RealityCapture is a photogrammetry software that allows users to create 3D models from photographs or laser scans. With RealityCapture, the user’s scan data is automatically processed, stitched, cleaned up, and analyzed; and the outcome is a point cloud model. RealityCapture processes millions of surface points to develop a textured, high-resolution, high-accuracy 3D model. An interesting feature is that RealityCapture supports a combination of different dataset inputs. It can mix camera images (from drone or ground) and laser scans to obtain accurate representations. Thus, users can build their environment from real-world objects to create immersive experiences.
RealityCapture Tarasque 1.2 is designed to make low demands on hardware; it requires a 64bit machine with at least 8GB of RAM. Once users have even one million images or scans registered together, they can create a mesh and a texture on a machine with e.g. 16GB of RAM without any performance loss. RealityCapture offers an API that automates repetitive tasks via the command line, saving considerable time. While in the field, RealityCapture’s main characteristics are:
- RealityCapture Mobile App. It enables users to use mobile devices in the field while recording. The point cloud data can be viewed, marked-up, and shared from a tablet to the office in real-time. Thus, instead of having to wait for the data to be brought back to the office, analysis can be done on the spot.
- Inspect Tool. This feature is especially useful if you align data directly in the field to find uncovered parts, parts with weak overlap, or detect problems in alignment.
The public beta version of RealityCapture was released in 2016. In 2021, Capturing Reality, the company that created RealityCapture was acquired by Epic Games.
Using photogrammetry can help storytellers, artists, and documentarians to create photorealistic 3D models and environments in less time than it would take to create a similar 3D model from scratch. RealityCapture is useful for a wide range of industries. Read more about how Nat Geo Series Lost Cities used RealityCapture to better understand how our ancestors lived.