University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Close-range photogrammetry vs. 3D scanning: Comparing data capture, processing and model generation in the field and the lab
Rachel Opitz, Katie Simon, Adam Barnes, Kevin Fisher, Lauren Lippiello

Last modified: 2012-03-07


With the introduction of several affordable and/or free close-range photogrammetric software packages that require minimal processing labor over the past year, much discussion has developed regarding how useful such a cheap and easy 3D capture solution is for archaeologists. When is a point-and-shoot camera sufficient for documenting an excavation or ceramic vessel and when would an expensive laser scanner be required? How does the accuracy and repeatability of these newer close-range photogrammetry options compare with 3D scanning? This paper reviews a variety of non-metric, close-range photogrammetric data capture methods (e.g. calibrated vs. non-calibrated, wide-angle vs. normal lens, etc.) and assess how each resulting data set performs through a comparison of at least three photogrammetric software packages including Eos Systems' PhotoModeler Scanner, AutoDesk's 123D Catch and AgiSoft's PhotoScan. The resulting data sets will be compared to scan data of the same objects as captured by a Leica C10 mid-range laser scanner and the Breuckmann SmartScan HE close-range scanner. Test data will include rock art and architecture from Knowth, Ireland; Defiance House Ruin, United States; architectural sculptures from El Zotz, Guatemala; Wadi Abu Subeira I, El Hôsh, Egypt as well as controlled lab tests.


3D scanning; photogrammetry