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VR Notre Dame project by on Sketchfab

Model from photos

In recent years, one of the branches of obtaining 3D data has developed very well. It is a method based on optical systems, commonly named as photogrammetry. With the increase of computing power of computers and the appearing of efficient cloud solutions, photogrammetry has become a technique that can be used on a large scale.

The photogrammetric technique allows you to analyze the photo and estimate its position in relation to the others. On the basis of two photos, we can see the depth. It works similar to human eyes. We need two to see three-dimensions. The brain knows the distance between the eyes and thus is able to properly reconstruct the depth. The technique that we use will work the same, only instead of two eyes, we will use hundreds of thousands of pairs of photos.

Photo collection

The reason why we ask you to send as many photos as possible is the fact that each picture is taken from a different angle of view. Every new angle will allow creating the new pairs. The scale is also important. If we had enough photos from one particular camera/phone/photo camera, it would make optic calibration much easier. Of the 12 million tourists who visited the cathedral a year, a large part took pictures with the same lens and camera. Collecting several thousand or even several hundred frames from one model will significantly simplify your work and calculations.

After calculating the relationship between the images the next stage of reconstruction will start. The most popular solution (although there are also other options) is to generate a point cloud. The combination of every three points and creating a plane on this basis will create a surface that can be interpreted by light-rendering engines. In short, from the point cloud, something commonly called a 3D model will be created. The triangle grid will be optimized. In the case of such large calculations, we won’t deal with thousands or millions of points. It will be billions. Such files must be optimized because they are impossible to display even on powerful computers.

The optimized 3D model must contain color information. No other 3D scanning technique provides as much color information as photogrammetry. When the color map is made from the photos, the model will be ready for publication.

The next steps will be: optimizing the 3D printing model for the visually impaired and using the model to create an educational virtual tour. The first of the processes assume the remodeling of the whole object so that it contains only necessary and crucial information. The most important stage in the preparation of the model for visually impaired people is to eliminate the information noise that makes the model unreadable. The process of creating an educational virtual tour will be the same as the process of creating a computer game. We will go through each stage through which the studio producing the game must pass.