Istar Workflow

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stevenramsey
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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by stevenramsey » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:27 pm

I just re tried on the same dataset that was used for the flyer. It took 3 min 42 sec to import and colourcloud 1 ScanWorld. This is on my shitty 3 year old laptop with a registration running in the background my emails and web browser all open and being used. Colourcloud stand alone version took exactly the same time.
It took 1 min 45 sec to export a single E57 file and a little over 1.5min to reimport after colourclouding (is that a word) the file. a saving of over 3min and 1GB of storage per scan. I will see if I can move my beta license to a real workstation and do the exercise again.
than cobbling on wonky connections to external software
Where does that come from, this is fully intergrted nothing to do with external software

We have been in discussions from day one of this intergration on how or if possible to create a batch import that would satisfy every customers potential workflow.
We have customers that leapfrog there scans and images so that they are out of order, Customers that hire IStars are the timestamps in sync. I heard of one that come back another day and set up over the same spot and set the camera up as near to the same height as when the scanning is done, where the order and time will also be wrong. Others that are taking extra images inbetween the scan locations for reference material again another out of syc scenario.

Lets say I sat down with a power user and we designed the perfect batch import, 30 secs after we launched it there would be someone complaining that it doesn't fit in with their own way of working, or they deliver data with the wrong color per scan because they didn't check the data. So yes we are looking at making a batch but unless it is 100% reliable I doubt we will do it. Maybe we could start a thread called "Lets design Leica the perfect batch import for Istar" and get some power user feedback

If someone could explain how a multi file export would be fast than this Version 1 of this intergration would be faster I would love to hear.
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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by Jamesrye » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:00 pm

We have had many of the issues that Steven refers to, specifically:

1. The iSTAR's internal battery failed, so every time it was turned off, the date and time reset! This was compounded by the field staff accidentally over-writing images with the same name :x
2. We leap-frog lots, sometimes 2 positions ahead of the scanner - the istar is that quick.
3. User error meant that we had to go back and effectively set out the scanners position from the previous day (see point 1).
4. Even more confusing is that sometimes we take 2 rounds of images at each setup, i.e. one with full HDR and one set at a single exposure. Using HDR where there is fast moving traffic results in lots of ghosting - and so far as I know, there is no masking function available (unless you spend ages with PTGUI, which defeats the point as you cant then colourise with Colour Cloud).

The solution to most of this is good field-sketches! but I know these are sometimes neglected as scanning is so fast and efficient now :D

It's great to see Leica listening to it's users and developing a solution, lets hold off the criticism until we see the new functionality in action. After years of struggling to match DSLR imagery to the point cloud, I am in love with my iSTAR - it's fast and collects beautiful HDR images that stitch perfectly with colour cloud. No more parallax issues :geek:

Steven - I think you answered this the other day, but does having the Colour Cloud integration eliminate the 'black skies' issue?

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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by stevenramsey » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:14 pm

It's great to see Leica listening to it's users and developing a solution, lets hold off the criticism until we see the new functionality in action.
Thank you.

Yep no more black sky, As part of the colouring the 10000*5000 png is imported as a cubemap for use as the background image.
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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by Patrick_C » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:45 pm

Jamesrye wrote:lets hold off the criticism
So stating that the current solution can only process one scan at a time is criticism ? You see, I thought it was just a fact?

This is ridiculous. The Leica "team" are DEFENDING a piece of software that is BOTH beta and unavailable to the public.........

I quoted 6 minutes because that's what I was told by the Leica person demonstrating the software @ InterGeo - if it's wrong, gee, sue him!!! If I have 200 or 2000 scans it makes sweet FA how long it takes if it's ONE file at a time. Period. To colour 12 scans an hour or 20 an hour is pretty irrelevant if you have hundreds or thousands of scans to process.

What point is there in conducting a realistic debate on trying to move the industry forward when all someone want to do is defend an indefensible position that wasn't even being attacked in the first place... Integrating the application of iSTAR imagery on an automatic basis is great. Pointing out that it's current implementation is only suitable for a limited workflow is not "negative" but a simple fact.

It doesn't matter if it's release zero or release twenty five - if it don't work in a real world situation then - it don't work.... Incremental upgrades on a "two step forward one step back" approach is not good enough when AutoDESK / Leica / Faro etc. are spending millions of dollars telling everyone you need it scanned.......

CYCLONE is one of the best pieces of software for scan registration, and probably THE best. But do I have to repeat that fact every time I ask WHY it doesn’t do something? It's OFFENSIVE to accuse customers of "complaining" when they start a robust discussion on the tools available.
SteveRamsey wrote:If someone could explain how a multi file export would be faster than this Version 1 of this intergration I would love to hear.
With multiple E57 files I can use WinBatch to create a sub-directory for each file and automatically move the E57 file into the sub-directory. If the iSTAR files correspond sequentially to the E57 files (or I create a reference text file) I can also use WinBatch to move the iSTAR files and then just drag and drop the lot onto ColourCloud. WinBatch can then be used to gather all the coloured E57 files and put them back into a single directory for batch (re)import. Operator time is kept to a minimum whether its a hundred files or a thousand files and CYCLONE (and the operator) are available for other tasks....

End users have continually asked on many threads on this forum for multi file export (and the ability to filter the export). Does it really need any further explanation ????

Patrick

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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by Jamesrye » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:33 pm

Patrick,

With regards to integration of Colour Cloud, I just meant that it was hard to be critical of something that we haven't even seen yet and that is still being tested. I certainly didn't mean to try to close down discussion on this issue, as it is something that I've been "complaining about" for ages. I should have said that "I will hold off on my criticism" rather than "lets hold off the criticism" - sorry about that.

I agree with you about the multi-file export, it's something that would benefit us for other reasons than just colouring the scan data. I'm not sure why it cannot be implemented, but I guess there is concern about keeping users in the Cyclone environment.

I'd have thought that some sort of interface could be designed whereby the user matched the images to the scans and then just hit go. Maybe on one half of the screen, we could have low res pano images of the scans and on the right we could have low res preview images from the istar. By default, they would be linked by time-stamp, but you would have the option to re-order the istar images by dragging them up the list. When the order is good, you'd just hit "go".

I also agree with you as regards to scan registration. The interface might look a little dated in Cyclone, but I have found that other registration programs seem to have a lack of "control hierarchy" required by a reliable, repeatable, verifiable & accurate scan process.

Regards,

James

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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by colhum1 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:50 pm

Really interesting discussion guys.. :)

I'm probably the longest user and advocate of the iSTAR, having stuck with them from the beginning when ours came bundled with the C10 package.

I'll be the first to put my hands up and say that colourisation of scans through cyclone was really difficult and never gave a good match up....by the same score some of the earlier iSTAR images had stitching errors...

NCTech continued developing the iSTAR firmware and the stitching now is usually perfect.

I was lucky to trial ColourCloud and posted my findings here.....hats off to Leica they listened and this latest integration is a big step.....(and I enjoyed some of the banter with Steven and Paul along the way, not always seeing eye to eye ;) ).

The detail captured by the C10 is very good and med res C10 scans look fantastic coloured with ColourCloud, if you can afford the time high res scans look awesome :D

I only scan in low volumes, like James sometimes jumping ahead of the scanner but I setup multiple tripods/tribach's and use my iSTAR adaptor. Timestamps aren't an issue for me.
I pre plan where my stations will be, scan in a logical order, so it's easy for me to identify which stn is which.

One idea might be for the iSTAR to have a custom numbering system (and over-ride the day date) where you can input what you want and match that to your input on the scanner ? I'm sure that batch processing will eventually happen and the process get faster...blimey it was only 18months ago we were using texture editor and picking points.

Well done Leica, well done NCTech. A step in the right direction.

Colin
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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by Badders » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:09 am

Jamesrye wrote:4. Even more confusing is that sometimes we take 2 rounds of images at each setup, i.e. one with full HDR and one set at a single exposure. Using HDR where there is fast moving traffic results in lots of ghosting - and so far as I know, there is no masking function available (unless you spend ages with PTGUI, which defeats the point as you cant then colourise with Colour Cloud).
You don't need to do this. Just take the HDR only. When you process in Immersive Studio, process once as normal and then process again, but this time disable the checkbox to "Process HDR".

The first exposure in an HDR capture is the same as if you shot without HDR.

AB
Last edited by Badders on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by SCCS HDS » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:31 am

This might be going off topic slightly but.... it would be great to be able to take a series of images using the iSTAR then mask out any unwanted noise i.e. buses, people, etc that are just passing the scene. :ugeek:

Another question I have is.... Is the pano image that's in the background for TruView been generated from the scan data like ColourCloud? Or is it using the Immersive studio stitched pano image?

BTW - I'm glad Leica have introduced the importer but like Patrick said it does need to have a batch feature. Lots of companies now have multiple scanners, each doing 50-60 setups per day, seven days per week :o :o (Which puts my few scans in a car park to shame these days :oops: )
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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by Badders » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:44 am

SCCS HDS wrote:This might be going off topic slightly but.... it would be great to be able to take a series of images using the iSTAR then mask out any unwanted noise i.e. buses, people, etc that are just passing the scene
This isn't possible within Immersive Studio but you could try in an application like AutoPano Giga which does have some quite impressive "ghost" removal options.

AB

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Re: Istar Workflow

Post by tbwester » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:45 pm

I think this is a nice first step, and probably makes this a viable option for us now.

Some kind of automated way to do 10,20,50 at once overnight would be a nice second step.

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