Surface Reconstruction Assessment in Photogrammetric Applications

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Oct 16;20(20):5863. doi: 10.3390/s20205863.


The image-based 3D reconstruction pipeline aims to generate complete digital representations of the recorded scene, often in the form of 3D surfaces. These surfaces or mesh models are required to be highly detailed as well as accurate enough, especially for metric applications. Surface generation can be considered as a problem integrated in the complete 3D reconstruction workflow and thus visibility information (pixel similarity and image orientation) is leveraged in the meshing procedure contributing to an optimal photo-consistent mesh. Other methods tackle the problem as an independent and subsequent step, generating a mesh model starting from a dense 3D point cloud or even using depth maps, discarding input image information. Out of the vast number of approaches for 3D surface generation, in this study, we considered three state of the art methods. Experiments were performed on benchmark and proprietary datasets of varying nature, scale, shape, image resolution and network designs. Several evaluation metrics were introduced and considered to present qualitative and quantitative assessment of the results.

Keywords: 3D reconstruction; computer vision; dense image matching (DIM); dense point cloud; mesh model; multiple view stereo (MVS); photogrammetry; surface reconstruction; visibility constraints; volumetric methods.