School of GeoSciences

3D Imaging

Structure From Motion (SfM) software allows us to use overlapping photographs from either manned or unmanned aircraft to generate 3D models, images and point clouds.

point cloud of griffin forest
A 3D point cloud of Griffin Forest, near Aberfeldy, using images acquired by the ECO Dimona. The area surveyed in this flight was approximately 10 x 6 km.

Structure from Motion, or SfM, is a photogrammetric technique that automatucally identifies and uses the geometric information contained within large numbers of heaviliy overlapping images to calculate a 3-dimensional 'cloud' of points in space, known as a point cloud.

The point cloud can be colourised according to the photographic data that generated it, or further processed to create a mesh or digital elevation model that can be overlain with the original imagery, effectively creating a high resolution 3-dimensional image of the target area. The data can also be flattened to produce a high quality ortho-mosaiic (photo-map) of the survey area.

SfM derived data can be utilised both quantitatively and qualitatively within a wide range of applications.

We operate a range of cameras suitable for SfM data collection from our fleet of manned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

We currently employ Agisoft Photoscan and Pix4D software for SfM processing, running on the specialised worksations of our Airborne Data Laboratory (ADL).