Photogrammetry Exploration

Photogrammetry is a new way of taking a real object and creating a digital 3d model of it. The software uses multiple photographs of a subject taken from different angles to correlate the relative position of points on the subject, with enough points it can create an accurate digital model complete with the photographed texture. Having used a variety of 3d scanning hardware over the last 10 years this is the first method that has really spiked my interest as the level of detail and realism captured is phenomenal. Here are a few of my test projects to explore the software (Agisoft) and how to achieve the best results.  

First up we have a crab which I brought from the supermarket and had to scan quickly before it went smelly. Scanned in 3 parts, the Claw, the Body and the Leg, yea I only scanned 1 leg which is cheating I know but I was already getting discolouration on the top of the body from getting a bit old. If I was to do it again I would choose a crab that has no body hair as attempts to shave him were not very successful...

It's rendered in Marmoset which is an amazing bit of real time visualisation software, the web viewer doesn't have depth of field or displacement maps but its still incredible to be able to view objects in-browser. 

You can actually see more detail in the digital version than you can with the original and with macro-photography the possibilities for scanning small objects are endless.


Here you can see the software (Agisoft) has automatically aligned all of the photos (the blue squares) around the object.

3d Print and real claw

This is the original claw next to a colour 3d print from the digital file. The claw has faded and changed colour dramatically in the drying process and the colour 3d printing technology still has limited detail and non vibrant colours but its still really impressive and the printing is only going to get better and better. You can imagine capturing objects of scientific or cultural importance and being able to reproduce an exactly copy in case of loss or damage. 

Close up of the claw which is captured in a higher resolution than the other parts.

A dried rose which was an earlier test, it gives an almost hyper-real look.

jamie sculpt

This is a 10 inch bust sculpted by my friend and colleague Jamie Beswarick it was used as for an early test for the photogrammetry process, its success led me to explore it further.

As you can see the digital version of the sculpt adds a new dimension to it by being able to simulate proper skin luminosity.

Its very exciting technology, I'm still not exactly sure how to use it but I am expecting it will become more and more vital to be able to move freely back and forth between the digital and physical world.