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jeff prince

Thanks for making computer work fun again!

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44 minutes ago, J. Wallace said:

Nice looking work...your mesh looks great overlaid onto the site model. Well done.

Thank you.  You will be interested to know that all of the work, including the mesh, is geo referenced in a local UTM coordinate system as well 🙂. It ended up being within 100mm of the land survey and has topographical character that is right on the money.  So, we can investigate the site from the office now and identify any features we may have missed during our initial visit.  This is the future and it’s very promising.

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43 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

Thank you.  You will be interested to know that all of the work, including the mesh, is geo referenced in a local UTM coordinate system as well 🙂. It ended up being within 100mm of the land survey and has topographical character that is right on the money.  So, we can investigate the site from the office now and identify any features we may have missed during our initial visit.  This is the future and it’s very promising.

That is fantastic. Your mesh looks very good, do you find it cumbersome to navigate with? The mesh files I receive are usually huge 500gb+ so I find I set up a file for the mesh only to make it easier to reference. 

Exciting to read about your experience and thanks for sharing.

Edited by J. Wallace
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10 minutes ago, J. Wallace said:

That is fantastic. Your mesh looks very good, do you find it cumbersome to navigate with? The mesh files I receive are usually huge 500gb+ so I find I set up a file for the mesh only to make it easier to reference. 

Exciting to read about your experience and thanks for sharing.

 

What size property are you working with?  That’s huge file size.

 

The sites I have been working with have ranged from 10 to 120 acres.  I think the largest mesh I have is like 250 MB.  I’m flying 70 to 90 meters AGL at 20 KPH and generating 3cm/px resolution images and meshes.  I can see joints in concrete pavers, identify most plants, obtain walls/fences/parapets and even soccer goals and light poles with basic level of detail.  This marina project was flown in 20-30 KPH winds and light rain.  The output was surprisingly good given the conditions and the fact that I only shot one pass of nadir images.

 

I typically save a high rez model and then make a decimated version for quick performance and smaller file size (around 20 MB).  I stick them in their own design layers so I can selectively load them.  It seems to help a lot.  This particular project is the first time I have held the mesh in it’s own file and referenced it in... I just learned how to properly reference files in this past week 🙂

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On 5/7/2019 at 12:35 PM, jeff prince said:

 

What size property are you working with?  That’s huge file size. 

The sites I have been working with have ranged from 10 to 120 acres.  I think the largest mesh I have is like 250 MB.  I’m flying 70 to 90 meters AGL at 20 KPH and generating 3cm/px resolution images and meshes.  I can see joints in concrete pavers, identify most plants, obtain walls/fences/parapets and even soccer goals and light poles with basic level of detail.  This marina project was flown in 20-30 KPH winds and light rain.  The output was surprisingly good given the conditions and the fact that I only shot one pass of nadir images.

 

I typically save a high rez model and then make a decimated version for quick performance and smaller file size (around 20 MB).  I stick them in their own design layers so I can selectively load them.  It seems to help a lot.  This particular project is the first time I have held the mesh in it’s own file and referenced it in... I just learned how to properly reference files in this past week 🙂

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@jeff prince the property sizes I work with would be 1/2 acre up to 30...at least at this point. I think a big difference is your collecting your own drone data. I'm receiving the data from an operator. I'm going to send along a message later today and ask him some specifics. Your project is looking great, have fun. 

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8 hours ago, J. Wallace said:

@jeff prince the property sizes I work with would be 1/2 acre up to 30...at least at this point. I think a big difference is your collecting your own drone data. I'm receiving the data from an operator. I'm going to send along a message later today and ask him some specifics. Your project is looking great, have fun. 

Yes, collecting and processing my own data gives me a simpler workflow.  I imagine your person could take their data and downsample it into a more manageable size.  I keep the native resolution file as a master and then generate downsampled versions until it begins to degrade visually.  You could try the same with MeshLab, which is a powerful and free tool.  I learned how to use it in an afternoon.  I do the same thing with my orthophotos, which can get into the 100s of MB.  Having a low resolution file for reference and turning off the high Rez one until you really need it makes the computer happy.

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2 hours ago, line-weight said:

Do you think you will use this model right through to construction drawings?

 

Probably.

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1 hour ago, jeff prince said:

 

Probably.

I think that's where it will really be tested. I'll be interested to see how you get on.

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Applying this technique to a residential remodel project.  Aerial Survey -> existing 3D context -> new design.  It's quick, it's dirty, but it works.  First time I haven't created an as-built manually.  Now if only VW cloud services could produce the model from the aerial photography instead of having to use a 3rd party...

 

Here are a couple of animated GIFs showing the progress from:

3D aerial based mesh to

2D ortho photo to

modeling existing conditions to

a quick redesign of the pool deck, etc.It's amazing how fast this workflow is.

model1.thumb.gif.ed54a1118957b7b9d7f365c1ca621204.gif

Like I said, it's dirty, but it works.  I took some context photos from the ground for visual measuring and correcting the predicted aerial errors on this complex site.

model2.thumb.gif.480facd476ae9636f340692aa465dc90.gif

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If I've understood correctly, the switch from lumpy auto-generated model to sharp edged VW model is achieved by you effectively tracing off it in 3D, is that right? In other words that stage does not happen automatically?

 

I can see how this might be handy if you are doing some landscaping but it would be nowhere near accurate or detailed enough to create an as-existing model of a building that you want to make some architectural interventions to.

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Hello Jeff:

 

Nice work! 

 

15 hours ago, jeff prince said:

Now if only VW cloud services could produce the model from the aerial photography instead of having to use a 3rd party

 

Have you tried the Photos to 3D Model feature in VW cloud?  I thought that was where this site context 3D mesh came from?

https://cloud.vectorworks.net/portal/help/pages/generate-3d-models-from-photos/?app=WEB

 

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6 hours ago, line-weight said:

If I've understood correctly, the switch from lumpy auto-generated model to sharp edged VW model is achieved by you effectively tracing off it in 3D, is that right? In other words that stage does not happen automatically?

 

I can see how this might be handy if you are doing some landscaping but it would be nowhere near accurate or detailed enough to create an as-existing model of a building that you want to make some architectural interventions to.

 

Yes, I used the drone generated mesh to create a 2D plan view (which it did great on) and for 3D feature levels (which on this project left a lot to be desired).  On the marina project, the levels were within 100 mm as compared to a survey, so good enough for initial conceptual work seeing as the survey was not finished until after the design was done 🙂.  The current level of drone photo reconstruction I am using does not built the BIM model...yet.  I’m guessing that within 5 years the technology will have matured enough to do this to a certain degree.  High contrast architectural features can be processed with a reasonable level of accuracy, but low contrast images in the same color families are real challenging as in this residential example.  Vegetation is really problematic, especially on a day with a little breeze due to the plant movement.  White architecture is really difficult if the lighting isn’t good.

 

For the high accuracy stuff, I’ve used a Faro laser scanner.  Unfortunately, that equipment is cost prohibitive to use on small projects where the level of detail is unnecessary.  Digital surveys are nice, but there is equipment, data collection, processing time and costs that make it impractical on projects like residential landscapes.  On the commercial job, I can sub out scanning or surveying, with a survey being necessary for the civil engineering and property legal definition.  For the quick and dirty site analysis, the drone photography has proven to be the fastest and least expensive method of getting basic usable data for conceptual design.

 

For the residential project, I had 30 minutes of drone time and 15 minutes of site photography to collect enough information to then build the existing conditions in about 2 hours.  So say 4 hours total with the end results including a drone mesh, a 2D geotiff, and manual modeling of the existing conditions in VW.  Had I measured everything, I probably would have been doing about 4 hours of site work given the angles of the features and such with the end result being a 2D drawing and a bunch of ground based photos.

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1 hour ago, Dave Donley said:

Hello Jeff:

 

Nice work! 

 

 

Have you tried the Photos to 3D Model feature in VW cloud?  I thought that was where this site context 3D mesh came from?

https://cloud.vectorworks.net/portal/help/pages/generate-3d-models-from-photos/?app=WEB

 

Thanks.  Yes, I’ve used the VW cloud services in the past.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t not produce acceptable results compared to other software solutions using the same set of photos.  For the residential job, I used VW Cloud and Maps Made Easy with the same photo set.  VW Cloud couldn’t produce a usable result.  Maps Made Easy did a good job given the quality of the photos due to time of day and wind/temperature issues.  It was 105 degrees when I shot the house, which is at the operating limit of the drone.  My ipad and iPhone both overheated while flying the drone and taking ground based photography.  The drone itself started having temperature issues too along with the problems associated with flying in high temperature air 😞.

 

For the Marina, I used AutoDesk Recap to create the model, which did a fantastic job on producing an accurate mesh, especially considering it was flown 90m altitude on a rainy day.

 

Both of these examples are from worst case scenario flights.  I suspect the softwares are only going to improve moving forward and hope for more automated processing that can determine the difference between architectural features and classify them accordingly.  Hopefully VW Cloud will realize how useful this process is on developing projects and up their game so we can do better work faster 🙂

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11 hours ago, LyonelPerabo said:

That is fantastic. Your mesh looks very good! 

 

Thanks.  I think the mesh leaves a lot to be desired compared to my other projects, but it was useful and fast.

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Well, the honeymoon appears to be over now with the upgrade to 2020.

 

Nearly a year has passed since I last leveraged my drone for residential work.

Went out this week to look at a new project and put the bird up in the sky.

I spent a brief amount of time on a site and collect a vast amount of data.

The data gets crunched online using other software solutions.  I get nice high resolution 2D geotiffs that surpasses anything I can buy commercially.  So clear and accurate I can determine plant species from 150' above ground level with 1/2" per pixel resolution, flying at 20 mph.  I can see individual pavers, railings, steps, count the pebbles around the fountain if I was so inclined.

490688804_ScreenShot2020-06-12at8_36_42PM.thumb.png.c5b7c6f26ca76cee27991f78d1d91e19.png

 

The 3D point cloud and mesh is good enough to establish rough grading, determine top of wall heights, and provide a virtual site visit in case I forget something.

1057095235_ScreenShot2020-06-12at8_34_35PM.thumb.png.55b0efdd8ab4259318f84895f141f1a0.png321097974_ScreenShot2020-06-12at8_34_53PM.thumb.png.9ca08b4c4d67612278090ea887e56f27.png1804177529_ScreenShot2020-06-12at8_35_17PM.thumb.png.d48bbbf2c147b2a92488ba89c21ca880.png

 

 

 

The I go into VWX...

I end up having to move and scale the model in unpredictable ways in order to get something to usable after hours of trial and error.  I end up relying on outside software to generate the contour lines that I can use to make a site model since digesting the point cloud is beyond VWX's appetite.

 

977347401_ScreenShot2020-06-12at9_31_28PM.thumb.png.3d386c43d76cdadefef27af7511fda1e.png

 

And to add insult to injury... I can't add a georeferenced image to the site model, that priviledge seems to be reserved for the ESRI enhancement to the site model settings. I have to create a renderworks texture of my wonderful georeferenced image and then manually scale and offset it until it lines up with model features that I recognize such as plants, walls, or driveways.  This is not an enjoyable way to spend a Friday evening, even with social distancing greatly impacting my social life 🙂

 

915917907_ScreenShot2020-06-12at9_31_08PM.thumb.png.64f59f0dcd6b0cf50899acfcc3c0e98c.png

 

6 hours to take properly georeferenced data having to scale, move, and line it up in VWX?

Importing a geotif should be automatic, not some silly game of pin the tail on the donkey via render textures.

Your import of point clouds needs to work correctly by recognizing georeferencing and units.

It shows up in other packages flawlessly, remains broken in VWX 😞 

 

Come on guys, this is the future and it is happening now.

Fix our tools by talking to those of us in the trenches making it happen.   Develop workflows that embrace our industry practices, not fight against it.

I don't need ESRI data, I need to import my data and that of my consultants quickly and accurately like Autodesk lets me do.

 

Thoughts @tekbench @ericjhberg

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 9.28.46 PM.png

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I've not worked with point clouds yet.

 

Recently soeone asked me if Vectorworks could handle point clouds.

 

I said I wasn't completely sure but I thought it was supposed to be able to handle them now. But, seeing as it's Vectorworks, it would probably turn out it couldn't actually do much useful with them in practice.

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Somewhere Jim Wilson made a video about a similar case,

point cloud by drone of a pavilion and how to work with it

in Vectorworks. (Importing, Scaling, Re-Modeling, ...)

 

But I can't find it anymore (VW US YouTube)

Maybe it was in Service Select Portal

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15 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Somewhere Jim Wilson made a video about a similar case,

point cloud by drone of a pavilion and how to work with it

in Vectorworks. (Importing, Scaling, Re-Modeling, ...)

 

But I can't find it anymore (VW US YouTube)

Maybe it was in Service Select Portal

 

I watched that video back when I tried this the first time.  Popped for Service Select to use their point cloud service, tried to get technical support on a few things such as point clouds and the plant database.  Largely left to wither on the vine or figure it out myself.  So I haven't renewed my service select and do my point cloud work in another platform.  Really makes me wonder why I am aggressively pursing Landscape BIM in Vectorworks with these broken workflows 😞

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47 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Somewhere Jim Wilson made a video about a similar case,

point cloud by drone of a pavilion and how to work with it

in Vectorworks. (Importing, Scaling, Re-Modeling, ...)

 

But I can't find it anymore (VW US YouTube)

Maybe it was in Service Select Portal


Perhaps it was this one?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, rDesign said:

Perhaps it was this one?

 

Exactly !

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