A Method for Obtaining Signatures for Photogrammetry

I have posed myself the question in the past, in which a number of photos is each subdivided into a grid of rectangles, how a signature can be derived from each rectangle, which leads to some sort of identifier, so that between photos, these identifiers will either match or not, even though there are inherent mismatches in the photos, to decide whether a rectangle in one photo corresponds to the same subject-feature, as a different rectangle in the other photo.

Eventually, one would want this information in order to compute a 3D scene-description – a 3D Mesh, with a level of detail equal to how finely the photos were subdivided into rectangles.

Since exact pixels will not be equal, I have thought of somewhat improbable schemes in the past, of just how to compute such a signature. These schemes once went so far, as first to compute a 2D Fourier Transform of each rectangle @ 1 coefficient /octave, to quantize those into 1s and 0s, to ignore the F=(0,0) bit, and then to hash the results.

But just recently I have come to the conclusion that a much simpler method should work.

At full resolution, the photos can be analyzed as though they formed a single image, in the ways already established for computing an 8-bit color palette, i.e. a 256-color palette, like the palettes once used in GIF Images, and for other images that only had 8-bit colors.

The index-number of this palette can be used as an identifier.

After the palette has been established, each rectangle of each photo can be assigned an index number, depending on which color of the palette it best matches. It would be important that this assignment not take place, as though we were just averaging the colors of each rectangle. Instead, the strongest basis of this assignment would need to be, how many pixels in the rectangle match one color in the palette. (*)

After that, each rectangle will be associated with this identifier, and for each one the most important result will become, at what distances from its camera-position the greatest number of other cameras confirm its 3D position, according to matching identifiers.

Dirk

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Photogrammetry Acknowledgement

In this earlier posting, I described a form of “photogrammetry” in which an arbitrary, coarse base-geometry is assumed as a starting point, and from which micropolygons are spawned, in order to approximate a more-detailed final geometry.

I must acknowledge that within this field, a domain also exists, which is not like that, and in which the computer tries to guess at a random, arbitrary geometry. Of course, this is a much more difficult form of the subject, and I do not know much about how it is intended to work.

I do know that aside from the fact that swatches of pixels need to be matched from one 2D photo to the next, one challenge which impedes this, is the fact that parts of the (yet-unknown) mesh will occlude each other to some camera-positions but not others, in ways that computers are poor at predicting. To deal with that requires such complex fields as “Constraint Satisfaction Programming” – aka ‘Logic Programming’, etc..

(Edit 01/05/2017 : Also, if we can assume that a 2D grid of pixel-swatches is being tagged for exact matching, and that only horizontal parallax is to be measured, the problem of entire rows of rectangles that all have the same signature can be cumbersome to code for, where only the end-points change position from one photo to the next… And then their signature can end, to be replaced by another, after which, on the same row, the first set of signatures can simply resume.

Further, If we knew that this approach was being used, Then we could safely infer that the number of mesh-units we derive, will also correspond to the number of rectangles, which each photo has been subdivided in to, not the number of pixels. )

If that was to succeed, I suppose it could again form a starting-point, for the micropolygon-based approach I was describing.

I do know of at least one consumer-grade product, which uses micropolygons.

screenshot_2016-01-06-10-44-24

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