Photogrammetry has become an indispensable tool for paleontology. Not only it serves for curational purposes, because it allows sharing models with any researcher or institution, but also allow the study and comparison of the digital models without risk of damage. Here we will provide the basics of our photogrammetry protocol.

A 3D photogrammetric model is the result of collage of various images taken from different angles of the object of interest. This junction allows a clear visualization of the anatomy of the specimen. The process consists in taking several photos of the fossil, using a scale for calibration base. We usually do 30 to 40 photos for each fossil. The software we use is Agisoft.

Once the photos have been captured, they are then uploaded to the software.Then choose the number of photo chunks and the photos you want to use. Then, proceed to the first option Align Photos .

Image preview after rendering photos.

Image preview after rendering photos.

After image alignments, the software will allow to activate the step, which is the Geometry, which will process and level in 3D the images.

Image display after  Geometry  processing.

Image display after Geometry processing.

Then the program will activate the last option that is the Texture .

Image preview after  Texture  processing.

Image preview after Texture processing.

Open the Workflow window to choose the align chunk option, this window serves to align the chunks. It is necessary to activate the camera based option to let it process for a few seconds until it activates merge chunk to get the various views of the fossil in just a single three-dimensional model.

Text by: Sarita Guluja and Ricardo Araújo