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Photogrammetry: an eye for detail

By August 14, 2019Uncategorized
Photogrammetry is used as the foundation for providing supremely accurate detail in video games and for other uses.

This might not seem like a typical Greenside/tracking-related post, but you’ll eventually see that it is – because it deals with details.

And what is tracking but an eye for noticing a change in detail; specifically that of noticing changes in the natural state.

First, take a look at this recently released trailer. Watch it sloooowly, and take in the detail.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare

That’s the game this was taken from. Though it might not be easy to tell from pictures on a computer screen, the game makes unprecedented use of what’s called Photogrammetry to provide an almost surreal realism: from guns to the fabric of uniforms to the duct tape on a doorkicker’s tactical helmet.

What is Photogrammetry? It's an art and a science.

Now, here’s the thing – you can even do it with your phone. What impact will that have on visual tracking? How might that impact the construction and use of the venerable spoor pit, or on things like the reconstruction of passive track interpretation for the presentation of crime scene evidence to a jury?

Photogrammetry defined

Science Direct defines Photogrammetry as the…art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through processes of recording, measuring, and interpreting photographic images and patterns of recorded radiant electromagnetic energy and other phenomena.

The process has been around for something like a century and a half, as Science Direct explains.

“[It] is nearly as old as photography itself. Since its development approximately 150 years ago, photogrammetry has moved from a purely analog, optical-mechanical technique to analytical methods based on computer-aided solution of mathematical algorithms and finally to digital or softcopy photogrammetry based on digital imagery and computer vision, which is devoid of any optomechanical hardware. Photogrammetry is primarily concerned with making precise measurements of three-dimensional objects and terrain features from two-dimensional photographs. Applications include the measuring of coordinates; the quantification of distances, heights, areas, and volumes; the preparation of topographic maps; and the generation of digital elevation models and orthophotographs.

Azad Balabanian discusses the topic further in an article about how the everyman can take a crack at Photogrammetry.

You can divide Photogrammetry into a few different of genres based around subjects, including interiors captures, building exteriors, terrain and grand landscape, macro Photogrammetry, people scanning, shoe scanning, tree stump scanning, and etc. Check Sketchfab’s Photogrammetry section for inspiration.

specialize in interior and exterior captures, which is what we’ll also focus on in this tutorial (which also don’t require extra equipment like lighting, turntables, or drones).

There isn’t any real difference in how the subjects get processed and created into 3D, but how you take pictures.

If you’re interested in more, check out Getting started with photgrammetry on Medium.com.

Read more about Photogrammetry on Science Direct.