Dense cloud
  • Polygon count: High (maximum number of faces in the resulting model. The values indicated next to High/Medium/Low preset labels are based on the number of points in the dense cloud)
  • Interpolation: Enabled (default)

Click OK button to start mesh reconstruction.

Edit Geometry

Sometimes it is necessary to edit geometry before building texture atlas and exporting the model.

Unwanted faces could be removed from the model. Firstly, you need to indicate the faces to be deleted using selection tools from the toolbar. Selected areas are highlighted with red color in the Model View. Then, to remove the selection use Delete Selection button on the Toolbar (or DEL key) or use Crop Selection button on the Toolbar to remove all but selected faces.

In some cases building geometry without interpolation may result in small non-connected with the main model components generation. To ease the selection and removal of such components you can use Gradual Selection command from the Edit menu. Drag the slider in the Gradual Selection dialog to adapt the selected components size. You can observe the selection result in the Model View.

Click OK button to finalize selection.

Then remove selected components if needed.

If your task requires regular topology result, you can check whether the mesh has any irregularities in Mesh Statistics dialog available through View Mesh Statistics... command from Tools menu. If the mesh contains any irregularities, click Fix Topology button to eliminate them.

PhotoScan tends to produce 3D models with excessive geometry resolution. That's why it is recommended to decimate mesh before exporting it to a different editing tool to avoid performance decrease of the external program.

To decimate 3D model select Decimate Mesh... command from the Tools menu. In the Decimate Mesh dialog specify the target number of faces that should remain in the final model. For PDF export task it is recommended to downsize the number of faces to 100 000 - 200 000. Click OK button.

If the geometry was built without interpolation, to export close model at the final stage it is necessary to use Close Holes... command from the Tools menu at geometry editing stage. In Close Holes dialog select the size of the largest hole to be closed (in percentage of the total model size).

Click OK button to start holes closing procedure.

Build Texture

This step could be skipped if untextured model is sufficient as the final result.

Select Build Texture command from the Workflow menu.

Set the following recommended values for the parameters in the Build Texture dialog:

  • Mapping mode: Generic
  • Blending mode: Mosaic
  • Texture size/count: 4096 x 1 (width and height of the texture atlas in pixels and determines the number of files for texture to be exported to. Exporting texture to several files allows to archive greater resolution of the final model texture, while export of high resolution texture to a single file can fail due to RAM limitations)
  • Enable color correction: disabled (the feature is useful for processing of data sets with extreme brightness variation, but for general case it could be left unchecked to save the processing time)

Click OK button to start texture generation.

Export Model

In case the model should be exported to the file, select Export Model... command from the File menu.

In the Save As... dialog select the folder for the model to be saved in, print in the file name and choose preferred file type from the list. Click Save button.

In the Export Model dialog indicate the desired export parameters. Note that the list of available exporting parameters depends on the selected file format.

Note: Exported texture will be stored in the same folder as the 3D-model with the same file name (file type is selected by user).

PhotoScan supports direct model upload to Sketchfab and Verold resources. To publish your model online use Upload Model... command from the File menu.

Note: To apply correct model orientation in space use Rotate Object tool prior to model upload.