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Messages - CheeseAndJamSandwich

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46
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.

47
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.

48
General / Re: The Viewer Comes of Age
« on: November 06, 2021, 03:38:29 PM »
I'm not sure us lowly Standard users can do TLS exports...

What's the best format to export out of Metashape Standard, for viewing a vertex coloured shaded model, or the textured model in Viewer?
Perhaps one for best quality, one for ease of sending to clients (size wise)?

Thanks.

49
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: November 06, 2021, 03:07:53 PM »
Hi,

I am processing a massive underwater photoset (so far 50 000 photos) and I keep taking 10 000 photos every day. There is no GPS data and I am looking for a solution to speed up the matching part of the process. Therefore, I need to understand how each of the following work.

1. Reference preselection set to sequential + generic preselection. What is it going to do? Will the program do the sequential preselection first and only the photos that have no pair will have generic preselection applied? Or will it do the generic preselection for all photos, finds all matches and then also add sequential preselection on top to find even more matches and actually extend the length of the process?

2. Reference preselection set to seqential while every second photo disabled, so only half of the photos are being aligned. Provided that they will align somehow... Then I enable the other half of the photos and what are my options then? Sequential again? Or perhaps Estimated? With generic preselection on or off?

Any other ideas how to match only the photos that should be matched?
Mariusz, how is your alignment going?

50
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: November 06, 2021, 03:00:19 PM »
Quote
The troublesome scan i was testing with Sequential, it failed to align 2/3 of the cameras, rather than a the 10% before.  I'm guessing because the sequence was 'broken' by a run of a few bad quality cameras..

Sequential really is aimed at automated and machine executed missions. Breaking the sequence will break consecutive alignment.
I think a lot of my scans will be compatible with this... I can mimic an AUV if i need to!  I've got a lot of scanning that is just straight flying over the flatish reef...  It's only when i have house sized boulders to spiral around and under the swimthrus, that it then gets messy.  But running the good scans with Sequential is definitely gonna save me hours of processing, for sure.  So many thanks for getting me to test that!

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When is using Estimated for a 2nd run of Align Photos worth doing?

Every time you use sequential. Make sure Keep Tie Points is checked in preferences. Estimated will then cross-align the images.
I have it set in Prefs, and have tried with Estimated, but it didn't align any more...  I've tried it with and without selecting all the unaligned and resetting them.  Just can't get it to work.  I'll keep experimenting when i can.  Otherwise though, these problematic scans can just be aligned well enough without Sequential i guess.

But, wouldn't it be nice if MS could deal with multiple sequential sets of cameras in one alignment...

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And thinking back to a scan from yesterday, it did have the last section of the scan shooting off on a completely wrong plane...  So i selected all of those cameras and realigned them, and they then aligned great...

Check the number of tie points in the Reference pane for these cameras. If its less than 100 then consider their alignment weak and likely to see them removed during recursive optimisation - which is required if accuracy of output is a goal.
This lot actually aligned pretty sweet, and were not thinned out any more than the rest of the cloud when gradual selecting...

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I'm having to live on less than £10 a day at the moment, as I'm proper skint now.  So I'm stuck with the cameras and hardware i already had

Dont change your kit. Change your capture method. Do you really need all those images? Or could a lesser amount do? Process and align what is needed - this will save time.
Swimming faster is my only hope!
The GoPro Time-Lapse interval choices limit me...  IF i could set it to 3 seconds, instead of 2, that would be fantastic.
I'm processing each scan/dive/mission, which is quick, and then Reducing Overlap set to 9, this removes 1/4 to 1/3 of the photos.  This 'optimised' set of photos then gets merged it the master model, which contains folders for each dive, and their optimised sets of photos...  So at least the humongous alignment job is only dealing with the excessive overlap between each dive, rather than the excessive overlap of every scan too.  It's been working well, compared to not doing it, that is...
I've done some of the more recent scans using the traditional lawn mowing approach, as the reef in that area allows for it, and it sure does allow me to add acres and acres really easily and fast!  I'm fortunately being donated tanks such that i can get out to do the scanning for these community dive site maps... So i'm kinda having to just go and scan fresh areas, or fill holes, rather than rescanning areas properly... If i was starting the whole project from scratch, I'd definitely be able to scan most of the site this way...  But the rest is just a maze of boulders, swim-thrus, ledges, canyons and overhangs, which are always just gonna be a nightmare.  They make for an excellent dive site though!

Thanks again for your help.

51
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: November 06, 2021, 07:38:48 AM »
So...
Alexey...
  • For Sequential, do the filenames matter??? Or folders?
  • When is using Estimated for a 2nd run of Align Photos worth doing?
  • Are their any other tips for Aligning these UW photos with no GPS data?
Thanks!

I'd also love to know more about sequential preselection.

My guess would have been that choosing sequential additionally ensures that sequential pairs are always matched/compared, when they may have not been picked up by generic preselection, rather than excluding any non-sequential pairs.

That doesn't make complete sense though, because I would think that 99% of all photos taken by everyone with any hint of method to their madness would take one photo after another in an overlapping sequence, in which case it would make sense for Metashape to do this regardless. And as the number of sequential pairs only increases linearly with the number of photos, there's hardly any processing time penalty for doing it.

Also my guess doesn't make sense because if it was additional, then you should be able to choose this in addition to estimated and source reference preselection types, rather than only being able to choose one of three.

Anyway, my guesses are no use to anyone, including myself, so I'd love to know what it's doing really.
These are great points.

All my scans are sequential.  And even with my non-standard rig of having two cameras on a 3m pole, the time-lapse images from both do still overlap sequentially, just in a zigzag, rather than just forward...  Hence i'm seeing the alignment process zip along through the Selecting Pairs stages, etc, where it'd usually take ages.

Could Metashape ever have the ability, or an option to enable it to deal with multi-mission, multi scan projects?
Where we get the benefit of sequentially aligning the individual scans, where the photos are all overlapping sequentially, and then it does another stage without Sequential, such that it can then find matching pairs contained between different scans.  It does this already obviously, with sequential turned off, and it can align multi mission, multi scan projects but it takes ages (as i know too well).  Could it also perhaps be intelligent, and take the rough locations of the cameras in aligned sequentially, then find the first few pair using brute force, but then switching to the intelligent way of comparing pairs that are in the same rough area?


Metashape seems to be used a lot of applications where the data is collected in multiple missions, flights, dives.  Where the scans are either carefully adjacent, or crossing, but which overlap.  And each of these missions, flights, dives do have sequential cameras. So couldn't Metashape use, as James is getting at, a hybrid approach, where it will try sequentially and non sequentially to align the cameras.

UPDATE to my previous post:
The troublesome scan i was testing with Sequential, it failed to align 2/3 of the cameras, rather than a the 10% before.  I'm guessing because the sequence was 'broken' by a run of a few bad quality cameras... It just stops there.  Couldn't MS switch back to the normal 'brute force' way, then when it's finding images that have a matching pair, then see if it can switch back to sequential. 

And thinking back to a scan from yesterday, it did have the last section of the scan shooting off on a completely wrong plane...  So i selected all of those cameras and realigned them, and they then aligned great... BUT...  The scan did cross over itself a few times...  Did MS find matching pairs between the cameras in the path where it crosses overs???  Or are they independently lying on top of each other...  EEEK!  Now I'm worried...  Will have to somehow check this...


Alexey,
Please, please, please can you explain, with a lot more detail, all of these alignment options, and MS's methods, with example, and advantages, disadvantages of each.  We really need the details here.  Alignment is the step that EVERYONE has to start with! 

52
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: November 06, 2021, 06:56:45 AM »
Sequential works well with planned mission drone flights. We divers are not drones. Its not going to fix your issue, but if you want to try it then I believe its based on the EXIF image creation time, not filename or folder structure.

Each camera image should align to its neighbour. But no alignment will occur between the camera image sets using sequential. A second alignment will be needed with Reset Alignment ticked off to align all points.
OK...
So i finally got around to testing this, and it's something that i somehow missed in testing when i started this project, but i actually enabled Sequential when aligning the scan from 1 dive, and blimey, it zoomed through the alignment!  :) 8)  And i think it also dealt with the trickier alignment of the shallow (5m) images, where the dancing sunrays really, really confuse MS (i need to scan those areas on cloudy days... Wet Season is coming, so that'll be easy!).  I'm currently running tests right now on one of the problematic scans, that usually has a lot of non-aligned images, to quantify the times and results.

As you say, when i tried to do the Alignment on my big model, containing 12 'missions' (dives) of scans, that otherwise overlap 9by too much, doh), then only one of the scans aligned, leaving the other 11 with zero aligned.  I tried rerunning the Align Photos task, with various setting, but it failed to align a single extra camera.  I had Reset Alignment UNTICKED...  What settings here would possibly allow the other cameras to align?

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There is a mass of data to work through, You could spend more on processing hardware, change the cameras...but the basic approach of how the images are captured might be the best place to start - and its zero cost beyond the time needed.
I'm having to live on less than £10 a day at the moment, as I'm proper skint now.  So i'm stuck with the cameras and hardware i already had  :'(


53
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.

54
Bug Reports / Re: Processed thumbnails load too slowly
« on: November 04, 2021, 05:16:16 PM »
Hello CheeseAndJamSandwich,

As a workaround you can just uncheck "Set as active" option for the Depth Maps asset in the Workspace pane and check it again only when you need to re-use the depth maps data for the processing.
Ah, that will be great!

As i'm only on Standard, and i'm pretty much done when the meshing has finished, and texturing doesn't actually show the topography as well as shaded, for a dive map like mine, i'm just deleting the depth maps, as it saves me a tonne of space too!

Thanks!

55
Bug Reports / Re: Processed thumbnails load too slowly
« on: November 04, 2021, 04:42:05 PM »
does having a single zip for thumbnails by chunk is a real space saver ? The decompression had a noticeable delay at opening with +100k files in a PSX project.
If you open up any of the zips, you'll see there's zero compression, they just use compression set to 'store' only, which probably helps performance a bit as you're writing one big file to disk instead of thousands of little ones... where the HDD (less so for an SSD) will spend more time talking about reading, writing files, than actually reading or writing the files...
Using Store also does save disk space, especially with small files, as you eliminate slack space in the drive's clusters...  As you can only have one file per cluster... so tiny files, or just a lot of files, will have that slack space adding up.  One big zip file will only have the slack space from the very last cluster allocated to the file.

Looking at Procmon, it read the thumbnails.zip file right after load, is finished with that quickly, and then gets on with reading the 300 depth map zip...  Which takes aaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggggeeeeeeeeessss for me.
Does it really need to read them after load?  Could it read them later, when doing so is a prerequisite for a task?
Gonna continue deleting the depth maps, i guess...

56
Bug Reports / Re: Processed thumbnails load too slowly
« on: November 01, 2021, 11:01:09 AM »
Hello wojtek,

There were some optimizations related to the depth maps thumbnail data.
I can see the difference between 1.7.3 and 1.7.5, whereby it's not getting stuck the thumbnails.zip file...
But it still remains reading every single depth map zip file, which for my project, means 20 minutes of 100% CPU.

I've bought this problem up here:
https://www.agisoft.com/forum/index.php?topic=13507.0

57
General / Re: 100% CPU for minutes after loading heavy project
« on: November 01, 2021, 10:19:09 AM »
+1

I also noticed this behavior. When I checked resource monitor, MS just after opening project is reading all depth maps zip files from project sub folders. In my case <30s, 200 cameras and 8 core cpu.
I just dug out procmon and indeed, you are correct, it's reading every single depth map zip file...
My model has 11108 depth maps, in 295 zip files, taking up 13.5GB of space.

EDIT:  It's also reading the thumbnails.zip file too...  At the same time, there's a bunch of depth maps reads, then a bunch of thumbnails.zip reads...  It's not doing one then the other...
EDIT 2: The above edit was with 1.7.3...  Now i'm running 1.7.5, and it is not mixing in the reading of the thumbnails.zip, only a quick read of that right at the start of the load, then it turns to only reading all of the depth maps zips...  So as idicated by Alexey's comment in the following thread, they addressed the thumbnails loading problem...  But they don't seem to have addressed the depth maps reading problem addressed here...
https://www.agisoft.com/forum/index.php?topic=13298.msg60439#msg60439


So, I've deleted the depth maps from the project, saved it as a copy, and now it loads up just fine!
No lingering 100% CPU.

I guess i just continue deleting the depth maps after the mesh it generated...  Not sure i do any further steps that will require them.

Alexey.
Does Metashape really need to scan every single depth map zip file after launch?
Does it need to scan them after we change from one 3D model to another?
This seems unnecessary...  A bug?

58
General / Re: Can metashape 1.7.1 be installed without removing 1.7.4 ?
« on: November 01, 2021, 05:44:57 AM »
The key is to install the oldest versions first...  Copy and rename their install folders, then install the next updated version you want.  You can do this for as many versions as you want.

Uninstall any newer versions...
Install 1.7.1
Go to
C:\Program Files\Agisoft\
And make a copy the Metashape folder...
Then rename it to "Metashape 1.7.1"
Create a shortcut for metashape.exe in that folder, rename it to 1.7.1 and put it in your start menu, desktop, etc.

Now install the updated 1.7.4, and it'll upgrade the existing installation still in the original Metashape, as per usual.

I think the license just works now, but i seem to remember Alexey saying about copying over a licence file on older version...


you now have 2 or more versions installed.


Just remember to copy the existing installation folder and rename before you install any future upgrades, and you'll then maintain all the versions.


I did put in a Feature Request, such that the installer has an option to install it into a separate folder, names with the version, build, etc, and with separate preferences (optionally imported at install)...  Then we'll be able to install as many versions as we would like, for instance, trying out the pre-release versions, without affecting the current version we're using in production...  Then later, when the newer version gets released, you could then upgrade.  And then you could just uninstall the other versions from Window's settings...


Being able to have multiple versions installed is proving to be very important.
As this software is evolving fast, and we do regularly have to deal with bugs that demand downgrading, and the newer builds requiring testing.

I'm currently downgraded to 1.7.3 due to the blobby mesh holes bug in 4 & 5...

59
General / Re: 100% CPU for minutes after loading heavy project
« on: October 31, 2021, 01:27:19 PM »
This 100% CPU on load/switching models is killing me...  It's fine once it's loaded... runs sweet... until you switch models...
20 minutes of 100%... each time....

Please Alexey...
Can you give us some insight as to what this is?
It doesn't seem to be related to displaying/moving the models themselves, so why is it needed?
Could this task be run on a lower priority thread, so that it doesn't kill the system so much?
Is it a bug, or a feature that's being worked on, changed, that will be rectified in a future release?
I don't understand why it can otherwise load up great, allow for the models to be viewed fully, moved around (sluggishly, obviously), and all functionality looks to be available...  Yet it continues to stay at 100% for 20+ minutes.  It just seems like it's not doing anything that Metashape needs to be done.....???
Or can't it do this work later when it's actually needed by one of the commands that demands it???  At least it won't be killing the system EVERY time we load a big model, or EVERY time you switch to different models within the project...

This is making it difficult to work with.

60
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: October 28, 2021, 08:13:24 PM »
Sequential might work if you are very disciplined with the sequence of image creation, but it will not match adjacent images in parallel runs. Again, for good reasons we don't use this underwater.
Do you not 'mow the lawn' at all?  Or not have multiple cameras on pole/frame?  Or not use sequential for UW?

I've wondered this, and i think i tested it, separating each camera into it's own camera folder, but I'm not sure it made any difference in my test...
Do the photos have to be named sequentially? img00001, img00002, etc... Or does MS just load them alphanumerically, and just take that as the 'sequence'?

Sequential would not like my mixing of tracks I guess...  as it'll be alternating from left to right to left...
Perhaps i need to do some more tests with sequential file names in separate folders...

My results otherwise, ignoring processing times, are actually very good from having the two parallel tracks from the two cameras on the pole.  The data between them is very good... I'd consider adding a 3rd in the middle if i was doing some closer, high resolution scans...  You do land up with 3 perfectly parallel, and perfectly overlapping runs, better than 'mowing' the lawn could achieve.
Which reminds me, i must calibrate my 3m pole/camera pitch vs. 'altitude' vs. swimming/drifting speed...  Workout the resulting overlaps...  I know the speed give me about a third too many photos with this setup, and that date between the cameras is excellent...  So it's good enough... 

Quote
So what to do?

First step is to look at the process of gathering images - are you shooting stills? Or deriving still images from video?

This is a fundamental question. Video is popular underwater, but it carries a whole set of issues still images simply do not generate.

So its worth understanding that before going further - what method do you use?
Time-lapse Photo mode in the GoPro 7&8, so 12MP photos every 2 seconds.  Looking down or normal to the reef/rock, from about 4-5 above the bottom, or away from the rock.
Never tried the video source method...  can't afford the disk space needed to store 45 mins of 4k footage!!!  lol.  I guess it's great if a video is all you've got.
All other setting are automatic, and they do a good job with the UW WB these days... The 7 is solid, but the 8 i have does have an 8m-ish bug, where it gets confused and drifts back to topside WB, the photos turning blue, then back to 'good' UW WB again... annoying af.

So...
Alexey...
  • For Sequential, do the filenames matter??? Or folders?
  • When is using Estimated for a 2nd run of Align Photos worth doing?
  • Are their any other tips for Aligning these UW photos with no GPS data?
Thanks!

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