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Photogrammetry Demo in 3DF Zephyr Free

How to use photogrammetry to take photos of an object and turn them into a 3D model using the 3DF Zephyr Free Program

Video Tutorial

Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Using the 3DF Zephyr Free Program allows you to use 50 photos in your model and turn them into a 3D model.

Step 2: To get the most precise model that you could have, try to make sure that your photos do not contain a lot of background objects that do not belong (i.e.: people). Additionally, make sure that there is enough texture in the object to work from.

Step 3: When taking your photos, ensure that the camera zoom level is consistent throughout every image, and avoid using a wide-angle lens with photogrammetry. 

Step 4: Launch '3DF Zephyr Free' and click on the Workflow tab in the top left, then select "New Project", making sure that the only checked box is "Check online for precomputed camera calibration.' Then, hit 'Next', and select the plus icon to start adding your images from your files. Once you finish, hit 'Next.' By now, the program is managing any lens aberrations automatically. Select 'Next' one more time and begin to select the category of your image reconstructions. The 'General' category often suits well for most camera orientations. Leave all of the presets at 'Default'. Click 'Next' and then finally, hit 'Run' to allow the program to look at every single photo and find matching points and create a sparse cloud. 

Step 5: Once the program has had time to orient all photos, it will tell you if any have been either rejected or accepted. Hit 'Finish' to begin the next steps.

Step 6: In the model, you can recognize the dots in the image as the cameras and where they were in space when the photos were taken. 

Step 7: As you zoom out of the image you will also be able to view the sparse cloud along with any background objects that were captured along with the main model.

Step 8: To go from the sparse cloud to the dense cloud, go under 'Work Flow' > 'Advanced' > 'Dense Point Cloud Generation...'. In the Stereo Wizard box, select 'All Cameras' and hit 'Next'. Then choose 'General' as the Category and the 'High detail' preset. Hit 'Next' and run the reconstruction. Once the dense cloud is created, click 'Finish'.

Step 9: You will notice that the model likely has some holes. To fill those you need to turn the cloud into a mesh. Go under 'Workflow' > 'Advanced' > 'Mesh Extraction'. Leave the options as they are for now and select 'Next'. For presets, go for 'high detail', hit 'Next', and 'Run'. 

Step 10: For the last step select 'Work Flow' > 'Textured Mesh Generation...'. Once that box opens, select 'Mesh 1' and hit 'Next'. For preset, make sure it is set to 'High detail', select 'Next' and run the program again. If you are happy with this result you could export this model right away. 

Step 11: To start deciding what you really want to keep in your project, go back to the dense cloud under Project > 'Dense Point Cloud' on the left. Go to 'Tools' in the top tab > 'Selection' > 'Manual Selection'. You can now draw a lasso around your object to select it. 

Step 12: Once you have your subject selected, go back through 'Tools'  to 'Selection > 'Invert Selection'. This allows you to select everything that is not your object, delete all the background noise, and generate a much smaller data set. 

Step 13: To get a more detailed removal of data, you can go into 'Tools' > 'Selection' > 'Manual Selection' and begin to draw the lasso around any of the small pieces that you wish to cut out, including anything in the base. 

Step 14: Now, you can create a new mesh from this edited dense cloud by going into 'Workflow' > 'Advanced' > 'Mesh Extraction...'.  Select the dense cloud, hit 'Next', again make sure it is in the 'High details' preset, hit 'Next' again, and 'Run'. 

Step 15: If you find that there are pieces of the model that you do not like or any changes that were made that you did not want, go into 'Tools' > 'Selection' > 'Manual Selection' and start cutting them out. 

Step 16: Start filling the holes by going to 'Tools' > 'Mesh Filters' > 'Fill Holes - Watertight...'. You will see the 'Fill Holes - Watertight' box appear in the bottom right corner, click 'fill all' to start running the tool. 

Step 17: Making sure you are still in Mesh 2, go back into 'Workflow' > 'Textured Mesh Generation...' of Mesh 2, hit 'Next' > 'High detail' for the preset, and 'Run'

Step 18: To save this project, hit 'Ctrl' + 'S' and "Save". 

Step 19: In the top left tab find 'Export' > 'Export Textured Mesh'. For 'Export format' select the 'Glb' file and hit "Export". Name your file and hit 'Save'. 

If you have any additional questions, please contact freedmancenter@case.edu