Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a process that takes multiple photos of a physical object and, using specialised software, creates a 3D representation. Here is a photo of an Irregular Miniatures Russian WW1 machine gun team. The 6mm figures are mounted on a 30x30 mm Litkoultra thin plywood base.

Photogrammetry 1

The base is sitting on a coloured template with a set of circles, radii, and dots. The template is not absolutely necessary but it makes it easier for the software to understand the angle and distance that the photo was taken from.

Photogrammetry 2

At least 50 photos are taken from different angles. I used an iPhone and just walked around the template. Here is a photo (above) taken nearer‘ground level, aligned with the pink segment of the template. It only takes a few minutes to take all the photos.

Photogrammetry 3

The screenshot above shows how the software aligns the various photos in 3D space and then generates the composite 3D model.

Photogrammetry 4

The screenshot above shows the 3D model imported into a CAD software application, which allows the model to be manipulated. Notice how the colours of the original physical model have been preserved. I am adding a colour-matched 30x30 mm‘base’ to the model, using the CAD software.

Photogrammetry 6

The screenshot above shows the 3D photogrammetry model being rotated to sit flat on the new‘base’.

Austro-Hungarian HQ

Another software tool is then used to create a 3D model for use in Table Top Simulator. TTS is available online for playing virtual games with models that behave exactly like their real counterparts. The model above, which is an Irregular Miniatures WW1 Austria HQ, has a‘collider’ within the pike-grey base. The‘collider’ makes the base behave like a real base, that you can‘pick up’, move around and place on the table, but not overlapping another base.

Austro-Hungarians line up

Here is a virtual map with physical contours, representing 20m contour levels. Austrian infantry can be seen in defilade along the road on the higher ground to the right, supported by a regiment of field guns. The HQ stand is on the left.

Woods

I used photogrammetry to create models of trees, which are then placed‘on table’ to enhance the look of woods. Russian cavalry are advancing in the distance.

This whole process makes it possible to play with gamers around the world, which was particularly useful during the lockdown phases of the COVID pandemic.

Robert Dunlop 2014 to date