On the evaluation of photogrammetric methods for dense 3D surface reconstruction in a metrological context
Keywords: Metrology, dense stereo, laser scanners, photogrammetry
Abstract. This paper discusses a methodology to evaluate the accuracy of recently developed image-based 3D modelling techniques. So far, the emergence of these novel methods has not been supported by the definition of an internationally recognized standard which is fundamental for user confidence and market growth. In order to provide an element of reflection and solution to the different communities involved in 3D imaging, a promising approach is presented in this paper for the assessment of both metric quality and limitations of an open-source suite of tools (Apero/MicMac), developed for the extraction of dense 3D point clouds from a set of unordered 2D images. The proposed procedural workflow is performed within a metrological context, through inter-comparisons with "reference" data acquired with two hemispherical laser scanners, one total station, and one laser tracker. The methodology is applied to two case studies, designed in order to analyse the software performances in dealing with both outdoor and environmentally controlled conditions, i.e. the main entrance of Cathédrale de la Major (Marseille, France) and a custom-made scene located at National Research Council of Canada 3D imaging Metrology Laboratory (Ottawa). Comparative data and accuracy evidence produced for both tests allow the study of some key factors affecting 3D model accuracy.