Creating accurate 3D models from photographs

By on 3 November, 2015

3D Model of Melbourne created from photographs. Credit: Bentley Systems.


Bentley Systems today announced general access to its new ContextCapture software offering that uses photos to generate 3D models of real-world context to benefit infrastructure projects through all stages of design, construction, or operations. ContextCapture is Bentley’s first product release of the Acute3D software technology it acquired earlier this year and was announced at this week’s Year In Infrastructure Conference, held 3-5 November in London.

ContextCapture allows users to easily produce high resolution 3D models of existing conditions using photos taken with any digital camera, whether handheld or mounted to a vehicle or UAV. The software uses these images to generate a detailed reality mesh incorporating the referenced photography. This results in a navigable 3D model with fine and photo realistic detail, sharp edges, and precise geometric accuracy. These highly detailed models can be of virtually any size or resolution, up to city scale, and created much more quickly than with other technologies.

Bentley also announced general access to the ContextCapture Center, a cloud-enabled  “grid computing” service that dramatically expedites processing time for very large models, which typically involve up to 30 gigapixels of imagery.

3D modelling experts AEROmetrex have established themselves as frontrunners in reality capture and have worked with Bentley Systems on ContextCapture ahead of its public release.

“With ContextCapture, we’re able to automatically construct highly detailed 3D models of virtually any size for our clients, faster and at much less cost,” said David Byrne, technical director of AEROmetrex. “But what’s most powerful is the amazing context that it provides to facilitate better decisions throughout design, construction, and operations.”

“ContextCapture allows you to create a fully photo-textured, geographically located 3D model, all derived directly from digital photography. And, once the models have been built, they can be quickly and easily viewed on any desktop or mobile device. We think ContextCapture is going to revolutionize the geospatial industry.”

Bentley’s new ContextCapture offers significant new advantages to users, including:

  • a new multi-platform browser plug-in and desktop viewer that supports multi-touch and allows users to easily and consistently share reality meshes on desktop and mobile devices, even for models of entire cities;
  • enhanced level-of-detail generation and adaptive tiling, including tools for surface and volume measurement;
  • directly providing context for engineering and geospatial workflows, including native support within MicroStation CONNECT Edition;

For further information about Context Capture visit the Bentley Systems ContextCapture product page.


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