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Messages - CheeseAndJamSandwich

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61
General / Re: Face Count, VRAM and Model viewport display.
« on: October 28, 2021, 06:11:52 PM »
VBO is explained here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertex_buffer_object
I found and read this (the first part, lol) when Alexey first told me to enable it... As i'd never heard the term...  It's a fascinating read! ;D ;D :o
I was hoping we might get a more layman's terms, Metashape specific explanation.

Quote
Keep it enabled, it should have no effect on anything but model display. in 1.8.0 the only setting is the on/off switch.
Well, this will make it much easier!  8)

But my engineer brain would still love to know some technical* details about it with respect to Metashape.  :P

* Something more palatable than the wikipedia page!

62
General / Re: Trouble with Textures
« on: October 28, 2021, 06:02:37 PM »
@h_ogata
It is always good practise to check if all cameras are correctly aligned.
You can do that only visually...enable show cameras icon and look at the cameras if their positions are at drone flying trajectory.
You will notice immediatelly if some camera has wrong position or orientation.
A great tip that Alexey recently taught me is that you can change the size of the blue camera rectangles by holding shift and scrolling the mouse-wheel!  You can then set the size to exactly what you need when zooming in enough to see the track's camera orientations.
And if you want the cameras rectangle in a different colour (as i do, as the subject is a similar colour!) you can just select all the cameras in the Camera pane, and they turn red!  Hopefully we'll be able to set this in Preferences one day...

Also, if you look around the Sparse Points Cloud in 3D, you can often see a dodgy plane of points, off at a weird angle.  You can then select some of these points and then 'Filter Photos by Tie Points', reset the alignment for these photos and then realign them...  For me, this has worked great when I've found these dodgy planes of points, from misaligned photos.
Usually, the Gradual Selection tasks filter these bad points out, but then you're left with low quality areas, or holes in your meshes...  As you're probably seeing.   The simple resetting of these misaligned photo and realigning them works well...  There might be other ways of doing this quantitively, but doing it by visually works... after a bit of searching...

63
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.

64
General / Re: Face Count, VRAM and Model viewport display.
« on: October 28, 2021, 04:09:30 PM »
Hello wojtek,

For high-poly models display you can enable VBO option in the Advanced Preferences tab and assign considerable amount of VRAM to it. On RTX 3090 you can try to set 6 GB in VRAM field and check, if it allows to navigate ultra-high poly models smoothly. Also please check, that NVIDIA driver is up-to-date.
Alexey, can you please give us some guidance with respect to VBO?:
  • When we should consider enabling it?
  • What value in relation to how much VRAM we have?
  • Or how big our models are?
  • And what implications does this have to other parts of Metashape, alignment, meshing processing, etc?
  • Should it be disabled during processing, and only enabled for the final model?
  • And it obviously works wonders, but what is VBO, what does it actually do in MS???
Thanks.

65
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)

66
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: October 26, 2021, 02:02:30 PM »
Hi,

from the manual page 30:

...

Regards
We've all RTFM.
But we need to know more details about these features, and also what would be considered the best settings to use in our situation...  Namely, aligning thousands of modes taken underwater, where the camera's photos contains no GPS/reference data...
As our alignments take 3 days to a week, we really, really would like to know what will help us...  As the savings could be measured in days.  That's potentially a lot of time, electricity and opportunity cost.

67
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: October 24, 2021, 11:51:07 AM »
The next stage i'm processing, trying right now, is incrementally adding 1 more scan to an already aligned model of 9 scans...  You have to have Keep Key Points turned on in Preferences!!  Before you start!!
The alignment has just finished, and the point cloud looks good... will set it processing the mesh in a few minutes, to see what i get...

This incrementally adding extra scans I'm gonna be weary of, as the optimising steps will reduce the points, cameras in the existing areas away from the new data, each time i add another scan...  So what i think i might have to do is occasionally do a full alignment of all the, say 15, sets of scans, from scratch...  (A bit like a computer backup regime....  Full Backup, Incremental, Incremental, Incremental, ... Full Backup, Incremental...  etc...)  I'll still be only combining the optimised set of data for each scan....  but not degrading the whole model each time i add a bit more.... I'll have to suffer the 3 day alignment processing occasionally, but it'll be fine...
Well, the results of adding the 10th scan to the already aligned 9 scans didn't turn out that well...
There's a fair bit of double-skins over the rocky areas, where the old scan data and new scan data overlap... usually this comes out ok, unless it's sand, that has moved... But the rocks haven't.
So i'm gonna try aligning all 10 optimised scan sets from scratch, but using low/20k/2k, and hoping the bad results i'd gotten the last time i tried this was 1.7.4/5's dodgy meshing...
Hoping the low/20k/2k will shorten the projected 80 hours down to something more bearable...


Meanwhile...
Back to us wondering what reference preselection set to sequential or generic preselection do, and if it's relevant to us scanning underwater, without GPS data.

68
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: October 23, 2021, 09:31:51 PM »
I have been doind underwater photogrammetry for several years now and processing 20 000 - 30 000 photos in one chunk is not new to me. I know how generic preselection works and how to scan my underwater sites. I already have my workflows for my very precise underwater work and I really know what I am doing with almost all the options I use...
If you can share any of your learnt wisdom, that woule be amazing.


So returning to your OP...
Quote
So my questions are very specific and technical and only about the alignment parameters. Let me rephrase them then:

Does anyone know how Reference Preselection Sequential and Estimated work without GPS and how they work in combination with Generic preselection?
Which one is applied first?

If Generic is as second, then does it take into consideration pairs already found by Reference preselection or does it do its thing to all photos anyway?
If does take into consideration the pairs found by reference preselection, what happens then? Does it only use generic for photos without pairs?

I really need to understand the algorytms behind each of these options and their combination. Anyone?
+1
I've been wondering what these do myself.  Though my trials didn't show changes in speed or results...  How does sequential know the sequence... Do the filenames have to be numbered sequentially, or just alphanumerically ordered?  And do my gopros contain any stuff in their exif tags that help MS, as when we're underwater, the GPS they contain won't work, and is normally turned off.

As i've addressed a few times in my other recent posts... There's a lot of features that simply aren't explained, not even in the manual...  Having a good explanation with some examples of uses, benefits, effects for some different styles of photogrammetry, would be amazing... And all us metashape users would benefit, metashape would be even easier to use, and it'd sell more copies for sure.

69
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: October 23, 2021, 09:20:24 PM »
@CheeseAndJamSandwich
Your underwater work is interesting.
Are you using generic preselection? and what is your hardware? 2.5days for one big alignment seems to be too long. I would expect several hours of alignment time for ~25000 big photoset.
Yes.  It's on by default, tho i did do some tests a long time ago and it was hilariously longer without it.
I have a big fat ThinkPad P51, from 2018...  Sadly no desktop...
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-P51-Xeon-4K-Workstation-Review.229212.0.html
I have bags of RAM in it, 64GB, but my jobs hardly use more than 20, perhaps 30GB.
But the old Xeon and the crappy old Quadro M2200 in it just don't compare with todays desktop HW...  I continue to dream of course....

As my scans started off pretty erratic in their paths for the early scans, i have a lot of overlapping, areas scanned more than once...  This turns out to make the alignment times go exponential.
My next test plan is to compare each of the individual scans, and delete the photos that cover the same areas, keeping the ones from a better scan...  Perhaps when the water visibility was better...  And deffo on the areas where the rocks/reef meets the sand... As you can go back the next day, and if the swell was big, the height of the sand might have risen, dropped a foot!  Which causes horrible double layers in my mesh.  With a bit of thinning out of the duplicated areas, i could probably knock a day off of the big alignment job.

Quote
Did you try decrease key point limit to e.g. just 20k?
Yes...  BUT... I was getting holes in my model where the the data was week (shaded sides of rocks, etc)...  But after hearing about 1.7.4 & 5's bad meshes, and downgrading, rerunning the mesh and the holes filling in nicely, i think it was that, rather than the reduced point limits...  My current job is adding a 10th scan to an already aligned 9 scans, that was done with 40k, so this is 40k too...  The alignment was obviously a lot, lot quicker, and in a few hours time I'll have the mesh/model to check...
I'll test 20k for a future big alignment.

Quote
What precision you need in the end?(pixels on texture per cm/m...or point cloud points per cm/m).
I don't need great accuracy at all...  It's for printed off 300dpi maps on A4, A3, and perhaps some massive posters for the dive shops...  Also video flight around the models, Sketchfab models (just using the free 100mb limit, which is actually enough, deffo enough for loading onto a phone!)
I'm not gonna be doing any high precision measurements or analysis from this data.  But it has to look correct of course.
Luckily, using my two GoPros, the models have come out perfect, no dishing, no bananas, even over long drift scans, that might be 500m long...  It all just comes out great.  Getting these good results without anything special, much work is actually very, very convenient.

Part of this work is also supporting the coral reef rehabilitation efforts we have going on here too...  So mapping out bubble sites and then monitoring growth of the coral frames we put down.  So i might be doing more smaller scale scans, of 2m x 2m frames, of individual corals, etc...  Then it could become increasingly important to get cm, mm accuracy, but i'd need the professional version to allow any dimensional analysis of these.
I could deffo do with some of the other Professional features like DEMs, etc, which naturally work great as dive site maps, but simply will never ever be able to afford the $3,500  :'(

Quote
Are you many times also orbiting around rocks when taking photos, or is everything mostly from top down?
Some of the site dictates the orbiting around the rocks, as they're literally house sized, 10m tall, wide...  And in my earlier scans, i was zooming around all over the show, with little planning... But now i'm trying to do a lot more 'mowing of the lawn' scans, which are a lot, lot quicker at covering area... Though keeping straight UW is tough, even with a compass, and if the pass is long, then there's a chance track diverges from the previous pass' track, so you get an annoying scar of weak data... doh...  Underwater, everything is more difficult.
If i was to redo the whole job of the big site I'm doing right now, i could probably do the same area in 6 dives instead of 10.  Which would take a lot, lot less time to process, as there would be a lot less overlapping scans, which disastrously affect the alignment time.

I have 3 or 4 other sites i need to scan soon, and a couple of shipwrecks i have scans of...  It's an awesome project to be doing, and learing MS has been a lot of fun... If only i had a 5950X and a 3090!!!

Quote
And last funny question: can you swim faster to better use 2s interval on GoPro? :D
LOL  I'm swimming as fast as i can!!!  :P
I'm using my big long freediving fins/planks, but also have a sling tank, a whole extra AL80 tank on my side, as I'm scanning alone, so have to double up on everything for safety...  So not the most streamlined underwater... Can't find a buddy that can keep up with me! (or that also has two cameras).  Oh, and I'm chugging down both 200 bar, 11 ltr tanks, down to 30 bar, in 45 mins!  My extra layer, kilos of 'bio-prene' might not be helping either... Though it keeps me warm.
The limited choice of interval is a real bummer actually...  3s would just make everything so much easier!  I've requested it on GoPros forums, Basically just choose any value of seconds... but that's just a dream.

70
Bug Reports / Re: 1.7.4 Holes in mesh
« on: October 23, 2021, 12:35:43 PM »
Hi
Same for me - 1.74 = 1.75 = 1.8
I requested a copy of 1.73
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/download.agisoft.com/metashape-pro_1_7_3_x64.msi
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/download.agisoft.com/metashape_1_7_3_x64.msi

Just change the version number in the above url, and you can get any version that existed, i think.

71
General / Re: Processing a massive underwater photoset without GPS
« on: October 23, 2021, 12:25:11 PM »
I'm in a similar (dive) boat to you...
I'm up to 24,000 photos with one of my sites.
I'm scanning whole dive sites with pair of GoPros on a pole (2x quicker scanning).  And obviously, no georeferencing data at all.  Plus i only have Metashape Standard.

What camera(s) are you using?
Swimming/manual or ROV/AUV?
How or you taking them? Time-lapse?
What's the site like?  Rocky? Reef? Wreck?
What are the conditions like?
What's the aim of the scanning?  Accuracy needed?

I started off with very random scan tracks from each dive... But have learnt to do a lot more 'mowing the lawn' style scans.  Much quicker to cover the area, but also much quicker for MS to align.
As my early scans are all over the show, they overlap a LOT!  Meaning my Align Photos processes were taking several days to process...  The mesh, only half a day.
So definitely optimise the scanning such that you have good coverage, with the correct amount of overlap, and don't go over too much you've scanned before...

The results i get from the individual scans are pretty amazing straight out of Metashape... Don't need to do much to them.
As I'm scanning with 2x GoPros on a 3m pole, swimming 4-5m above the reef/rocks, shooting time-lapse photos with a 2 second interval (3 would be nicer, but can't set it)... I get a really good quality scan, especially the are between the two cameras...  MS seems to get all the lens calibration info out of the exif tags, such that i haven't seen any distortion of the meshes/models, no bowing, dishing, anything! They've all been amazingly accurate, even over 0.5 km drift scans.
But obviously presented in some weird orientations and scaling (i've requested MS Standard gets a basic reference system such that we could put down 3 control points.)

What I'm doing to combine all the 'missions', dives, scans, is to create a model of that scan, with align set to Low, 20k, 2k... Then do a bit of Gradual Selection, only to 15 tho... Then create a mesh from the sparse point cloud, which takes seconds, and then run Reduce Overlap, set to 9... Remove 'Disabled', then optimise cameras. This removes about 1/3 of my cameras, which is inline with 2s time-lapse interval being too fast for my swimming, 3s probably being better...  Then create the mesh from Depth Maps to see how it look.  Which usually is perfect. So i land up with a good scan, with a thinned out set of cameras, leaving just one right amount for the scan.

I then bring all the individual scan photo sets into one project, putting them in camera folders...  Then i run a big alignment the better settings, High, 40k, 4k...  this takes 2.5 days still... but it's a lot quicker than it was gonna be!
Once that's finished, i then repeat the steps of optimising the point cloud and reduce overlap again...  Then the mesh/model only takes 12 hour to calculate...  Pretty Quick!  And the resulting model comes out great.

I've downgraded to 1.7.3, as suggested by other forum users, as 1.7.4 & 5 left big holes and lots of blobs where there was weak data (shaded side of rocks, for me).

The next stage i'm processing, trying right now, is incrementally adding 1 more scan to an already aligned model of 9 scans...  You have to have Keep Key Points turned on in Preferences!!  Before you start!!
The alignment has just finished, and the point cloud looks good... will set it processing the mesh in a few minutes, to see what i get...

This incrementally adding extra scans I'm gonna be weary of, as the optimising steps will reduce the points, cameras in the existing areas away from the new data, each time i add another scan...  So what i think i might have to do is occasionally do a full alignment of all the, say 15, sets of scans, from scratch...  (A bit like a computer backup regime....  Full Backup, Incremental, Incremental, Incremental, ... Full Backup, Incremental...  etc...)  I'll still be only combining the optimised set of data for each scan....  but not degrading the whole model each time i add a bit more.... I'll have to suffer the 3 day alignment processing occasionally, but it'll be fine...

72
Perhaps the GPUs are coming up for air, grabbing a mars bar and a swig of water, before getting back down to work!  ;D

73
In this case, it's exactly the correct word.

Quote
ap·pend
/əˈpend/

verb
add (something) as an attachment or supplement.
"the results of the survey are appended to this chapter"

And you see it a fair bit in other types of software, where you want to join something.  Like video files, etc.

'Import' chunk would just be bringing a chunk in that's currently of a non native format...  from 'outside'...  And it'd be just opened...  You specifically want to add something to something you have open already... so you 'append'.  The import would close the open file and import the non-native chunk.


So...

Can we please get some tooltips added? Not just in every dialog box and preferences pane, but if possible to the menu items?
Then if we hovered our mouse over the File - Append... menu item, it'd pop up with a tooltip saying:
Quote
Append...
Appends existing Metashape
project file to the current one.
Useful for merging chunks,
or just combining cameras, etc.

I added the examples...

There are so many features in Metashape... And it's not obvious what they all do.  Especially if English isn't your native language.

74
The navigation rotation ball gizmo needs a reset button so that its red green blue lines are aligned when the model is in ortho view. I try to rotate the model in ortho and you think all is going well then it tumbles, if one can select the edge line of that little sphere it would rotate and keep its planar aspect the same, as such I then have to revisit the other two orthos and fix the alignment all over again., as there is no undo for any tumbling or rotation.
Again, rotating/resizing/moving the region rotates/moves the gizmo...
Align your grass with the grid, then align the region with the grid too, using 1 and 3... then align the region with the x and y with top view, 7.  You can then resize the region to place the gizmo in the middle of the object. Now the gizmo is will allow you to rotate is about the 3 axis.

I scale my model to a grid, as i know a distance between two rocks is 10 metres...  So i just set the grid to 10m...  then do the scaling first, placing the two rocks touching the grid, rotate to align them both with the grid, then scale, move, scale, move, scale, move, until you have the grid lines crossing on each rock...  then i reorientate the model to where it actually needs to be, and the same with the region.
Sadly the grid size is only in whole metres, or pixels... so a bit of a bummer if you're doing smaller stuff...

We really need the basic referencing sytem feature in the Standard version, as i've requested.
As this is a PITA.

75
🤞🤪🤞

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