MAKING 3D MODELS OF NATURE WITH SOLAR POWER

The camera for the photos as well as the photogrammetry used in 3D models was powered by solar energy. Photos and photogrammetry: Okko Meinilä

The camera for the photos as well as the photogrammetry used in 3D models was powered by solar energy. Photos and photogrammetry: Okko Meinilä

We like nature and 3D graphics but they aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. Nature has an inherently complex topology and computers and solar panels are still struggling to cope with irregular features and weathers. We are trying to develop a solar powered workflow for capturing convincing trees and plants for future 3D artworks. So we are trying to overcome the limitations and find a good balance between tech and nature.

You need a ton of photographs to figure out all the details of the 3D objects. So you might need to recharge batteries during the trip. Solar power gives you an advantage of independence when you are in a remote location. In addition of being sustainable, energy source solar power has many distinctive qualities which we are researching.

As with most sustainable energy sources, storage is the biggest problem. Sunshine is intermittent and you need a way to store the energy. In this case, battery powered devices like cameras and laptops are an apparent solutions but at this point there is no simple ready-made solutions. We have built a system to capture and store energy which works well at the moment but it could use some upscaling.

When processing the material there’s a fine balance between 3D accuracy and choking the computer. Too much input data takes all the resources and working becomes impossibly slow. Too little and you have an artificial looking result.

In both cases, solar power and 3D, the solution is to find the balance between available resources and current technology and have just enough to get the quality you are aiming for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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