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Topics - CheeseAndJamSandwich

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1
Bug Reports / Reduce Overlap = Error: empty geometry
« on: January 05, 2022, 08:02:48 PM »
Metashape Standard 1.8.0 build 13794

Aligned, done some mild Gradual Selection, ran Optimise Cameras, then created a mesh from Tie Points (i guess this is 'Sparse Point Cloud' renamed??)... Mesh looks normal.
Then, running Reduce Overlap set to 9 gives the Error: empty geometry.

Code: [Select]
2022-01-06 00:50:33 Reducing overlap...
2022-01-06 00:50:33 Building params...
2022-01-06 00:50:33 ROI: [-123.287, -95.6844, -12.6808] - [138.38, 146.938, 5.44214]
2022-01-06 00:50:33 n voxels g: 292 -> 250
2022-01-06 00:50:33 n voxels n: 292 -> 292
2022-01-06 00:50:33 voxels in meter g: 0.955414
2022-01-06 00:50:33 voxels in meter n: 1.11592
2022-01-06 00:50:33 restricted distance in voxels g: 15
2022-01-06 00:50:33 capture distance in voxels g: 1
2022-01-06 00:50:33 margin g: 3
2022-01-06 00:50:33 restricted distance in voxels n: 17
2022-01-06 00:50:33 capture distance in voxels n: 1
2022-01-06 00:50:33 margin n: 3
2022-01-06 00:50:33 filling geometry...
2022-01-06 00:50:33 fillGeometryInfo : fill
2022-01-06 00:50:33 fillGeometryInfo : no voxels found
2022-01-06 00:50:33 filling geometry...
2022-01-06 00:50:33 fillGeometryInfo : fill
2022-01-06 00:50:33 fillGeometryInfo : no voxels found
2022-01-06 00:50:33 Finished processing in 0.019 sec (exit code 0)
2022-01-06 00:50:33 Error: empty geometry

This workflow i've done dozens of times before on 1.7.n

Thanks.

2
Feature Requests / Total Elapsed time in Processing in Progress dialog
« on: December 19, 2021, 09:18:06 PM »
When processing a batch/task, the Processing in Progress dialog doesn't tell us how long it's taken in total...  Only the elapsed time for the current task.
Can we have it display this total time please?

Cheers.

3
General / How to straighten a 'banana' scan in MS Std?
« on: December 01, 2021, 11:21:29 AM »
Until now, the models of my underwater scans using gopro timelapse photos has been almost perfect, geometry wise...
I'm now scanning a long site, with long scans at varying depths, and also having 3 x gopros on a 4m pole...  to make it 3x quicker to scan... (works great!)
But now the long scan shows a banana bend in it, bowing up.

Is there any way of correcting this bow in Metashape Standard?  (i.e. i can't use markers, GCPs :'( )

Thanks.

4
General / How to align components in MS Standard?
« on: November 14, 2021, 10:21:46 AM »
Metashape 1.7 has the new Components feature, but the tutorial only shows using Markers to manually align/merge them.
https://agisoft.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/31000158896-connected-components-in-camera-alignment-procedure

How can we do this in Metashape Standard?

I have a model that's mostly aligned great, but there's a little section missing, in an area where the quality of the data is not great due to the conditions during scanning, but it would likely be possible to align it if i did have access to markers.  The problem area is in shallow water, where the visibility is not good, there's less overlap, and the sun rays completely change the colours of the rocks, so always cause problems during alignment.  The mesh of each bit would probably match up great, but MS just can't align the photos
The missing section/component looks to be aligned ok, but it's just just not connecting to the rest of the model.

5
General / Pausing processing, exiting, reloading, continuing....
« on: November 10, 2021, 12:45:25 PM »
The alignment process for my project is taking 2.5-3 days, due to the overlapping nature of the scans and my 'crap' hardware...
Is it possible to pause Metashape in the middle of doing its processing, such that i can load another project, do processing, play a game, or edit videos, and then come back to MS and resume the processing job?

I've tried just the 'Pause' button on the "Processing in progress..." dialog when running my batch jobs, which does pause it, but it doesn't seem to release all the,  GPU resources, VRAM, and RAM (i guess, i have lots of this, so never been a problem) such that i can do anything else that requires the GPU...  It's crashed.
Is there a way of pausing it such that it doesn't crash?

The situation i have right now is that I've got my dive site aligning, which is going to take another 2 days, but I've got some turntable scanning of insect models to do, which will only be a few hundred photos at most, but will probably cause the crash again, if my experiences before are correct.  And i don't want to kill the batch job and lose the day of processing that it's already done.


It'd be excellent if we could pause MS, such that it does then free up all the resources, such that we could run another instance of MS, or PP, or a game, etc... And then press resume later, and it continues...
OR
To copy Windows, perhaps Metashape could have a hibernate feature, whereby it pauses, saves it exact state, and closes completely... Then absolutely anything could be done, updates, reboots, etc, annoying but sometimes necessary...  Then later, we could reload Metashape and resume the job from hibernation, where it continues where it left off...  As long as all the data is in the same place, everything should work fine.
Perhaps when this kind of pause/hibernation is demanded, MS might have to finish it's subtask and write off the completed zip files, etc, such that it can do a clean interruption.

Thanks.

6
My scans are usually one continuous track that I've 'flown' (swam).
If i enable Reference Preselection - Sequential, it then aligns much, much quicker, with the Selecting Pairs, etc stages happening very quickly.

BUT...
If in my scan track, i have an area of bad quality photos, it then only aligns up to that point.  And i haven't figured out how to align the rest.
Also, the nature of my project is that the dive site I'm mapping, is scanned in many dives, missions, 'flights'.  How can we get MS to sequentially align a project where there are 2 or more sequential scan tracks?  Which are adjacent to each other or crossing.

Is it possible to have MS make the most of massive speed gains of sequentially aligning, but also using it's traditional 'brute force' methods to align additional sequences/photos?
The speed gains seem to be too good to miss out on.

Thanks.

7
Bug Reports / View - Reset View is broken...
« on: November 05, 2021, 10:22:53 AM »
If we press 0, or choose Reset View from the View menu, it changes the viewport's view to a top view, but one that is not centred correctly, and it's zoomed in too far, such that it crops off a lot of the point cloud, mesh, whatever, that's currently being viewed.  So, unlike the other view shortcuts, 1, 3, 7, etc. it proves not to be useful... It's actually quite annoying.

What is Reset View resetting to???  It's a mystery.
From the Metashape manual:
Quote
Resets the viewport to display the complete model or photo.
But it doesn't.  No matter what you change, you can't persuade it to show what you want, following any kind of logic.
It doesn't seem to be related to the grid, or to 0,0...

What should Reset View actually reset to?
It does reset to top view.  Which would be correct.
I'd say that it should reset the zoom to show all of the point cloud, mesh, etc. plus a small empty margin around them.  Pretty standard I'd say.
Should it reset the zoom to the extents of things that are currently not visible?  This could be desirable both ways.  Perhaps an preferences option, or tweak could allow either?

What shouldn't Reset View rest to?
Apparently, if there's camera tracks, for doing animations, then it changes the Reset View...  But not in a logical way, and it does so even when the track isn't visible, which it isn't by default.  The camera track would only need to be viewed at very specific times, and surely the user can just zoom out for them.  So Reset View should ignore these.
It seems to be influenced by the Region, but again, it doesn't zoom out to to show all the region that is set.  And the region is often set well outside of the extents of the data, point cloud, mesh, etc...  And is often set to not be visible.


Please can we have it just reset to top view, and zoom to show the extents of the point cloud, mesh, etc?

Thanks.

8
Feature Requests / Community submitted workflows sub-forum
« on: October 28, 2021, 05:48:01 PM »
Could we have another sub-forum created for us users to submit our own workflows?  For sharing, critique, optimising, etc.

Metashape was absolutely one of the easiest pieces of software to step through and immediately get results out of, on the first use!  I just followed the first four items on the workflow menu, working on a small set of test photos, and finished up with a fully textured 3D model!  It was truly amazing!
But, when you need to use it in anger, for real projects, proper work, then you have to know the nitty-gritty details, and all the many other features MS has...  The learning curve then gets a lot steeper!

One of the best resources available, and discussed by many of us users, is the USGS' amazingly detailed Metashape workflow documentation.  The knowledge/understanding of MS that it's given me is huge!
The newer version is found here:
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20211039

But this is just one workflow for a fairly specific use case.  The users Metashape here have the full range of use cases, and the workflows they need to use are going to be quite varied, for various reasons.
So it'd be lovely if some of us could share how we're using Metashape, why we've chosen the settings we use, what problems we might of encountered along the way and how we got around them, and also areas where we're not sure on what is the best settings, approach for certain parts.  Everyone will have different levels of expertise and experience with the many facets of Metashape, so they may be able to suggest changes. Or others can ask why something was done a certain way.  Having feedback from the userbase, the community will only make all our workflows flow that bit better!  So we get more, better, quicker work done, new users will be able to get up to speed even quicker, and Agisoft will sell more copies.

We could post our own workflows, including as much of the the following, and more, as possible:
  • Descriptive Title, that includes type, like drone, UW, DEM, turntable, etc.
  • Details of what's being scanned.  Mine site, house, dive site, sculpture, vehicle, museum artefacts, etc, etc.
  • What the goal is of the scanning, what level of detail, accuracy is needed
  • How it's being scanned, manually, drone, uav, rov, turntable, lidar, aircraft, satellite, etc, etc.
  • What camera(s) are being used, and their settings
  • Any pre-processing of imagery, data structure, etc.
  • Details of the Hardware it's being processed on, pc, laptop, mac, what gpu, networked, cloud, etc.
  • What version of Metashape is being used at the time
  • Details of each of the MS Workflow steps, align, mesh, texture, dem, etc. etc. and Settings used.
  • Including reasoning for the settings, if you have any, or that the default was left unchanged.
  • Details of optimisation steps, gradual selection, optimise cameras, etc, and the settings chosen for each
  • Details of any steps take on the resulting models/meshes/DEMs, etc.
  • Details on the processing times for each step.  And any times for different settings chosen
  • What the models, meshes, DEMs, etc. are then used for.
  • How the models, etc are exported.
  • Details of what parts of the workflow could really need some advice fixing, optimising
  • Details of what parts of the workflow could really do with some new features or changes to Metashape.
  • Details of the bugs encountered, fixed, workarounds, which versions worked, or was needed to downgrade to.
  • etc.
  • etc.
  • etc.

A sticky post could have a suggested layout template. including the above points and others, so that we may have a good structure to each workflow post.  Similar to a bug submission template.

The workflows submitted will then be available for us all to learn from, but also for any of us to critique, make suggestions, help fix problems they'd listed, etc.
It would also be great if the users could return, to edit the Original Post (OP), to update it to their current, corrected, optimised workflow, with some change notes at the bottom.
As Metashape itself develops, new features are included, bugs appear and are fixed, the workflows will continuously change, so it'll be excellent if the OP would be updated

I've already previously posted most of my workflow, but it's already changed from what I'd written originally, after some tests and reading stuff on here.  So I'll try and update that soon.  And i'd be definitely be posting it in this sub-forum, if we can get it.

We've got a great user community here, with decent support and feedback from the Agisoft crew.  So having somewhere we can post our workflows would just be even better.

Thanks.

9
Metashape currently only allows one installation by default.  So if we wanted to try a Pre-Release version, it would overwrite our current 'production', working version.  Could we have the ability to choose to install any pre-release, or older version in their own folder?  Then we could have as many versions installed as we liked, allowing us to test, benchmark and deal with workaround needing old/newer version for a specific stage perhaps.

I know we can shuffle the old version to a new folder and install the new version in the standard folder, so that we can have both installed, for testing...  Even the licence works without copying over any files now i think...

But could we have an option in the Installer, on the 'Destination Folder' page, so that it installs it in a separate folder, and has it's own preferences storage?  Perhaps with with the option to import your production version preferences over during install.

It could be installed installed in the "C:\Program Files\Agisoft\Metashape 1.8.0 Build 13257 Pre-Release" folder, say... Automatically including the version and build number perhaps.  And including these versions/build number in the Start Menu shortcuts, etc.  So dead easy to find, differentiate from our production version we have installed.

Later, it'd also be easy to cleanly uninstall these test versions from Windows' Apps & Features list.

Then when the new version is formerly released, we just install that as normal, and it updates our installation as it usually does.

We could then have as many old and newer versions installed as we wanted, really easily, making testing and benchmarking dead easy too.

(I've pulled my post out of the 1.8.0 pre-release topic, to make this formal Feature Request)

10
In Metashape Standard, we don't have any way defining the orientating or scaling the model, other than manually... We don't have the ability to add markers with known coordinates.

We can only orientate and scale it by using the workaround method of setting the grid to, say, 5m, 10CM, 10', 12", whatever, and then manually scaling the model or features on it, roughly to the grid, and rotating into into the correct oriendation horizontally, vertically and rotating it so that north is up perhaps.

Could Metashape Standard have a very basic reference system? A tiny subset of what Professional has?

If we could at least have the ability to place down 3 markers, with x,y,z coordinates, this would kinematically define the model's position perfectly in space, and scale it.

Perhaps we could only use Euclidean/Cartesian coordinates, x, y, z
So no access to georeferenced coordinates, WGS84, etc, etc...
3 points is the minimum to define something's position & scale in 3D space, but perhaps we could get 4, or 5 points, such that it would help with camera calibration issues, bowing, dishing of the model? But a lot more code i guess.

Just being able to also add 3 markers to our photos before alignment would be amazing, saving a lot of work.

11
General / multi-mission scans- give priority to latest, when overlapping?
« on: October 15, 2021, 07:52:31 PM »
Could we prioritise, say, the latest scan, such that if it overlaps an area covered by another, older scan, that its data is used in preference, and the 'merging' only happens at the edge of the new scan, where it blends into the old scan?

I have several scans of a dive site, and some of the scans overlap quite a lot, and have been done over weeks/months... plus, some of the terrain is sand, which moves from day to day, the ripples are different, or it'll be 0.5m different height after a few months or strong swells.
So when i merge the scans from each, almost all of it is great, as the rocks an corals haven't change at all, or not enough to care about... But at the edge of the reef where it meets the sand, i have problems with two surfaces, one floating above the other, showing the old level of the sand and the new level.

Right now, i'm facing the task of going thru each of my scans and disabling all the cameras in the older scans that cover these sandy areas, problem areas, etc, such that when i merge all the scans photos together for the big Alignment, i won't have too many weird surfaces to deal with.  This may take i while i think.......

IF we could give, say, Camera Groups hierarchy, so each mission would be in its own group, and you'd number them as needed, possibly chronologically, or just where one mission got better date...
Then when aligning, MS would take that group's cameras to form the topography, ignoring most of the overlapping group with the lower ranking.
Obviously, each scan track goes a bit fluffy at its edges, so perhaps it'd have the boundary set at a threshold value, so that it was still strong data before it blended into the old scan data.
As i'm doing my mapping/modelling project, i'm learning a lot about the techniques needed in the scanning, and i'm also sometime presented with much better conditions, visibility and lighting, such that the scans gotten are just much higher quality.

This would make adding higher quality scans to a data set much, much easier and quicker, for us multi-mission folk.

12
Feature Requests / Edit size of 'Show Cameras' rectangles
« on: October 15, 2021, 04:52:15 PM »
My projects often land up with lots of criss-crossing scanning tracks, with 1,000s of photos... and if i turn on 'Show Cameras' in the model viewport, it just turns into one big purple splodge, with camera vector lines poking out like hairs... it's not at all useful, unless i zoom in, and then I'm only viewing a tiny part of the model, and not helping me see the camera tracks as easily, for whatever reason...

See my attached screenshots...  One zoomed out, one zoomed in... the zoomed out one is effectively unusable, but it's zoomed to a sized i need it to be usable...  Zoomed in, where the rectangles are visible, it's too zoomed in to be of help.

Could we have a setting to edit the size of these camera rectangles?
It looks like they're a ratio of the viewport's size?
I'd like to make mine a lot, lot smaller.  And perhaps a set size, rather than a ratio of the viewport...  It might be easier to work with for what i want...
Is there a hidden variable that can be edited, maybe?

Thanks!

13
General / Could MS use MORE RAM???
« on: October 15, 2021, 04:16:35 PM »
This is probably upside-down compared with all other RAM usage questions!!!  :D 8)

I have 64GB of RAM in my P51 Thinkpad, and only deal with 12MP GoPro images (but 1,000s of them)...  When processing my models, with the settings i use, MS just doesn't seem to use much RAM...  It's only in the teens... sometimes in the 20s...  But i'm just never going into the 30s, 40s, let alone the 50s, or 60s!

Could any of the processing be sped up by actually making more use of the RAM if it is plentiful?  Or is the bottleneck completely with the GPU/CPU processing?

Cheers.

14
I'm having a nightmare wrestling with the animation feature of Metashape.
When i set the viewpoints, i thought that the animation would actually visit that view on it's path around the scan... But if Smooth Camera Track is turned on, it simply doesn't.  It wonders over towards it, but never gets there, biases looking far too high above the object and then continues over to then miss the next one....  so the animation never shows what i wanted, what i'd told it to.
Then when i try to edit the viewpoints, by double clicking on it, moving the view, then clicking update for that viewpoint, it lands up editing it is a completely weird way, not resembling what i did.    Something is wrong here, are there bugs in this editing/updating feature?

So can we have an option to make the smooth camera track pass THROUGH each viewpoint we've set, on it's path?
So every viewpoint, view, angle, is present in the final exported video?

Thanks.

15
General / Workflow for Multi-mission, overlapping, UW scans.
« on: September 08, 2021, 11:13:19 AM »
Here's my workflow I'm trialling for dealing with multi-mission scans that also overlap a lot (too much)...
This has previously caused HUGE align times (3d), especially in the 'Selecting pairs' stage, most likely due to the excessing overlap.  Aligning every photo (19,000 so far) from scratch just isn't practical any more, so I'm reducing overlap as i go, and adding the next scan's photos to the growing alignment of the previous scan's photos...

The project:
I've been scanning an underwater dive site using 2x 12MP GoPros on a 3m pole, 'flying' 3-6m above, cameras normal to the bottom/slope/rocks... The 2x GoPros just make it 2x quicker to scan... It then produces a scan with two parallel, but not synchronised, time-lapse photo camera tracks, that have good to too much overlap side-to-side, depending on flying height, and good to too much overlap going forward, depending on how fast I'm swimming, drifting and the flying height again...  Sadly you can only set the GoPro's time-lapse photo interval to 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, etc seconds...  I'm using 2, though 3 would be better i think!
Due to the nature of diving and the dive site, each trip there and scan means i land up scanning over parts previously scanned, and it's amazingly easy to miss patches, not know where you are, and not swim in straight lines.  Some of the big features, house sized boulders need a spiral scan, the rest mostly a 'mowing the lawn' u-pattern.
Conditions are usually sub-optimal... greenish water sometimes, not that great vis (10-15m), and sun shimmering on the shallower rocks.  So each scan can look quite different... a 'different' colour. doh..
A 'good' scan dive gives me 1,500 photos from each GoPro... So 3,000 per scan.  The reduce overlap to 8 reduces this down by about a third to 2,000...
Due to these conditions, and the fact that I'm simply not looking for mm accuracy, only a 3D model of the rock formations, sand patches, corals, etc. I'm not pushing Metashape Standard with high quality settings, which has sometimes actually given better alignments for my crappy images, and which obviously saves time too.

Workflow:
Enable Keep Key Points in Preferences, to allow adding photos to a previous alignment.

For each scan pair (from both GoPros combined):
Add Photos and create Folder with scan name.
Align Photos:  Low - GenPre - RefPre-Est - 20,000 - 2,000 - ExclStatTiePts - AdptCamModFilt
Save as 'Aligned' (just in case)
Select any Unaligned - Reset Alignment - Align Selected
Gradual Selection: - ReconUncert = 15 - ProjAccuracy = 15  Then Optimise Cameras
Check Region, Resize.
Build Mesh from Sparse.
Reduce Overlap: Surface Coverage = 8
Select disabled Cameras and Remove.
Optimise Cameras
Generate Mesh from Depth Maps to
Save as "Scan 'n' reduced"
...Repeat for all other previous or new scans...
This reduces a 3,000 photo scan with too much overlap to 2,000.

Combining 'reduced' scans:
Load "scan 1 reduced"
Append "scan 2 reduced"
Remove all of scan 2's parts leaving its folder of now unaligned cameras only.
Move that camera folder from chunk 2 to chunk 1, next to 1's camera folder (already aligned).
Repeat the above steps from 'Align Photos', Ensuring Reset Alignment is NOT set.
Saving after alight as "1+2 aligned"
Optimising and reducing as above
Saving after optional meshing as "scans 1+2 reduced"
...Next, repeat, appending "Scan 3 Reduced" etc... Until you have "Scans 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+...."

This has reduced the total number of photos needed for the area covered by about a half i think.

This then give me the mesh/model of the summation of all those overlapping scans, without the 3 days of aligning all the photos in one go.

Please feel free to rip into this workflow with any suggestions...  ;D ;)
Yes, I've only gone for low, 20k, 2k... only pushed gradual selection to 15... chosen 8 as my overlap...  Should i change any of these for this type of job???

See my Sketchfab page in my Signature below for previous versions of this model of Manta Point I'm creating...
I'll post some photos later...  Waiting for the alignment after adding scan 7 of 8...

Cheers.

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