Application of technical measures and software in constructing photorealistic 3D models of historical building using ground-based and aerial (UAV) digital images

Aleksander Zarnowski, Anna Banaszek, Sebastian Banaszek


Preparing digital documentation of historical buildings is a form of protecting cultural heritage. Recently there have been several intensive studies using non-metric digital images to construct realistic 3D models of historical buildings. Increasingly often, non-metric digital images are obtained with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Technologies and methods of UAV flights are quite different from traditional photogrammetric approaches. The lack of technical guidelinesfor using drones inhibits the process of implementing new methods of data acquisition.

This paper presents the results of experiments in the use of digital images in the construction of photo-realistic 3D model of a historical building (Raphaelsohns’ Sawmill in Olsztyn). The aim of the study at the first stage was to determine the meteorological and technical conditions for the acquisition of aerial and ground-based photographs. At the next stage, the technology of 3D modelling was developed using only ground-based or only aerial non-metric digital images. At the last stage of the study, an experiment was conducted to assess the possibility of 3D modelling with the comprehensive use of aerial (UAV) and ground-based digital photographs in terms of their labour intensity and precision of development. Data integration and automatic photo-realistic 3D construction of the models was done with Pix4Dmapper and Agisoft PhotoScan software

Analyses have shown that when certain parameters established in an experiment are kept, the process of developing the stock-taking documentation for a historical building moves from the standards of analogue to digital technology with considerably reduced cost.


3D modelling; digital image; UAV; Pix4Dmapper; Agisoft PhotoScan

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