3D Scanning

The Compton Bassett plantation house captured in 3D

One of the most valuable applications in the drone world today is 3D scanning, otherwise known as Photogrammetry or Phodar.

This is the process of collecting a vast array of images of a particular subject from all different angles, then using specialized software to reconstruct those images into a 3D model. In early 2013 Elevated Element was contacted by Direct Dimensions, a world leader in photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning, to explore how drones could be used in their scanning workflow. This turned out to be the beginning of a rewarding relationship where Direct Dimensions has been both a mentor and partner on several high profile projects and case studies. Since that time, our companies have cooperated to develop and perfect the process of combining LIDAR laser data sets with photogrammetry data sets in order to create the absolute best 3D models possible. Terrestrial laser scanning data is able to achieve a geometry accuracy within 2 mm while the aerial photogrammetry data increases the overall footprint of the scan, and captures the top-down view of structures, trees and any other physical features on site. This scanning method of combining laser and digital photography data provides the best of both worlds for creating 3D models, because the geometric forms are the most accurate, and the surface qualities, such as colors and textures, are the most representational of what the actual site looks like.    

Elevated Element has gone on to work on photogrammetry projects that range in size from thousands of acres to a single standing structure. Our 3D scanning has been used by clients working in TV & Film, archeology, land development, engineering and historic preservation. Not all drone photogrammetry models are created equal. We have worked tirelessly over the years to develop our own proprietary capture and processing methods to ensure the highest level of accuracy and efficiency to produce 3D models that, at a glance, could easily be mistaken for a high resolution photograph. We pride ourselves on processing all of our models in-house, and can even prepare them for full color 3D printing at the client’s request. Such clean, high-quality models can be manipulated to view them from any angle, and zoomed in on to see small details. They can then be used to create virtual fly-throughs, virtual tours, and even layered into traditional video footage producing animated visualizations and special effects for film and video projects.

We are proud to have become proven thought leaders in the aerial 3D scanning space. As such, Elevated Element is routinely invited to speak on the topic at various conferences and symposiums. Please visit our Facebook page to stay informed on our upcoming presentations.