What is Photogrammetry?

by Sep 20, 2017Step 2: Capture

What is Photogrammetry?

What is Photogrammetry? Photogrammetry is a method of distance measurement and 3d scanning, by which distances between pixels in captured photographs are measured.

The photo capture for photogrammetry can be done in a number of ways:

  • Machine Vision cameras
  • Pro-sumer and consumer DSLRs
  • Mobile phone sensors
  • Raspberry Pi micro-controllers

There are a number of photogrammetry systems which can be built to suit your particular use case utilizing the aforementioned components.

Types of Photogrammetry Systems

The photogrammetry measurement and feature matching quality may depends on the quantity and quality of photos taken which will ultimatelly drive the 3d scan resolution. Meaning, image sensor size, pixel-pitch, lighting conditions, lenses and lens filters all play a role in the final outcome and are all a part of the equation. The sensor's megapixel count will also play a big role when all previous factors have been considered.

At photo-alignment stage and depending on the degree of overlap of each photo with one of its neighbors, parallax and displacement of each data-point in space is calculated. The software of choice for most 3D Capture and 3D scan cleanup service studios is Agisoft Photoscan and Capturing Reality.

Photogrammetry relies heavily on the uniqueness of each neighboring pixel for the calculated 3D shape to be accurate.

And remember, the method is only as good as the photos you take.


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Best Regards,

Ruslan Vasylev

Ruslan Vasylev



Professional 3D Modeler with 17 years of combined VFX and Games experience, managing Vancouver-based 3D Scanning Studio,

Servicing Visual Effects for Film, Television, Games and Virtual Reality production studios.