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PhotoModeler Scanner 2011 Screen Shot.jpg
Screenshot of PhotoModeler Scanner
Developer(s) Eos Systems Inc.
Initial release 1994; 23 years ago (1994)
Stable release
2017.1.1 / Sep 25, 2017
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Photogrammetry
License Proprietary commercial software

PhotoModeler is a software application that performs image-based modeling and close range stereophotogrammetry – producing 3D models and measurements from photography.

Close Range Photogrammetry (CRP) can mean photographs taken from the ground with a handheld camera, or taken from a UAV/drone at relatively low altitude. PhotoModeler and CRP are used for performing measurement and modeling in agriculture, archaeology, architecture, biology, engineering, film production, forensics, mining, stock pile volumes, etc.[1][2][3] PhotoModeler, first publicly released in 1993, was the first commercial all-digital close-range photogrammetry and image-based-modeling system.[4]


The PhotoModeler product line currently consists of the base PhotoModeler product, the PhotoModeler Scanner product, and the PhotoModeler UAS product.


PhotoModeler creates accurate 3D models (consisting of Points, Lines, Curves, Edges, Cylinders, Surfaces, NURBS, and Shapes), and accurate 3D measurements from photographs taken with most standard cameras (either digital or film). 3D models can be created and exported with photographic textures extracted from the original photographs. Automation is available with coded targets (special 'barcode-like' circular targets placed in the scene before photography).

PhotoModeler Scanner is a super-set of PhotoModeler and includes all its features – it adds SmartMatch (automated feature detection and matching on photos), DSM (dense surface modeling), and capturing geometry over time (4D measurement = 3D + time).

PhotoModeler UAS is a super-set of PhotoModeler Scanner and includes all its features – it adds capabilities aimed at customers using drone or UAV photography.

File formats[edit]

PhotoModeler has the ability to read the following image formats: JPEG (.jpg), Tiff (.tif), Windows BMP (.bmp), PC Paintbrush (.pcx), Targa (.tga), Portable Network Graphics (.png), Pict (.pct), Photoshop (.psd), Portable Pixmap (.ppm), Macintosh Paint (.mac), EA Interchange File Format (.iff), CALS Raster (.cal), PhotoCD (.pcd), Silicon Graphics Image (.sgi), Silicon Graphics RGB (.rgb), Jpeg2000 (.jp2/.jpx), MS HDphoto (.hpd/.wdp).

PhotoModeler can import 3D data for comparison, matching, and as control points in the solution. The input file formats accepted are: DXF, Wavefront OBJ, 3D Studio 3DS, and Raw Text files.

PhotoModeler exports 3D data to the following formats (some with mapped photographic textures): 3ds, Rhino 3DM, DXF, Filmbox FBX, IGES, Google Earth, Maya Script, 3D Studio Max Script, Wavefront OBJ, Raw, and VRML.


Some of the applications of PhotoModeler are:

  • Accident reconstruction / Forensics[5]
  • Archaeology / Paleontology[6]
  • Architecture
  • Biology[7][8]
  • Engineering[9][10]
  • Film[11]
  • Mining[12]
  • Situational Awareness (SA)[13]


Development was started in 1990 by Alan Walford. The first public release was a beta in October 1993. Here is major release history:

  • QMeasure beta – October 1993
  • PhotoModeler 1 – January 14, 1994
  • PhotoModeler 2 – August 31, 1995
  • PhotoModeler LX – July 1996
  • PhotoModeler 3 – July 18, 1997
  • PhotoModeler Lite – March 24, 1999
  • PhotoModeler 4 – November 2, 2000
  • PhotoModeler 5 – May 15, 2003
  • PhotoModeler 6 – February 8, 2007
  • PhotoModeler Scanner 6 - April 21, 2008
  • PhotoModeler and PhotoModeler Scanner 2010.0 – October 28, 2010
  • PhotoModeler and PhotoModeler Scanner 2011.0 – January 18, 2011
  • PhotoModeler and PhotoModeler Scanner 2012.0 – January 18, 2012
  • PhotoModeler and PhotoModeler Scanner 2013.0 – February 13, 2013
  • PhotoModeler, PhotoModeler Scanner and PhotoModeler Motion 2014.0 - February 4, 2014
  • PhotoModeler, PhotoModeler Scanner and PhotoModeler Motion 2015.0 - December 3, 2014
  • PhotoModeler, PhotoModeler Scanner and PhotoModeler Motion 2016.0 - January 25, 2016
  • PhotoModeler, PhotoModeler Scanner and PhotoModeler UAS 2016.1 - September 26, 2016
  • PhotoModeler, PhotoModeler Scanner and PhotoModeler UAS 2017.0 - April 11, 2017


The direct alternatives to PhotoModeler are: RhinoPhoto, Australis, Elcovision, Photoscan, and Pix4d.

CRP software for doing automated high-accuracy industrial measurement is GSI’s VStars.

PhotoModeler is now being used more regularly with drone, UAV, and UAS photography (Unmanned aerial vehicle). These vehicles produce photos that are closer to the subject (the ground) than traditional aerial photogrammetry (taken by fixed wing aircraft with high resolution cameras at higher altitude). Software packages suited to this other type of aerial photogrammetry are packages such as SOCET SET, or LPS (Leica Photogrammetry Suite).

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Luhman 2006: p.469
  2. ^ Karara 1989: p.321
  3. ^ McGlone 2004: p.1015
  4. ^ Earlier academic or discontinued all-digital CRP systems were: H. Haggren's Mapvision and Armin Gruen's DIPS in 1986.
  5. ^ The Boston Channel 2008
  6. ^ Matthews 2008: p. 11
  7. ^ Bythell 2011
  8. ^ de Bruyn 2009
  9. ^ Grande 2006
  10. ^ Richardson 2008
  11. ^ Duesing 2006
  12. ^ Dunn 2009
  13. ^ Schwartz