Last week I was in Southeastern Utah in the Cedar Mesa region which is one of the most rich archeological regions in the United States with sites remaining today dating back 5000 years from the Ancient Pueblo and Basketmaker cultures. This first example video of a 3D model created as a 3D model automatically was of the remains of a kiva ceremonial house approximately 800 years old. It is missing the dirt and wood roof as well as has been filled in with desert sands blown into this alcove over time. I used both my Nikon D7000 DSLR and my Canon S95 point and shoot cameras to shoot a series of photos. I then used Project Photofly and created the 3D model automatically without any manual points as all 44 photos stitched. I then used the create video to automatically export a movie. I posted both the textured mesh version as well as the base mesh version combined together. The quality looks almost as if I have used a video camera to film the location but it is actually a 3D model created automatically including some oif the views I did not even take photos from such as overhead.
Some 3D Photo Scene stats:
26,874 3D points
I can also export a .LAS point cloud and use that in AutoCAD or another application that can work with point cloud data. Below is AutoCAD displaying the 3D point cloud as well as documenting the ruins with polylines and dimensions. There are also several Shape Extraction from point cloud tools out there as well as the free one Shape Extraction for AutoCAD from Autodesk Labs that recognizes and creates a surface of cylindrical,planar, and spherical shapes from a point cloud.
And even begin reconstruction of the kiva structure based on the 3D points and knowledge and research of architecture from the period and culture.
Or I could export to .OBJ and use in 3ds Max or Maya for use as a digital set used in a visualization for film or games. Imagine modeling something that exist today and you want accuracy, it could either take several hours, days, or weeks or perhaps as in this kiva case just 44 photos from your camera.
I have many more examples of documenting existing objects whether they are architecture, historical preservation, or consumer design in the works.
Give Project Photofly a try, it is free.