Learning Boat Deck Measurement

This page provides a starting point, and enough training material, to learn how to use the PhotoModeler software and it’s target systems for doing boat deck measurement without the use of physical templates.

Learning Resources

Please follow these four steps to learn the system.

We strongly recommend that when first learning this procedure you watch and then follow the steps of this first video, using your own photos.  Do not try your first PhotoModeler project on a boat – simulate the project instead, as the video depicts.  The document is a quick review of laying down targets and taking photos.

This video and document review the procedures for laying out targets and taking photos on a boat.

This video shows how to use the PhotoModeler software to convert your photos and targets into a CAD outline.

This video is a continuation and shows how to use PhotoModeler to add new panels, verifying measurements, using tools such as image enhance, and how to flatten from a 3D model for a 2D CAD export.

More detail
Once you have duplicated the learning exercise above, you can study further with these documents and tutorial videos:

Equipment Needed

  • A camera (see note below)
  • PhotoModeler Standard ($995 usd for the permanent standalone license and a monthly subscription is available)
  • Targets (preferably the Letter Sheets)
  • A method of scaling (included with Letter Sheets, but optionally a tape measure or yard/meter stick)
  • Optional selfie-stick or monopod for higher photo shots

A note on cameras

Almost any camera can be used but we recommend a good quality and high-resolution camera (and preferably with a fixed, prime (non-zoom) lens). You can use a mobile phone, a point-n-shoot, a mirrorless, or a DSLR camera.  One note on mobile phone cameras – they don’t all work well. Some of the newer mobile phone cameras can modify the images making photogrammetry difficult. For example, the iPhone 11/12 and some of the new Samsungs don’t work that well as they have OIS (optical image stabilization). Some people use their mobile phones successfully, some don’t. Here are cameras you can use in order of increasing cost (and usually in the order of increasing accuracy as well):

  1. Mobile phone cameras (not the least expensive but most people have one so we’ll consider the cost $0). Recent phone cameras, like iPhone 7 and later, and some recent Samsungs and Pixels, don’t work that well due to the optical image stabilization on the phone.
  2. Point-and-shoot ($50 to $400 camera) – with no zoom lens is preferred. 16MP and up if possible.
  3. Mirror-less camera with a prime lens  ($500 to $2000) {advantage over DSLR is they are smaller and lighter}.
  4. DSLR with a prime lens ($700+).

If you have a camera in mind and want to check it with us, please send the make and model to support@photomodeler.com and they can let you know.

Where to get help

As a PhotoModeler customer (or evaluating customer), please do not hesitate to contact the PhotoModeler Support department at support@photomodeler.com to ask questions or get help with any issue.  The support team will help you get going!

Additional video resources

After you have reviewed the material above, if you want more details and background see these videos::


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