In this article:
- New Features in 7.7.2
- New Features in 7.7.1
- New Features in 7.7
New Features in 7.7.2
Bug Fixes and Stability Improvements
- Resolved retouch issues that occurred in projects with multiple AT tiles
- Corrected bug that resulted in the inclusion of photos for Gigapixel charges, based on the AT bounding box rather than the AT area polygon
- Fixed bug that caused texture artifacts in the form of seamlines in large 3D models, when viewing the entire model from a distance
- Resolved bug that often caused an error when loading a vast number of Lidars (thousands) into a project
- API bug that returned null for build and AT reports was temporarily resolved by removing control point information from the report
- Resolved bug causing incorrect Control Point editor values when importing AT results
- Resolved bug affecting export of DSM/DTM output with RGBI (4 bands) to LAS/LAZ
- Fixed bug in color balancing which happened under rare circumstances causing color shifts
- Resolved bug causing black orthophoto images when creating a new build version that includes orthophoto output
Quality and Performance Improvements
- Internal build parameter flags added for setting minimum and maximum focal length limits as percentages of the inputted focal length value
- Internal build parameter flags added for setting minimum and maximum principal point limits as percentages of inputted photo dimensions
- Internal build setting flags added for improving high resolution DTM stairs artifacts
- Improved model quality and removed gaps in lower levels of resolution pyramid
- Performance improvements when generating point cloud (las) output in project with complex clip polygon
New Features in 7.7.1
- Fixed photo collection corruption related to calculated coverage map operation
- Corrected issue that prevented launching of build manager
- Resolved issue with AT tile detailed report and display of calculated photos after running the AT steps
- Resolved bug that occasionally produced black lines between orthophoto tiles
- Fixed bug that occurred while reading PhaseOne IIQ files
- Fixed issue causing crash when calculating connection map for projects with very low overlap
- Added additional decimal digits to coordinates display in the photos list
- Fixed bug that caused polygon elevation changes to be ignored when editing Leveled Water Polygon
- Resolved bug causing PhotoMesh to crash during water polygon “Select Tiles” operation
- Resolved bug that prevented gigapixel credits mechanism from working when running project using the API
- Fixed issues relating to number of AWS fusers PhotoMesh allocated for production
- Resolved issues with PhotoMesh production while PhotoMesh window is minimized
- Disabled all error windows when using AWS fusers in automation mode to prevent open dialog boxes from interrupting processing
Support for Additional Hardware
- Improved model texture component to support more graphic cards
- Improved texturing artifacts on non-GPU fuser machines
- Fixed bug causing point cloud generation failure on some CPUs during photo read
New Features in 7.7
Better handling of close-range projects:
- Photo matching step prioritizes features close to the camera in the bundle adjustment to improve aerotriangulation results in close-range projects (Implemented using "AT foreground object at close range" preset).
- Sharpens thin objects such as poles and wires by cleaning point cloud noise around their edges (Implemented using "Reconstruction ground-based LIDAR and projects with tall structures" preset).
- Cleans sky background from photos looking at the horizon (Implemented using "Reconstruction sky background clean" preset.
Improved build results in low overlap, nadir projects – Fills in ground gaps in areas with low coverage (e.g., to sharpen building outlines and fill holes in the ground) by incorporating calculated ground surface (Implemented using "Reconstruction fill in ground" and "Reconstruction fill in ground and add walls" presets. Can be used together with the "Reconstruction mesh vertical bias" preset).
Improved color balancing – Enhances contrast of project photos using a Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization (CLAHE) algorithm (Implemented using the “DataPrep local_brightness histogram correction for images (CLAHE)” preset. Other preset options include " DataPrep brightness histogram correction for images” and “DataPrep color histogram correction for images”).
Optimized mesh and texture quality
- Sharper mesh edges and more triangles in areas of complex topology.
- Fewer triangles in flat areas, which results in cleaner geometry and reduced file size and processing time.
- Optimized mesh triangle count for each of the model’s levels of detail (LOD) produces a more accurate mesh in different viewing distances.
Better support for multi-band projects
- Provides the ability to select one or more bands for orthophoto texturing and any three bands for mesh model processing.
- Improves color balancing for multi-spectral bands (NIR, thermal) by minimizing color artifacts.
- Optimizes texturing algorithm performance by restricting texture generation to only bands that are in use.
- Improved DSM quality – Smooths mesh model triangle artifacts when generating DSM output.
- Improved control point use in aerotriangulation algorithm – Ground control and tie points are now assigned a stronger weight when performing aerotriangulation, to increase geographical accuracy in projects with unreliable inputted camera positions.
- Improved Lidar textures – Improvements to Lidar color-based textures by applying a color smoothing algorithm.
- Clean texture artifacts
Expanded Input and Output Support
- DSM to LAS tool exports Digital Surface Model (DSM) output as colored point cloud model in LAS or LAZ format.
- OBJ and DAE output models are now saved with single texture file per tile.
Enhanced options for orthophoto and Digital Surface Model (DSM) outputs:
- Ability to define tile size in pixels.
- Ability to define grid origin.
- Ability to define tile overlap in pixels.
- Default coordinate system for all raster outputs changed to the local UTM zone in project area.
- Aerotriangulation and reconstruction tile polygons saved as part of a project’s outputs.
- Raster output (orthophotos, DSM, DTM) TIFFs can be saved as LZW lossless or jpg compression.
- Fully support photo orientation in yaw/pitch/roll format.
- Support reading photos directly from Amazon S3 buckets and behind HTTP servers (*not supported by the Gigapixel mechanism).
- CSV/Text loader – Photo and photo collection information (e.g., sensor width, focal length, and aerotriangulation data) can now be loaded from a CSV file.
- Phase One – Read raw photos created by Phase One sensors.
PhotoMesh 7.7 features enhancements to Lidar display and functionality. Lidar data can be integrated with project photos to supplement project data and increase model accuracy.
- Point cloud styling – Set point size, color and visibility based on point cloud attribute information.
- Manage Lidar sources in a sortable, multi-edit list.
- Display the Lidar's trajectory in the 3D Window.
- Lidar files can now be loaded even after aerotriangulation is performed. If reconstruction had already started, all reconstruction tiles that intersect with the new Lidar’s bounding box are rebuilt automatically in the next project build.
- Change Lidar coordinate system and automatically reconvert and import these Lidar files in the next project build.
PhotoMesh's build-preset mechanism has been enhanced to allow saving of only specific build settings as a preset, loading of multiple presets, and more. The preset mechanism makes it easy to automatically set the required parameters to generate optimum output for the project’s data as well as to share user-defined build settings between projects.
- Presets now include only changes from the default settings.
- Users can control which step settings are saved (AT/ Reconstruction/ Output/ CS), so only changes to these steps are saved and loaded.
- Multiple presets can be selected for a build, each of which defines settings for a different subset of the build steps. If selected preset files have conflicting properties or flags, the value from the last file on the list is applied.
- New set of presets for different use cases (close range, optimization for special output formats and more).
- GUI improvements include detailed descriptions of selected presets, selection control to multi-select presets, and powerful management control to load, edit and delete presets.
Mesh imperfections, such as bumps, irregular surfaces, or floating artifacts, can be flattened, filled, and cleaned up directly in PhotoMesh using the Manual Retouch tool. This tool performs smart selection, taking your rough marking of floating artifacts, wires, or surfaces for flattening, analyzing the pixels, and determining the object it thinks you want within the rough selection. You can then further modify the selection polygon and adjust the applied buffers. The output of the Manual Retouch tool is a polygonal feature layer with attribute information that defines what retouch action should be performed in each area: clean, flatten, and retexture. When rebuilding the project, PhotoMesh uses the manual retouch layer to add a set of constraints to the reconstruction algorithms, that are applied when the mesh model is rebuilt.
Improvements to the Project Queue automation mechanism. The Project Queue is a REST API to create a project queue, and then activate, monitor, and manage the queue processing.
- New script step type (python,JS) to analyze and manages the outputs of the queue processing.
- New pause step type to pause a build so the user can inspect the result and add control/tie points and then resume the process.
- Ability to load multiple presets, and support full path name for the preset location.
- Ability to sort the queue.
AWS and Cloud Automation
Improvements to the AWS fusers management mechanism to optimize your cloud resources:
- Increased options for defining fuser allocation allow you to select the most cost-effective fuser solution for your build processing needs and steps. You can now define the instance type, AWS zone, Spot/On-Demand allocation type and even use GPU machines only when needed.
- Support for instance startup script to dynamically allocate cloud resources needed for the build process (disk mount)
- Better management of your cloud costs and reporting by supporting AWS tags by your manager and fuser instances.
New Item List
The Item List provides a powerful and efficient method of viewing information about and working with the items in a Project Tree group: photos, Lidar, reconstruction tiles, AT tiles, manual retouch layers, manually created water polygons and every imported water polygon layer. You can easily perform a textual or geographic search of the list to find and select the item you need, and then perform a wide range of actions on the item using an easy-to-access right-click menu or ribbon commands.
Enhanced Selection Tools
PM 7.7's new point, polygon, and rectangle selection commands provide expanded options for selecting items in 3D Window by geographic location.
3D Tile Selection Modes
New 3D tile selection modes allow you to view and inspect your project’s 3D mesh layer output while selecting the underlying AT and Reconstruction tiles.
Tile User-Status Mechanism
Using the new tile’s user-status mechanism, user can inspect, & tag AT & reconstruction tiles using a set of colored flags & add free-text comments. Tiles can be sorted and filtered using these user-status tags for additional operations (rebuild, manual retouch, export & more).
Cursor Selection Modes
New "List" selection mode limits your selection to the item type of the List currently open, making it easier to select the precise item you want in the 3D Window, e.g., if you want to select a tile when the Tile List is open, clicking on a camera icon that is somewhat concealing your tile, will still select the tile below it. You can easily toggle between List selection and Global selection, which selects whatever PhotoMesh item you point to in the 3D Window.
Depth Perception Mode
Highlight depth changes in the 3D model to make it easier to recognize the model’s contours and shape. This can be particularly useful for an untextured model or point cloud without colors.
Drag and Drop
New drag and drop capability let you easily open a new project or load photos, Lidar, control points, and video files.
New PhotoMesh Start Page
The new Start page makes it easy to access recent projects, training materials, videos, demo projects and more.
New Automation Dashboard
The Automation Dashboard consolidates all your PhotoMesh automation capabilities and documentation in one, easy-to-access place:
- Fusers Pool – Monitor and manage your fusers pool. The fusers pool is used to share fusers between several PhotoMesh master computers in your organization, using a distributed management approach.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Instances – Monitor and manage your AWS instances. PhotoMesh can work with Amazon Web Services to scale project production up and down based on resource needs. AWS fuser spot instances can be dynamically launched whenever there are unassigned pending fuser tasks, to further accelerate model creation.
- PhotoMesh API – View interactive documentation of the REST API for PhotoMesh Production. This API can be used to automate production phases, e.g., load photo files or list, set AT & reconstruction areas, begin & manage a build, and create new build versions.
- Project Queue API – View technical and interactive documentation of the REST API for project queues and open the Project Queue Manager. The Queue API can be used to create a project queue and then activate, monitor, and manage queue processing.