Photogrammetry in Advanced 3D Architectural Visualization

Georgia Tech commissioned IMAGINE Lab researchers to use this technology for the Peters Parking Deck egress visualization, where researchers created a visualization of potential exit points from the Peters Parking Deck.

3D Advanced Architectural Visualization is a complex process which involves design, 3D modeling of existing and non-existing buildings, texturing, animation, and compositing. 3D Advanced Architectural Visualization helps clients visualize ideas and choose the best solution during the design process.

One of the biggest challenges of this process is getting accurate as-build measurements of existing buildings since 3D documentation is rarely available. Often, artists must go onsite to collect reference images and field measurements using two methods:

  1. Direct method – using measuring device
  2. Indirect method – using known dimensions of standardized items such as bricks, doors, windows etc. and comparing them against the object.

Both methods are very tedious and time consuming with large margins of error.

To overcome this problem, researchers in the IMAGINE Lab are using hobby RC UAV to collect aerial images and various data about objects and the environment. Aerial images are then combined with GIS data, processed into point clouds, and later processed into accurate 3D photogrammetry meshes. Photogrammetry meshes are then imported into 3D software such as 3ds max and used as 3D reference data in the modeling stage and as a visual aid in early visualization stages.

After models are created and rendered inside 3D software (3ds Max), IMAGINE Lab researchers overlay rendered still images or animation over footage taken with RC UAV using VFX techniques such as 3D camera tracking and compositing. The final results are photo-realistic visualizations that very accurately represent a final product in the real world.

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