Photogrammetry has incredible potential in archaeological research and education. However, despite Agisoft PhotoScan’s relatively simple initial workflow, things get complicated pretty quickly. Those of us using the program tend to learn by solving problems as they occur, but this is a very piecemeal, time-consuming, and often frustrating process. Currently, anyone getting started with the program must either go through the same thing, or find someone to offer guidance.
In this series I will assemble all the separate tips that I have learned or found into a step-by-step guide on the basic process (posted weekly). I do not consider myself an expert in PhotoScan. If you are familiar with the program and have any corrections or additions, please let me know.Each week, the previous step will be edited to include any comments and placed under the “Resources” menu to serve as a guide for beginners.
The previous steps can be found here.
Step 5: Building the Dense Cloud
Now that PhotoScan knows what points you want it to work with, it is time to ink in those lines. Go back to your “Workflow” drop-down menu and select “Build Dense Cloud…” Another window pops up. In the new window, the drop-down menu next to “Quality” will let you chose the (you guessed it!) quality of your dense cloud. I switch between “High” and “Medium” myself, but steer clear of “Ultra High” unless you have a really beefy computer.
Under the “Advanced” section you will find “Depth Filtering.” This is all about removing outlier points. If you have, and want, lots of fine detail in your model, choose “Mild” from the dropdown menu. If you are making the model for 3D printing, or do not care about small details like a crazy person, select “Aggressive.” Click “Okay.”
That is all for Step 5! I told you the rest was simpler. The progress window will pop up and will take anywhere from an hour to several hours to complete.