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Explore the possibilities of PHOTOGRAMMETRY

Photogrammetry and 3D Capturing – Bringing Life to 2D images and Mixed Realities

Photogrammetry and 3D scanning are not new. But the effects of the current pandemic have made it more imperative that we highlight the many technologies we already have but not used it this daily or common.  So we in personal had a closer look at what the possibilities of photogrammetry and 3D scanning are. 

The realities of the restrictions and changes imposed by COVID-19 have also shown how easily accessible solutions we already have at hand can enhance our business processes. Take, for example, Google street view. It gives you a 360-degree view of a significant portion of the world. But what if you could use this idea of 3D modelling and give your visitors/guests a more immersive viewing experience?

Even closer to home are the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Karlsruhe. Because of the pandemic, that was not an experience any of us could put on our 2020 calendar. But we’ve made it that you didn’t have to be there physically to experience the event. We bring the SCHLOSSLICHTSTPIELE (Trailer) to you – using photogrammetry, cloud computing and real-time 3D rendering. 


Link to our project page can be found here

Let us explore the effects of photogrammetry on digital content creation for a variety of business use cases, but especially for virtual and mixed reality applications.

Photogrammetry – reality captured and displayed

Photogrammetry captures reality in photos and converts it to 3D models that can be used in a variety of cases. It works by taking overlapping images of an object with a digital camera or drone. Then, it extracts the information from those images, and converts them into 3D or 2D models.

The beauty about photogrammetry versus other types of 3D data capturing (like Triangulation, ToL and others) is that you can capture and reproduce objects in full colour and texture. This gives a truer reflection and realism to the object being modelled in 3D.

The software has generally been used by architects, engineers, surveyors, and contractors. They’ve used it primarily for drawings based on real-world situations or to create topographic maps.

But photogrammetry has so many more use cases that are not of the typical ideas of plotting points for a topography review.


Quelle: Computerbild


Quelle: Sik Life

Photogrammetry versus 3D scanning – optimizing for quality

With 3D scanning, you can create something using a technology (which is often expensive) and complex. The benefit of this process would be the 100% accuracy that you’ll have even in dark areas or scan objects with reflective surfaces. But, the downside to this method is significant if the aim is to create good price-performance ratio result without spending thousands of your budget buying or renting 3D laser equipment, and the software to rework it. Long sentence short there might be another chance to get a great result for the purpose of real-time content creation.  As it captures everything in significant detail – including texture, signs of time and colours, so much so that looks more like the object in reality.

Photogrammetry can be done in 2 formats

  • Aerial photogrammetry. Drones can be used to capture aerial imagery. This is a safer and easier option to capture images in hard to access spaces, large aerials or dangerous environments.

  • Close-range photogrammetry. This is generally for 3D rendering of smaller objects. You can capture images in close range using a digital camera that’s either hand-held or mounted on a tripod.

How photogrammetry works

We start by capturing every surface of the object with multiple images from different angles. The photos are captured with overlapping images.​​ The capture stage is often the bottleneck phase in the 3D asset creation process. But, when you’ve mastered the art of automating capture under controlled conditions, it can significantly improve the data creation (image capturing) phase.​ The aim is to get a full 360 view of the object without including peripheral items. So features that are behind or around the object which do not relate to the item being captured cannot be included.


Merge the images Following the capture of the images, the mapping software then seamlessly merges all the images to create a single perfect multi- angle image of the object. It uses the overlap and significant markups in the images to align them appropriately.


Export and publish a 3D model. Finally, once we’ve merged the images, the 3D model is ready to be exported. This can be in the form of AR and VR visualisation.

3D Realtime Content Creation & Photogrammetry Use Cases – Is it right for your business?

Based on the nature of photogrammetry for 3D capturing and reconstruction, it has been used in a variety of areas. Here are just a few of the use cases you may find useful in adopting photogrammetry in your business.

Documenting museum pieces

How superb would it be to be to able offer museum experiences in VR globally?  Some museums have already started to embrace photogrammetry for this purpose. That’s the power of 3D modelling of museum pieces that are too fragile for daily viewing or not easily accessible. We can capture them for generations to come and display him in highly realistic formats.

Cultural preservation

3D photogrammetry modelling offers a practical and affordable solution for the documentation and conservation of cultural heritage. It allows for visualisation and virtualisation of heritage sites and objects, and for conservation planning. The use cases are endless, from ceilings, art, mosaic paintings, structures, rapidly deteriorating sculptures, landscapes, etc. For cultural preservation, an advantage of photogrammetry 3D modelling is the photo-realistic textures it offers. When produced correctly, these textures allow persons to understand the key features of an object in both 2D and 3D formations. This allows them to create stencils for renovation and restoration, identify colours at the pixel level. Cultural preservation often takes place in the context of tourism. With 3D modelling using the realistic approach of photogrammetry, it can allow people to experience the cultural sites, artefacts, and objects without actually being there – a perfect use case for VR experiences.

Accident and crime scene analysis

"Google “drones and law enforcement” and words like “surveillance,” “apprehend,” and “crime fighting” pop up on the search feed, reflecting a still-present association of law enforcement with military drone usage. A bit less prominent is drone (or UAV) use for accident reconstruction, an area with huge potential for law enforcement to quickly and accurately document vehicle accident scenes: especially pertinent when there is large loss of property or life..... " Link to the full article can from Pix4D be found here.


Environmental conservation

Scientists and environmentalist can use 3D modelling using photogrammetry to map changes in the environment over time. It helps them with assessing our environment and ecosystem. The method centres their conservation efforts on facts and reality.

Again, environmental conservation allows for VR experiences either for research purposes, conservation, and even tourism.

Gaming & entertainment

Create life-like assets for gaming and more. Because of the speed of photogrammetry, sets can be built fast and visual effects designed. It can create more true-to-life and realistic experiences for a variety of entertainment options from video games, to TV shows, and films.

The power of photogrammetry with iXtenda

Photogrammetry brings a high-quality photorealistic result to a variety of business use cases. In general, it helps to increase productivity and safety during certain projects. Or it allows you to explore new avenues for business growth or engaging with potential clients and customers. It can even give you new business opportunities as we’ve shown in VR imaging.

Improves efficiency

It shortens the 3D asset creation process while improving the quality of the final output.



3D scanning generally requires expensive equipment. Photogrammetry, on the other hand, only really requires a good quality camera, a computer, and your photogrammetry software - we can combine both technologies for the most accurate and highest quality result.


Works at any scale and size

In addition to providing a more realistic output, this method of 3D modelling can work for any sized object, structure, or item. So, you can scan and model anything from a small object like an apple to a large industrial production plant or an entire house/castle, inside and outside.

Let’s capture reality and make it digital with ease

Photogrammetry 3D modelling provides a lower cost, more efficient tool for creating VR experiences. It gives you the depth perception, photo textures, and photorealistic reproduction for a truly realistic and immersive 3D experience. Nowhere is this impact more felt than in virtual reality applications. And with that, you now have a wider range of processes to improve operational efficiency and provide new avenues for growth. If you would like to know more about how you can use photogrammetry for 3D modelling in your business or whether it can be applied to you, contact iXtenda.


We focus on digital solution manufacturing, and photogrammetry is just one aspect of enhancing your business processes and projects.

We would be happy to discuss how you can improve your business results with photogrammetry and 3D modelling.

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