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Need some advice - drone model processing

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  • Need some advice - drone model processing

    I am a newbie in the world of 3D model manipulation. My past experience is based on mapping / GIS (25 years). I am now using a drone to create orthophotos and 3D Models. I want to be able to manipulate a 3D model to create a proposed model of the same landform. My first project is a riverfront area last used as a wastewater treatment site with large ponds. The City I am working with wants to turn this area into a park with baseball diamonds, picnic areas, boat docks, etc. I would like to create a proposed model of the new park.

    As a member of the Autodesk Development Network, I have access to 3DS Max and Maya. I am installing both now but I would like to get some advise as to which one might be better suited for my needs. Having no experience with either, I don't know where to start.

  • #2
    Hi Tinloes and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      You are talking about digital 3d, right?
      Not a physical model that will sit on a table....

      There are others here more qualified in Max or Maya than I am as far as usability and learning curve, but the first question might be, are you drawing out your plans in some other mapping program you are familiar with first? If so, you might want to check whether either of those two 3D programs can import and utilize basic site drawing plans.

      If you are doing something that is ultimately going to be produced as a physical model, I'd talk to some who does that stuff and find out what the handoff format is. Solid Terrain Modeling is one we've used several times.

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      • #4
        Yes, I am talking about digital models. I fly my drone (DJI Phantom 3 Pro) and take 100's to over 1000 photographs of a land area. These are relatively high resolution photos, 12M pixel and are taken at low altitude - 100 to 400 ft. I then use commercial software to generate several "models" - 3D Mesh, Point Clouds, DTM, DEM in various formats. Both Maya and 3DS Max can import the digital models. That part I understand.

        Now I want to edit them to change a sewer pond into a baseball field, add some picnic tables, maybe some people and render a fly through video to show the folks what it could look like.

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        • #5
          That one's above my pay grade.
          But I bet B could help you out. Maybe he'll be along in a while.

          You have a commercial drone license? Congrats!

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          • #6
            I'm not an expert with 3D modeling. My involvement has mostly been in working with various 3D software companies designing their marketing materials and software application interfaces.

            It sounds like you're not so much interested in glitzy 3D art as you are in extending your GIS expertise to construction or civil engineering endeavors.

            I'm not all that familiar with the process of converting ortho images to 3D meshes, but automatic processes rarely create the kind of clean, well-built modeling geometry needed for the kinds of extensive transformations you mentioned.

            You said you have access to AutoDesk software, which is good. I'm a little biased because of the work I've done for them, but AutoDesk has a wide range of specialized software applications that seem more appropriate to what you're trying to accomplish. Yes, 3ds Max or Maya could likely do the job, but it kind of sounds like you might need something with more AutoCad capabilities. Have you checked into AutoDesk's more specialized software, like their Infrastructure Design Suite or their various land development modeling products? The learning curve on most of this stuff is, as you probably know, horrendously steep.

            Honestly, though, you're probably in the wrong forum for your questions. This is a graphic design forum, which is mostly 2d. AutoDesk's own forum might be a better place to ask. For that matter you could describe what you want to do in an email to AutoDesk's support people to see what they have to say.

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