Photogrammetry With Meshroom

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Meshroom is an open source 3D reconstruction software built on AliceVision that utilizes nodal pipeline technology and breaks its work up into parallelizable tasks.


Photogrammetry is the process of creating a 3D model from multiple photographs taken of a scene. Photogrammetry software utilizes complex algorithms to combine images into dense point clouds that are then used to form the model. Photogrammetry can be used by surveyors, architects, engineers and even police investigators as an accurate way of measuring volumes or dimensions in complex environments such as wildlife or buildings in complex environments. Windows and Linux platforms both support this software while open-source solutions may even be free downloads.

Meshroom’s photogrammetry feature requires at least 10-20 photos of an object you want to scan from different angles in order to achieve optimal 3D results. More photos will yield better results; however, be mindful that processing time increases accordingly.

Meshroom’s photogrammetry feature relies on AliceVision framework, an open and free 3D computer vision framework offering algorithms for 3D reconstruction, camera tracking and panorama stitching.

Node-based design of the tool makes it simple and straightforward to personalize and modify processes. Simply adjust settings such as the Describer Preset in FeatureExtraction node from Normal to High for faster processing and more features per image.

Meshroom also supports drone-based aerial photogrammetry. The software can process images in OBJ, PLY and MTL formats before retopologizing a mesh for import into 3D programs such as Blender, ZBrush, Maya or Unity; or used for virtual reality experiences using Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.

Meshroom is an impressive 3D reconstruction program, though it does lack some of the masking and human modeling features found in competitors such as Photoscan or OsirisX. Still, Meshroom creates highly accurate models with great detail that are perfect for testing different outcomes with its node-based system.


Photogrammetry software is utilized by people from a range of industries including engineers, surveyors, and game developers. This versatile program can make many tasks simpler by creating three dimensional models from real world objects as well as computer generated images suitable for video games or architectural renderings. Furthermore, photogrammetry software is free and open source software; thus making its download accessible by anyone.

AliceVision, a framework for photogrammetric computer vision, provides a modular architecture which enables users to build and test different computer vision algorithms. The tools can easily be combined together into workflows tailored to each user’s specific needs while developers can also interact with intermediate data from these algorithms in order to understand results and enhance them further.

Meshroom is an open source 3D reconstruction software built using AliceVision photogrammetric computer vision framework, available both for Windows and Linux platforms. Featuring a modular node graph design that can be tailored specifically for certain applications or domains, its node graph architecture enables users to modify pipelines easily as well as export intermediate data as well as easily compare results of different versions of tasks performed.

Meshroom begins by taking photos of the object you wish to reconstruct, with at least 10-20 images recommended. As more pictures are captured, the higher quality model you can create. You then upload your model into Meshroom software which generates point cloud and mesh results which you can then use to remove unnecessary objects or perform modeling simplifications.

Texturing the final result will greatly enhance its quality, yet may increase processing times; to speed things up and allow scalability you could opt to downscale textures to increase speed and reduce processing times.

Our tests showed that v2021.1 required just under a minute and a half to reconstruct all 53 images we tested it with, while v2019.2 took over an hour due to having a more robust feature extraction node that took longer to identify optimal pixels in images. This difference can be explained as being due to different algorithms being utilized for feature extraction; each version had different capabilities of finding matches for pixels found within images.


Photogrammetry software gives researchers, surveyors and others the power to gain a clearer picture of wildlife habitat, building sizes relative to one another or even just the shape of an area. But it’s more than taking pictures; photogrammetry data should be used effectively to make decisions that have an immediate effect on people’s lives.

Meshroom is an open source program that uses AliceVision’s 3D computer vision framework to reconstruct scenes. Additionally, Meshroom features various pipelines to combine multi-bracketed images into high dynamic range, stitch panoramas together and estimate camera motion estimation. Meshroom’s node-graph architecture enables users to modify and customize each pipeline to their needs while adding processing nodes interactively or export intermediate data for analysis of results of algorithms used within it.

Meshroom begins by creating a new project and dragging all images you wish to process into its Image Pane on the left of your screen. After uploading, Meshroom will analyse your images, checking their metadata and creating scenes if necessary, before evaluating their quality for possible errors and displaying an Error Log with details about each issue encountered and suggestions as to how best correct them.

Once the process is completed, it will display a 3D view of your scan with point cloud and camera poses displayed at the bottom of the screen. From here you can use mouse scrolling or zoom/pan/orbit to explore more detail in the 3D model and if satisfied, load directly into Sketchfab for editing or viewing purposes.

Meshroom offers an intuitive, straightforward graphical user interface (GUI) and the process itself should be relatively fast, depending on your hardware. In order to run Meshroom on older machines with limited memory resources, CUDA-enabled Nvidia GPUs with at least 16GB are necessary – though you may be able to adjust some settings for optimal performance if needed. It supports both Alembic and OBJ file formats for seamless integration into 3D modelling software such as Blender, Maya or Houdini for seamless 3D modelling experience.


Meshroom makes 3D modeling accessible for those familiar with photogeometry and 3D modeling, so if that’s your specialty, Meshroom should prove quick and straightforward to use. By analyzing the metadata of photographs taken at different points in time and reconstructing 3D models from them, this open-source and free app makes editing your scenes a snap! You could save yourself both time and effort utilizing Meshroom!

Meshroom’s primary function is to generate a 3D model from unordered photographs of your scene, providing other tools like merging low dynamic range (LDR) images into high dynamic range (HDR), stitching multiple photographs together for panorama creation and estimating camera motion estimation. Furthermore, its nodal engine allows end-users to customize these pipelines according to their individual domain needs by adding customized processing nodes into each pipeline.

This software is built upon the AliceVision framework, a collection of 3D reconstruction algorithms. Designed to run on GPU, this program supports various cameras–both handheld devices and drones.

Meshroom makes it easy to import photos by dragging and dropping them into its Images pane on the left, which will then start the processing step which may take some time. Once completed, results can be seen in Viewer; any errors that arise will be shown in Log window at bottom right corner; these could include missing sensor types in cameras or lighting conditions not suitable for processing.

Once the process is completed, Meshroom will present you with a folder that contains all the data it computed – which includes obj, mtl and texture files that can be imported directly into any 3D modeling software of choice.

Blender supports both obj and mtl file types for file compatibility with its program and for creating textures you require. For more information, you can visit their websites or YouTube videos.

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