Photogrammetry in Action - Abandoned Vehicle

Whilst travelling from place to place, I am always looking for an opportunity to jump out of the car and survey or photograph places of interest - that’s the purpose of my blog! Recently, I found this burnt out Ford Focus down a remote country road and couldn’t resist the opportunity to do a fly over. My initial thoughts were that this was going to be a difficult ask for a drone and some software to create a model of the right dimensions, especially with lots of complex, angular metal and plastic parts sticking out (and melted) in all directions. Great to test then and the results are pretty decent! The model reminds me of computer games from my youth, like Destruction Derby or Carmageddon (in terms of graphics textures and the general condition of the cars!). 

Due to the proximity of the car to the trees on the nearside (not the drivers side), I had to fly at 10m high. I would have preferred to have done this a little lower to see if I could get a better quality model. I used Pix4D to capture the images using the 3D grid survey technique and the drone was off, doing its autopilt:

My first impressions that this model has come out nicely and most parts are well represented, considering this is a difficult subject to survey. The software is engineered for still, straight edges and nice gentle curves, for the sake of industry that uses this technology for architecture, BIM etc… The foliage doesn’t look good and nor does the detail from the nearside of the vehicle but that is expected. Sticks that move in the wind and the drone didn’t get much of a look in on the nearside due to proximity to the edges. Pretty artistic look to it?

A close up and you can see the melted wheels, bumper and door frame - admittedly a little more melted than in real life. The textures seem to sag. Also, the hollow inside of the car looks… quite solid. Again expected, should it be possible to use photogrammetry to recreate the hollow inside i’d be amazed (maybe in future or maybe I am not covering all of the angles). Love that visible police tape.

One great thing to note, is how well the ‘extra’ detail has emerged, such as the textures on the underside of the blown bonnet. As well as taking the 3D Grid I manually flew the drone and took pictures all around the drivers side, front and rear to try and capture some information that it wouldn’t get from 10m up - and it worked.

You can view the model HERE. I must admit that in this instance the model is quite difficult to navigate and I’m not enitrely sure how to rectify this apart from a re-model. If you’ve got a touch screen or viewing this on an iPad it would be much easier.

PS. On another note, apparently car fires are rarer now (according to a firefighter friend) as cars are harder to break into and steal. Hurray!

Using Format