360 degrees photo with exact location, match with model

Hi all,

I have some 360 degree photos (such as Street View-photo's) and I know the exact location of the photo in coordinates. These photos I'd like to read in such a way in MicroStation that the photo matches an existing surface (for example: an existing drawing of the road) with the photo. I've tried a few things with background and image, and placing a camera on the location of the photo location, but it will not succeed. Does anyone have experience with this?

  • You can make that happen in microstation manually, but its not easy. The method is to map the panoramic images onto the 6 faces of a cube, and put your camera at the precise center of that cube. Then by tedious trial and error, move and spin (move and rotate) the image cube, always moving the camera eye to keep the camera at the center of the image cube as you move the image cube. Continue with move and rotate trial and error until you find the image cube is correctly aligned with your model.

    I have done this many times myself. It is not easy, but when done it can be very effective, as you can see here


    I show it in action, combined with other things, several times here http://youtu.be/kQPxPF-lf5I

    You can also see it here, used in another way http://youtu.be/XH2AGknyzW8

    Using photos, as part of a data hybrid with models and point clouds, is certainly a smart thing to do. The viable use case list is generalizable (long and not narrow).

    Would you be interested in a tool that makes it easy for you to move and spin your photos (standard or panoramic) into alignment with your models?

  • Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your reply. Very interesting what you describe and show. Unfortunately, some of the youtube movies don't work, is the hyperlink correct?

    Is it possible fot you to post a video in which you explain the process as you described above? And, indeed, if that process takes to much time ( I have many of this photo's) then a tool is a good idea..;-)

  • Wow, very nice. Funny te see a Prius in our survey...;-)

    've been busy trying out the method Rob Snyder explained. Is not really simple. Can you explain exactly how to get to your result?

  • Yes :) the method I describe is not easy. But it does give you control. To get a spherical image aligned with a model, you need control over the rotation of the image around 3 axes, like this (pitch, yaw and roll) techpubs.sgi.com/.../04.4.plane.rotation.gif

    Without complete rotation control, you might get some alignment in the foreground, but farther away its wrong, and if you look closely and if you need good accuracy, then you need rotation control on 3 axes.

    That's what we needed when we made this alignment of photo with model here http://youtu.be/XH2AGknyzW8 in a plant. We needed good alignment all around with tight accuracy.  We tried the environment map method John used first, but with only 1 rotation field for one axis, we don't have enough control.  So we built the image box so we could have full control.

    One other thing we did, we put the image box in a different dgn and referenced it. This way we could set the display style of the model to semi- transparent while setting the image box to smooth (and ignore lighting so no shadows cast by the box). We set the image box shading style in the reference dialog.

    In the example here http://youtu.be/XH2AGknyzW8 we published the composite from MicroStation to iPad using the I-model optimizer (OMIM publisher) and viewed the result on the Bentley Pano Viewer app.

    Please keep in mind that none of what I say represents an optimal solution. These are just things you can try to do now. There are many things we need to do (Bentley) to make this much easier, and to have the result easily accessible and more widely useful.

    I really enjoy seeing your work. I hope to make it a lot easier.

  • Rob wrote:

    "Use rotate and accudraw to rotate the cube around each axis as needed to align with the model. Do this with the camera eye in the center of the cube so you can see the image cube rotate around you as needed, around 3 axes. Rotation is only one of 2 things needed though. You also have to MOVE. You have to move the image cube to the correct location versus the model, and you have to move the camera eye at the same time so it is always at the center of the image cube as it moves, because the panoramic photo is distorted if the camera leaves the cube center.

    You have to do these moves and rotates incrementally one step at a time, always moving the camera eye to the center of the cube, trial and error, until you see the image aligned with the model.  This is not easy."

    I'm sure Jerry can jump in here, but it would  seem like a pretty easy process to use the amimator tools to define the camera so that it is always tied to the center of the cube, thus making positioning the camera easier. If you move the cube, the camera position would move with it.

  • I guess the thing is, though, to animate, you have to know where you want to go. You have to tell the camera where to move. But in this case we don't know. We have to move it around until the alignment looks right. So this problem is the problem of moving the camera freely while looking through it, while keeping the cube attached to it. And then stopping movement and spinning the cube until it looks right. Its all based on visual feedback and the human eye making decisions.

  • Hello Rob,

    It has been 2 years since this last discussion of matching a model in a 360° photo.
    I was wondering if there's made progress on these matters?

    More and more these day I get these demands of my clients (real estate agents) to produce pano 360 with integrated project, see example of competitors.

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