Laser scanning won the battle of the digital reconstruction approaches in my previous entry on the topic.
The diffuse map generated by photogrammetry definitely worked in its favour. But on balance, it was thoroughly beaten by the quality of the normal map baked from the laser scans.
Upon reflection, I think it may have been presumptuous to assume either one would be the ideal solution.
Perhaps in actuality, the best approach for digital reconstruction, would be a combination of the two?
Was it worth the wait?
Upon first glance, my response is a resounding “Pfft, no difference! That’s the last time I listen to Rich.”. My tune changes to “Okay, shut up Ed” when I take a closer look at the meshes.
While the improvements are hard to appreciate in a globally illuminated environment, they become more clear as the light sources are moved.
This new mesh looks considerably better than either of the originals. I’ve put alongside the original photogrammetry mesh (on the right) to demonstrate:
Should’ve tweaked the positioning
The overall quality of the map suffers from my rushing the baking process. Plus, it would’ve likely been better to map the laser scan normals onto the retopologised photogrammetry mesh. It would’ve taken care of the holes, but also taken much longer to render.
Regardless, when viewed side by side the improvements are clear.
The various highlights and shadows are far more consistent with the shapes indicated by the colour of the diffuse.
I didn’t think the photogrammetry normal map looked particularly poor initially. Now though, it’s clear just how much of a difference a strong normal map can make.
Video does a much better job of demonstrating all this than me. So here’s a video: