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Topics - beldridg

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General / Mac Studio system performance
« on: December 01, 2023, 06:56:21 PM »

Santa is looking to give me a Mac Studio for Christmas but he doesn't know which one is ideal in terms of cost vs. performance for Metashape. Specifically, it is worth it (i.e., do you get more performance for the $$) to go with the M2 Ultra or should I stick with the more affordable M2 Max?

Thanks for any help or suggestions.


- brett

PS - I'm only considering a Mac at this point. I'm not a Mac fanboy but I am a heavy Unix user and it is really the only option. I've never owned a Windows system in my life and don't plan to start now.

General / Delete Depth Maps
« on: July 19, 2023, 08:04:39 PM »
I'm always running out of disk space. :)

Quick question: Once a project is completed, is there any value / need to keep the depth maps? Even if I were to add additional photos, I would need to regenerate them all anyway, right?

Also, if I ever wanted to color correct (I do underwater models), as long as I have the mesh, I don't need the depth maps to build a new texture, right?

I'm just trying to free up some disk space but don't want to delete the depth maps if they are needed for something else.


- brett

I was reading through the manual (ver 1.8) about the "Accuracy" setting for Alignment.

I have a project on a large shipwreck that involves multiple dives. I basically use incremental alignment with the new photos and have some overlap of photos with the previous dives.

What basically happens is that the new photos have a "tight" alignment with each other and a "loose" alignment with the photos from the previous dive that overlap.

This results sometimes in areas where the two sets of photos are close to being aligned, but not exact and there is a little bit of a "ghosting" effect.

I'm generally using Medium alignment accuracy and generic preselect.

With all that...

In reading the manual, I noticed this under "Reference preselection"

"if the alignment operation has been already completed for the project, the estimated camera locations will be considered when the Align Photos procedure is run again with the Estimated preselection selected."

If I didn't want to start from scratch, could I use this option to increase the accuracy?

If so, I'm assuming I would NOT want to check "reset current alignment" but how exactly would I go about doing it? Would I reset alignment of all photos and then select Align Photos and check the Estimated Preselect?

Or would I just run Alignment with High and Estimated Preselect?

If somebody could clarify, that would be great!

Happy Holidays all,

- brett

General / Depth maps after incremental photo alignment
« on: December 12, 2022, 06:43:18 PM »
I'm running into some behavior that I think is unexpected. I'm using v 1.8 of the Standard version.

Let's say I align 100 photos and build a mesh which creates 100 depth maps.

Then I align an incremental 20 photos. If I then try to build a "new" model, it doesn't create the depth maps for the additional 20 photos or include them in a mesh.

I have Reuse depth maps enabled AND I don't change any of the parameters (e.g., quality, filtering, etc.).

The only workaround I have found is to basically delete all the existing depth maps and start over. If it was just 100 photos, I wouldn't really care, but it is 1000s of photos.

What am I doing wrong?


- brett

General / Question on Use CPU when performing GPU accelerated processing
« on: December 02, 2022, 06:30:00 AM »
I've seen multiple posts on this and I can't seem to find a "best practices" guide on whether to check it.

For example, should I check it if I have a dedicated GPU?

What about if I have an "integrated" CPU in something like the Apple M1 chips?

Should I select it for certain operations and not others?

I've read the manual a couple times and researched some of the forum posts, but I can't find a definitive guide on this.


- brett

General / Reduce Overlap - What is considered a "rough" mesh model?
« on: December 02, 2022, 06:26:41 AM »
I've used the Reduce Overlap function in the past but I have a question about what is meant by a "rough" model?

I have generally built a mesh from depth maps but with Quality = Low and Face Count = Low.

Would it be better to build from the Tie Points? I'm assuming it would be much faster but what do you sacrifice? Accuracy?

Is there any "best practice" for what constitutes a "Rough Mesh Model" as mentioned in the user manual?


- brett

General / Building a mesh from Dense Cloud vs Depth Maps vs Tie Points
« on: November 27, 2022, 02:35:14 AM »
Hi all,

I've seen a few posts about the ability to build a mesh from Depth Maps directly instead of building a Dense Cloud first. I also noticed an option to build from Tie Points.

What are the practical differences in these approaches?

My use case is to build solid models with textures of underwater wrecks and post them to Sketchfab.

I think the "pro" of building from Depth Maps instead of a Dense Cloud is that you would skip the time to generate a Dense Cloud -- but does it increase the time to build a Mesh?

- brett

General / Sparse cloud not updated after incremental alignment
« on: November 19, 2022, 06:00:27 PM »

I have a large wreck project I'm working on in phases. I made my fifth dive yesterday and took another set of photos.

I made a low accuracy alignment of JUST the photos from the 5th dive and it worked with 1486 cameras out of 1486 getting aligned  (I've attached a screenshot Dive5-Only) with the workspace.

For my next step, I opened up the existing model that had the results of the previous four dives aligned (4951 cameras out of 4955). I've attached a screenshot Dive4 with that workspace.

You can see the similar areas on the starboard side bow and some of the bridge area.

I then added the photos from Dive 5 into the existing photos from Dive 4->1 and ran a Medium accuracy alignment which took about 6 hours (Note that I had used Tools->Reduce Overlap with 5 cameras per point in order to expedite the alignment of the new photos.

The result was that 6418 photos out of 6441 aligned, BUT the sparse cloud did not reflect the addition of the new photos. I've attached a third screenshot named Dive5-combined.

As far as I can tell, it doesn't include any of the new photos. I've tried saving, closing, re-opening, etc. all to no avail. Given the amount of processing time it would take to re-align all 6441 photos (2+ days I think), I wanted to check in here first.

Any ideas?


- brett

General / Performance on Mac devices
« on: November 10, 2022, 06:07:42 PM »
I've been using Metashape for about two years now and build models of wrecks (, mostly in Southern California. I build most of models on an iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon W, 32G of RAM, and a Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB of memory.

For most of my models, it might take some time to build, but it is "manageable."

I've recently been working on building a model of the HCMS Yukon which is a 366 foot long destroyer. I've done 4 dives so far and have taken about 5,000 photos. The build process has become unmanageable on this computer. For example, to add about 1,000 photos to and already aligned 2,000 photos and run alignment on Medium has taken 24 hours and counting.

I know there is likely quite a bit of photo overlap so I'm going to try next to build a dense cloud and then reduce the overlap before alignment. However, I think the ultimate solution involves buying newer / faster hardware and that is where my questions come in.

1) I have a MacBook Pro from 2021 with a M1 Pro and 16GM of memory. I'm running a couple models on it to compare and I thin it is a bit faster, but not a ton. I'm using the latest 1.8.4 software to take advantage of the GPU. Theoretically, should it be faster than my iMac Pro?

2) I'm thinking about buying a Mac Studio and trying to figure out if the extra cost of the Ultra vs the Max would be worth it. Will the software be able to take advantage of the extra resources available on the Ultra or would I be wasting money? More importantly, should I see a relatively big improvement over what I have today?

3) My wife has a new MacBook Pro with the M2 chip. Will that be any faster than my laptop?

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

PS - I've been a Unix user for my entire life and I've never owned a Windows machine so that really isn't an option.


- brett

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