Rendering a 3D portrait of a log using photogrammetry
March 29, 2017 | 5:05 pm CDT
Imagery of wood has long been key to laminate panel production, with decor papers printed from high quality photos of wood species, after which they are bonded to panel underlays.
The advent of high definition printing techniques, followed by the addition of embossing in register - to give the haptic (i.e. tactile) quality to those printed surfaces - makes wood imagery ever more important.


High-def digital staining on plywood simulates anigre veneer

Printing direct to substrate, North American Plywood has adapted an Inca Onset high-definition inkjet press into its panel processing system.

With the technological advances of laser and inkjet printing onto single sheets of decor paper, or even imaging directly onto panel surfaces (NAPLY is inkjetting simulated veneer patterns onto baltic birch plywood sheets, for example), the replication of wood imagery will have an increasingly important role. Expectations for quality and realism will cotinue to rise among buyers. 

The accompanying videos began as still images of two wood items - a log, and a dried root - that are then converted into videos using photogrammetry, the science of making measurements from photographs and capturing the exact positions of surface points. The stills are visible at the outset of each video, as individual flashed shots.
Photogrammetry may also be used to recover the motion pathways of designated reference points on any moving object, on its components, and in the immediately adjacent environment.
Photogrammetric analysis may be applied to one photograph, or may use high-speed photography and remote sensing to detect, measure and record complex 2-D and 3-D motion fields 

"The output of photogrammetry is typically a map, drawing, measurement, or a 3D model of some real-world object or scene," notes Many of the maps are created with photogrammetry and photographs taken from aircraft.

Close-range Photogrammetry the camera is close to the subject and is typically hand-held or on a tripod.

Visual creative Oliver Weingarten shows the application of  photogrammetry - the science of making measurements from photographs - to show a 3D portrait of a log.

Weingarten says he is still exploring the boundaries of photogrammetry and trying to push limits. In addition to the log shown at top, he has done "an even more complex shape of an old and dry root I found."

Usually this type of photogrammetry is non-topographic - that is, the output is not topographic products like terrain models or topographic maps, but instead drawings, 3D models, measurements and point clouds. Everyday cameras are used to model and measure buildings, engineering structures, forensic and accident scenes, mines, earth-works, stock-piles, archaeological artifacts, film sets, etc. This type of photogrammetry (CRP for short) is also sometimes called Image-Based Modeling.

See more of Oliver Weingarten's work. 

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.