Anyone that has walked along the Edmonds, Washington, waterfront is familiar with the “Seeing Whales” cast aluminum sculpture located at the south end of Olympic Beach Park.
Above is a photo of the “Seeing Whales” sculpture. Below is a 3D model of this sculpture. I created this model by shooting 287 photos with a GoPro Hero 5 Black camera mounted on a selfie stick. I set the camera to shoot an image every 2 seconds, then moved the camera around to get many different views of the sculpture. The selfie stick was so I could get the camera above the sculpture, and also more easily get the camera down low.
I then processed these 287 images with WebODM (Open Drone Map, web version) into a 3D model, then cleaned it up with Blender, a 3D editing and creation tool. The resulting model was uploaded to Sketchfab for viewing.
To view the model in 3D, click on the image below. It will take a little while to open the model. Once the model is open, use your left and right mouse buttons to spin it around to view it from all directions. Use your scroll wheel to zoom in and out on the model. For the best experience, view the model full screen – either click on the arrows at the lower right or press the “f” key.
If you are viewing this in your email client, you must go to the blog website or directly to Sketchfab to see the 3D model.
Here is my latest diversion. This is the bark of a Ponderosa pine tree near Camp Sherman, Oregon. I shot 26 photos with my Pixel 5a cell phone, then processed the photos with WebODM into a 3D model.
I did further processing in Blender to eliminate a few extraneous bits and then created an animation of the model.
Below is the animation I created using Blender. Click on the image to start the video, click “f” to view it full screen. Press “f” again to exit full screen mode (I suggest viewing it in full screen to really see it):
This model can also be seen in Sketchfab, a 3D viewer. Click on the image below, and after the model loads, click and drag to see it in 3D. Same as for the animation, press “f” to view it full screen and “f” again (or escape) to exit full screen mode:
I entered the following in the WebODM (Open Drone Map) forum. Some of it is a bit technical for this blog, but thought it might be interesting to some people.
Just for fun, and to learn more about WebODM and Blender, I flew my DJI Mini 2 drone around my deck to create a model. My deck has trees on 3 sides of it and overhanging it. Flying between the tree branches to get some of the shots was a bit challenging. There was a bit of a pucker factor a few times when flying inches below a branch and the drone started drifting upwards! (The Mini 2 has only forward and downward sensors, which is good here – I could never have flown that close to the trees if there were active sensors the other directions.)
I shot 142 images and processed those and saw some areas that didn’t seem to have adequate coverage. So I shot another 49 images to fill in some areas. That improved the places I concentrated on, but it seemed that some other areas decreased in quality. The glass railing and adjacent sunroom windows and doors caused some oddities, as expected. One thing I found odd is that the deck and other items seem to be “reflected” in the undersides of the tree branches.
My processing system is Windows 10 Pro on a laptop with 64GB of RAM. I initially processed this using Docker/WebODM, but ran out of memory when I increased pc-quality to ultra. I then processed it in Windows native WebODM, and it processed in 24+ hours. The WebODM timer showed 36 minutes, so I don’t have accurate information…
I postprocessed this with Blender to clean up some of the extraneous parts of the model, but purposefully left most of the trees. To get the upload files under the 100MB limit for the free Sketchfab account, I decimated the model in Blender to 70% and converted the PNG files to JPG.
Click on the image below to activate the model. Use your mouse buttons to change the view, and your scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Type “F”, or click the double-ended arrow in the lower right, to open it in full screen. (I highly recommend viewing it in full screen.)