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Messages - Eric Baird

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Given that generating depth maps takes so much longer than most of the other steps, it would also be handy if Metashape allowed the resumption of an unfinished depth maps calculation.

So if a "calculate depth maps" stage is taking 20 hours, and it fails after 18, or if the user runs out of time and has to switch off their laptop, then the software saves all the depth maps calculated so far, and the next time that that particular project is opened, a dialog box opens saying that there are unfinished depth map calculations underway, and user is offered the chance to (1), continue with the calculations from where they left off (or from the beginning of the last incomplete block or tile), (2), close the project file immediately with no changes, so that they still have the option of reloading it and completing the calculations at a later date, or (3), discarding the incomplete calculations and proceeding with other editing stuff.

So I guess that a possible dialog box might be:
"Incomplete depth map calculations are available. Do you want to complete them now, exit and complete them later, or discard them and continue editing?"
, with button options "Resume now", "Resume Later", and "Discard"

General / Re: Adding images to existing aligned image set?
« on: January 03, 2022, 03:26:59 PM »
I think this is an important feature, but one that a lot of users might not realise is available.

I'd experimented with adding a block of photos to a chunk and using the "align photos" option, but since it did nothing, I just assumed that it didn't work. If I'd known that all one has to do is change that setting first, I'd have been using it a lot.

I think there's an issue here with "ease of discovery" -- If one tries to align a block of photos with the setting "off", then instead of failing silently, perhaps the program could throw up an alert box letting the user know that the setting needs to be on for this feature to work.

I don't know about the Windows version, but the Linux version of Metashape certainly lets you rename the unpacked folder to reflect the version number, and you can then have different versions of the software in folders, side-by-side, and run the executable from whichever one you want.

You can also download the software and run it in "demo" mode to reassure yourself that it installs and runs okay on your specific system. Without the authorisation key, I think that it'll probably let you test out almost everything except features related to saving (which is fair enough). Once you're satisfied that it works, you can buy an authorisation key and enable the rest of the program without having to reinstall. Convenient.

Bug Reports / Re: 1.7.4 Holes in mesh
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:31:39 PM »
Yes, can confirm that 1.8.0 has the same issues found in 1.7.4 and 1.7.5

Yep, agree, issue still present on 1.7.5 .

I'm finding that sometimes a model of a public statue on a plinth (which is not a closed surface) ends up with its interior riddled with "intestines" -- blobby interlinked networks of tunnels. And sometimes the interior ends up with a whole new hollowed-out interior surface. There must be some collision-avoidance or proximity-sensing code in action, because in the second case, the "new" interior surface seems to be a fixed distance below the real surface, and parallel to it.   

General / Re: Is it possible to download older versions of PhotoScan?
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:03:23 PM »
Thanks, Alexey!
   I've just found the link by looking at an old version of the download page using the Wayback Machine (June/July 2021). don't archive the installation file itself, but they archive the old download page that includes the link to it. Thanks for keeping that downloadable file "live".

And also ... thank you very much for writing and maintaining this software. I know that it may sometimes sound as if we folk on the forum are always whingeing, but we really do appreciate this software, and are genuinely grateful for the support and updates. It's really helped to make high-quality photogrammetry accessible to a wider range of people.


General / Re: Mesh from Dense Point Cloud vs. Depth Maps
« on: October 18, 2021, 09:47:08 PM »
For the material I'm currently working on, depth maps do seem to give a nicer result.

The difference is probably slightly exaggerated with 1.7.4, as the "blobbiness" problem will be using up some of the polys, leaving with fewer faces for the "proper" model for a given face-count ... but even without that, depth maps seem to yield generally better results for things like architecture, IMO. I think this was one of the selling points of the new approach when Agisoft introduced the new method -- improved speed and visibly better results.

I used to use dense maps "select points by colour" to select and delete white and blue points that represented stray pieces of sky and false "sky flare" detail that appeared on roofs when when a building was backlit by over-bright sunlight. But this problem seems to be less severe with the depth map approach (either that, or I'm now taking fewer bad photos!).

I suppose that one thing that might help would be if Agisoft copied the existing "select points by color" feature (for dense clouds), as a "select faces by color" feature for meshes. If that new feature appeared, you could then delete all the green and greenish patches of the mesh that belonged to grass.

Feature Requests / Re: Align/snap model and region to axes
« on: October 17, 2021, 05:13:28 PM »
It'd also be useful, when one has successfully aligned the model with the grid, to be able to snap the bounding box to align with the grid.

One often wants the bounding box to line up neatly with the model to provide a strip of lawn/pavement/etc surrounding a building for context, and having gone to the trouble of lining the building up with the grid on x,y,z, it seems tedious to have to then manually align the bounding box up with x, y, z, too. It'd be faster to just snap the box to the grid and then adjust the size handles to suit.

Feature Requests / Re: Hole filling
« on: October 17, 2021, 04:54:50 PM »
So perhaps ... one highlights a region containing a hole, the surface around the hole perimeter (perhaps excluding the "bleeding edge" itself, for quality reasons) defines an average plane orientation and position, the hole gets filled in automatically, using facets of a similar density to that of the surrounding mesh, you then select a different region of surface, the software calculates the relative average plane and angular and positional offsets of that second surface, and then as you move the mouse with a mouse button pressed, the software influences the heights above and below the initial target mesh by the heights of points above and below the local average of the second mesh region. Successive strokes make the influencing effect stronger, up to 100% ... or just use a paint strength of 100% by default.

Also, don't  limit the the surface painting to the perimeter of the filled hole, also allow overpainting the surrounding region.

Actually, this could be a nice feature even for regions without holes, or where holes have already been filled. Might work nicely in conjunction with a "subdivide mesh" brush, so that one could take a low-res section of mesh, subdivide it, and then "paint" the positions of the new "uninteresting" points with the surface from a more interesting region.

Hm. I wonder whether Blender or Meshlab have a function for this?   

Feature Requests / Re: Close Holes - Within Selection
« on: October 17, 2021, 04:29:32 PM »

General / Re: Is it possible to download older versions of Metashape?
« on: October 09, 2021, 12:11:34 AM »
Yes, it would sometimes be useful if there was more than one "old" version of the software available.

At the moment, the site offers 1.7.4 as the current version, and 1.6.6 as a previous version.

In my case, 1.6.6 makes nice meshes, but doesn't play nicely enough with my two different GPU cards, and keeps falling back to using the CPU (slow...). 1.7.4 seems to have had a lot of further work done on it to make GPU handling slicker, but has a mesh problem with highest/ultra-high alignment and mesh-from-depthmap.

1.7.3 might solve both issues, but I don't see any way to download it from the site.


Bug Reports / Re: 1.7.4 Holes in mesh
« on: October 08, 2021, 11:42:38 PM »
Yep, I had the same behaviour on 1.8.x

I thought, as an experiment, I'd try it again on 1.7.4 with interpolation switched off altogether (and then use the automatic hole filling function afterwards) . And I still got the same "extrapolated" - style behaviour!   (double-skinned models, which aggressively attempt to close all holes by connecting them together, using a second surface behind the main surface).

The processing log dutifully showed interpolation as having being disabled when the mesh was processed, but it clearly wasn't.

So ... maybe ... there might be some sort of simple problem with the user interface (or how its flags are being interpreted), where the interpolation setting (disabled/enabled/extrapolated) is being ignored, and it's processing as "extrapolated" every time?


Bug Reports / Re: 1.7.4 Holes in mesh
« on: September 29, 2021, 01:09:05 AM »
Thanks, bgreenstone! I forgot that I'd updated the software at the same time that I changed my workflow. 

Reverting to version 1.6.6 (downloaded from the website) solved the problem.

I'm going to keep a copy of 1.7.4 on my harddrive for special cases where the "more aggressive" interpolation might be useful. ...
... I imagine that if one was modelling a set of ornamental cast iron gates, and only had photos taken from one side, the ability to aggressively treat all data-voids and ambiguous regions as actual  physical holes punched into the surface, and to have the remaining network of surfaces close up smoothly behind the actual photographed surface (to produce a second unphotographed but implied surface), could be a real time-saver. A kind of special dedicated "good for window frames, railings, and gates" mode.

But for everything else, I'll give 1.7.4 a miss.

Thanks for your help,

Are you by any chance using a fisheye lens with the Mavic?

If so, you might need to go into the Menu/Tools/Camera Calibration... page, select the block of photos taken with the fisheye, and manually change their "Camera type" from "Frame" to "Fisheye" using the dropdown box near the top of the screen.

Metashape seems to be great with fisheye lenses, but you have to remember to manually select the option.

Feature Requests / Additional optional grids for yz, xz?
« on: September 24, 2021, 12:24:09 AM »
At the moment we have the option of switching the grid off and on. It'd be nice to have the option of switching two or three grids individually off and on, for the three different planes. At the moment I tend to use the grid as an x-y "floor" for orientation, which is great, but then leaves one without anything to fine-tune alignment against for vertical features.   

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