Comparing PhotoModeler Standard and Premium

There are two products in the PhotoModeler line up:

  • PhotoModeler Standard – suited to 2D or 3D manual, CAD-based, Coded Targets, and single photo projects.
  • PhotoModeler Premium – suited to dense surface modeling, and working with point cloud data, etc. – in addition to the manual and target projects described in Standard.

PhotoModeler Premium contains all the features of PhotoModeler Standard.

Which product should you use?

Note that if you have a mix of project types, Premium can handle all the projects that Standard can, making Premium the best choice

Your Field

Use Standard

Use Premium

Fabrication / Manufacturing


Forensics & Single Photo


When integrating with laser scan data.

Marine Decking



Marine Canvas


Yes - for covers and full boat point clouds - Covers etc can be done with targets in Standard.

Accident Reconstruction

Ground-based photography

Ground and UAV/drone photography

2D Template Pattern Digitizing


Construction Cut / Fill


DEM, Contours, Ortho-photos


Drone/UAV Projects

Simple, non-automated projects

Larger projects and need for geographic systems

Research / Academics

Simple and Coded-Target projects

Everything else.

Feature Comparison Standard vs Premium

See the full feature descriptions here

Standard Premium
Model Objects
Points, Lines, Edges, Cylinders Yes Yes
Outlines Yes Yes
SmartPoints Yes
Volume Objects Yes
Curves: referenced and fit through points, NURBS Yes Yes
Surfaces Yes Yes
Point Clouds and Mesh Surfaces Yes
3D Planes Yes Yes
Surface Draw Yes Yes
Contours on mesh surfaces Yes
Major and Minor contours Yes
Profile curves on mesh surfaces Yes
Offset points Yes Yes
Materials Yes Yes
Photo-textures Yes Yes
Corrected Textures Yes Yes
Layers Yes Yes
Measurement / Review
Bundle adjustment Yes Yes
Camera calibration Yes Yes
Field calibration Yes Yes
Auto-calibration Yes Yes
Sub-pixel targets Yes Yes
Sphere targets Yes Yes
Charts and Graphs Yes Yes
Residuals and precision reporting Yes Yes
3D confidence region display Yes Yes
3D view light ray display Yes Yes
Tables Yes Yes
On-photo dimensions Yes Yes
Measurement Pane Yes Yes
Check distances and points Yes Yes
Point review pane Yes Yes
Project review pane Yes Yes
Colorize surface height Yes Yes
Colorize mesh surface models Yes
Line Object Extend Yes Yes
Auditing functions Yes Yes
Measurement Units Yes Yes
Context-sensitive and hyper-linked help Yes Yes
PDF Manual Yes Yes
Private Local Processing Yes Yes
SmartMatch Yes
Dense Surface Modeling Yes
Multi-View Stereo Yes
Automatic Target Marking Yes Yes
Automatic Referencing Yes Yes
Auto surfacing on points Yes Yes
Coded targets Yes Yes
Template targets Yes Yes
Point Auto-detect Yes
Auto-detect control Yes
Single photo support Yes Yes
Single photo full calibration Yes Yes
Low photo-count support Yes Yes
Inverse camera Yes Yes
Idealize Yes
Photo Sets Yes Yes
Camera library Yes Yes
Mesh modify tools Yes
Triangulated mesh slice and crop Yes
Water-tight mesh creation Yes
Project Merge Yes Yes
Texture masks Yes Yes
DSM masks Yes
Chroma-key & alpha masks Yes Yes
Motion – type 1 Yes
Motion – type 2 Yes
Pattern Capture Workflow Yes Yes
Automatic 2D Tracing Yes Yes
Enhanced photo viewing Yes Yes
Photo visibility control Yes Yes
User Point Tags Yes Yes
ZIP Backup Yes Yes
Scripting Yes Yes
Multi-core support for speeding up core algs Yes Yes
User Interface
Customizable user interface Yes Yes
3D viewer Yes Yes
Photo 3D projections Yes Yes
3D viewer stereo display Yes Yes
3D viewer photo display Yes Yes
Themes Yes Yes
Network floating license support Yes Yes
Selection control Yes Yes
Zoom control Yes Yes
Epi-polar reference helper lines Yes Yes
External Interfaces
Multiple Image types loaded Yes Yes
Film, digital and video camera support Yes Yes
Import Videos Yes
Multiple 3D export formats Yes Yes
Export photo-textured models Yes Yes
Export ortho-mosaic mapped models Yes Yes
Print/output views Yes Yes
Ortho-photo creation Yes Yes
Ortho-photo blending, masks & occlusions Yes Yes
Point coordinate transforms Yes Yes
Multiple scales Yes Yes
Geographical coord systems Yes
Independent coordinate system axes Yes Yes
Control points Yes Yes
Constraints Yes Yes
Import 3D objects Yes Yes
Auto-assignment of import data Yes Yes
Mesh and point cloud import Yes
Align laser scanner point clouds Yes
Colorize laser scanner point clouds Yes
Read EXIF GPS info from images Yes
Pre-defined coded target coordinates Yes Yes
3D animation export Yes Yes
Upload to YouTube Yes Yes
Scripting and external programming Yes Yes
Flexible text and CSV import Yes Yes
PDF Report Generation Yes

Feature Descriptions

Feature Description
Model Objects
Points, Lines, Edges, Cylinders The basic building blocks of 3D modeling: 3D points, lines, edges (lines without matching end points across photos), and cylinders.
SmartPoints Points that are automatically detected on ‘interesting’ features in photos.
Volume Objects An object that makes it easier to document and measure 2.5D volumes (like stockpiles)
Curves: referenced and fit through points, NURBS 3D splines from matching two or more 2D photo splines, or by fitting through 3D points.
Surfaces Surface types: triangle, path, NURBS fit to points, loft, sweep, revolution, cone.
Point Clouds and Mesh Surfaces Dense, triangulated and point-cloud surfaces.
3D Planes 3D Planes along an axis, or fit to selected points, lines or contours.
Surface Draw Points, lines and curves drawn on a 3D surface from a single photograph.
Contours on mesh surfaces Extracted contour lines at user-defined intervals on a mesh surface.
Major and minor contours Provide display different characteristics for minor vs major contours.
Profile curves on mesh surfaces Extracted profile curves from intersection of a user-defined plane with a mesh surface.
Offset points Automatically compute virtual 3D points from single and doubled points of known relationships. Useful for many measurement tasks with inaccessible or hard to reach points.
Materials Solid RGB colors with specular controls, and photo-texturing on created 3D surfaces.
Photo-textures Detailed textures for 3D viewing and export extracted from original photographs. From single photos or blended from multiple photos – with occlusion checking optional.
Corrected Textures Photo-textures, pulled from photos, have all perspective and lens distortion aberrations removed, and then with multi-photo blending options provide superior results.
Layers Group objects logically for viewing and export.
Measurement / Review
Bundle adjustment The main photogrammetric algorithm that generates accurate 3D data from photographic marks and camera information.
Camera calibration Offline high-accuracy calibration of cameras from provided pattern. Solves for focal length, pixel size, principal point and lens distortions.
Field calibration Ability to calibrate a camera’s internal parameters simultaneously with solving a real measurement project.
Auto-calibration During SmartMatch improve a camera’s calibration for higher accuracy.
Sub-pixel targets 2D center-finding of circular, high-contrast targets to sub-pixel precision – used to improve overall accuracy of 3D point projects.
Sphere targets Precise center finding of sphere targets in photos. Great for laser scanner data integration.
Charts and Graphs Chart and graph key quality metrics (such as point residuals, angles, and photo connectivity).
Residuals and precision reporting Reporting of point residuals and bundle precisions to aid with assessing accuracy and troubleshooting.
3D confidence region display Points in the 3D viewer can be displayed with error ellipsoids corresponding to the true deviation and correlations of errors. It graphically shows you the direction of and relative precision of each point.
3D view light ray display Show the ‘light rays’ between camera positions and points in the 3D viewer to depict their relationships. For single points, all points on a photo or multiple selections.
Tables Spread-sheet-like data tables showing information on photos, model objects, etc. With configurable columns, sorting, etc.
On-photo dimensions Parametric dimension lines shown photographs between user-chosen points. Can be exported.
Measurement Pane Scrolling list of user-directed measurements between model objects such as: point to point, point to line, line to line, point to surface, angles, volumes, and areas.
Check distances and points Special tables that show current error differences between user-entered distances and the computed distances. Similarly for 3D points with x,y,z and distance errors shown.
Point review pane Display of image sub-regions centered on all references of a selected point. Great for fast review and modification of point position on multiple photos.
Project review pane Wizard and user-interface pane that gives intelligent feedback on project quality and possible issues.
Colorize surface height False-color surfaces by height.
Colorize clouds and mesh surface models False-color point clouds and mesh surfaces by height and by number of photo overlap.
Line Object Extend Lines, Cylinders and Edges have a property which extends the object in 3D by a given percentage. In the 3D viewer see dashed-line extensions on either end of the object – useful for visualizing where two or more lines or cylinders intersect in 3D space.
Auditing functions Audit dialog provides overview data on model objects and their quality.
Measurement Units Handle different measurement units for display, import and export: km, m, cm, mm, mile, yd, ft, survey ft (2014.1), & in.
Context-sensitive and hyper-linked help Extensive help file with links from the program dialogs to give context, as well as extensive internal hyper-links for easy browsing.
PDF Manual Full manual matching the help file available as  a PDF file for easier browsing.
Private Local Processing Processing is carried out on local computer and is private.
SmartMatch Automatic extraction and matching of natural feature points in images, and the orientation and processing to produce 3D data.
Dense Surface Modeling Extraction of dense 3D point clouds by matching textured surfaces across images.
Multi-View Stereo Dense surface model extraction with easier and higher quality MVS method.
Automatic Target Marking Automatic search, and high-precision marking, of circular dot targets in one or more images.
Automatic Referencing Automatic matching/referencing of non-coded targets and photo points in images.
Auto surfacing on points Creation of triangulated surfaces from auto-marked, and auto-referenced points.
Coded targets Coded Targets are dot targets that can be marked to high precision and have unique code rings that the program can read to uniquely identify the points and match/reference them. Great for automated high accuracy projects. Coded targets can be printed on your own laser printer at different sizes.
Template targets Targets that can be automatically detected that are of user defined shape and not circular dots.
Point Auto-detect Automatically detect, mark and reference points in other photographs from a single mark in one photograph.
Auto-detect control Automatically detect, mark and reference control points and multi-point transform points in other photographs from a single mark in one photograph.
Single photo support The ability to extract information from a single photograph using various constraints such as known points or line relationships.
Single photo full calibration The ability to do a full camera calibration from a single photo with sufficient control points. Great for forensics with wide angle cameras.
Low photo-count support The ability to extract useful information from 2 or 3 photographs – common in forensic cases, or where you did not take the photos.
Inverse camera Reconstruct camera parameters (such as focal length, principal point and pixel shape) from photos and constraints for unknown cameras. Great tool in forensics.
Idealize Remove lens distortion and other camera effects from photos to make them ‘ideal’ (as if from a pin-hole camera). Good for background perspective matching in external rendering and animation software.
Photo Sets Group photos into logical sets for viewing and processing. Good for projects with a large number of photos.
Camera library A library where camera calibration data can be easily stored and retrieved.
Mesh modify tools Tools for filling holes, decimating, smoothing, etc. dense point meshes.
Triangulated mesh slice and crop Tool to create clean edges by slicing and cropping triangulated meshes.
Water-tight mesh creation Create a triangulated mesh that is water-tight – great for export to 3D printing.
Project Merge Merge multiple projects together into one project with a consistent coordinate system.
Texture masks A bit mask that controls what part of a photo is used a source of texture data.
DSM masks A bit mask that controls what part of a photo is scanned for dense surface modeling.
Chroma-key & alpha masks Create bit masks from input alpha-channels or chroma-keys (blue/green backgrounds).
Motion – type 1 Track targets across frames to produce 3D models over time – using multiple synced cameras.
Motion – type 2 Track targets across video frames where object moves slowly and one camera is used.
Pattern Capture Workflow A work-flow and workspace that make doing 2d templating projects much easier.
Automatic 2D Tracing A tool for automatic detection of line and edges in 2d templates and patterns and the creation of accurate Surface Draw from these lines and edges.
Enhanced photo viewing Modify a photo’s rotation, brightness and contrast for easier viewing.
Photo visibility control Control over what objects, types and layers appear on photos – to reduce clutter if need be.
User Point Tags Easy method of ‘tagging’ a point for future reference.
ZIP Backup One command to save all relevant project data (photos, and data files) in one zip file for easy storage or transmission.
Scripting Run script commands in a console, or load a text file with commands. See External Programmability below.
Multi-core support for speeding up core algs Many of the compute intensive algorithms of PhotoModeler use multi-thread processing to share the load and speed up processing for multi-core processors.
User Interface
Customizable user interface Toolbars, short-cut keys, window layouts, and table configurations are all user configurable.
3D Viewer Window for displaying the resulting 3D models, meshes, textures, etc.
Photo 3D projections Display the 3D model data on top of, and projected onto the originating photographs.
3D viewer stereo display View the 3D viewer with true depth – using stereo glasses.
3D viewer photo display Display a small version of the photograph in its correct location and orientation in the 3D view.
Themes Install themes to change user interface colors, shading effects and button styles.
Network floating license support Run multiple licenses on a LAN.
Selection control Various tools to help find points and features in photos faster – the W key to highlight all referenced data on other photos, the sub-select highlight for immediate other-photo selection feedback, and zoom-about to provide selection-centered photo zoom control.
Zoom control Various photo zoom functions such as mouse wheel zoom, zoom pop-up window, alternate keys to access zoom, etc.
Epi-polar reference helper lines Lines that appear in other photos during manual point referencing to indicate where the other point should be.
External Interfaces
Multiple Image types loaded JPEG, Tiff, BMP, Paintbrush, Targa, PNG, Pict, Photoshop, PPM, MAC, IFF, CALS Raster, PhotoCD, SGI, & MS Hdphoto.
Film, digital and video camera support Load, and use effectively, photographic stills from digital, video and film cameras.
Import Videos Import video in mov, mp4, avi, wmv, 3gp, and mpg formats (depending on codec – h.264 is included), with manual and automated frame extraction.
Multiple 3D export formats 3D Studio (3ds and Max), Rhino 3DM, CSV, DXF, Filmbox, IGES, Google Earth, ASPRS LAS, Maya script, Wavefront-OBJ, STL, VRML, BYU, & Facet.
Export photo-textured models Export of 3D data with mapped and corrected photographic texture files in 3DS, OBJ, VRML and 3DM formats.
Export ortho-mosaic mapped models Export 2.5D surfaces with mapped texture UV from high quality ortho-mosaics. Great for aerial and drone projects.
Print/output views Print and copy to clipboard the contents of photo views, table views, and 3D views. Table views can be easily exported to Excel as well.
Ortho-photo creation Creation and export of a remapped image that has an orthographic projection (all effects of perspective are removed) and to scale.
Ortho-photo blending, masks & occlusions Advanced orthophoto creation capabilities: blending-blend multiple photos to reduce exposure variation; masks-mask out unwanted items; occlusion checking-remove texture from blocking geometry
Point coordinate transforms Three or more externally defined points or axes to define coordinate systems.
Multiple scales Photogrammetric projects are scaleless until a scale is defined. One or more scale distances can be provided.
Geographical coord systems Import external 3D data in a geographic system as well as specify the output geographic system used for exports. GPS and survey data. Support for camera stations, points assigned geo coords and as control or transforms.
Independent coordinate system axes Define the coordinate system axes (X, Y, Z) by choosing independent points and/or lines. With a Wizard to help set up the common and easy scenarios.
Control points Import of known 3D data points (from a survey or other source) to control the orientation and coordinate system of the 3D project.
Constraints User-specified constraints on parallel and perpendicular relationships.
Import 3D objects Import of 3D files to combine with and overlay with photographic and created 3D data.
Auto-assignment of import data Automatically assign control, pinned, and multi-point transform points to associated points in the project. Points can be assigned by matching user name or point IDs.
Mesh and point cloud import Import of point clouds (LAS, STL, OBJ, PLY, BYU, FACET, DAT, TXT).
Align laser scanner point clouds Import a laser scanner point cloud and some matching target points, and align with an existing PhotoModeler Premium project of the same area.
Colorize laser scanner point clouds Import a laser scanner point cloud and match it to the photographs, then automatically extract the color value from projection on one or more photographs to produce an RGB point cloud.
Read EXIF GPS info from images Some camera systems can store accurate geographic coordinates of the camera location in each image’s EXIF tags. PhotoModeler can load this data and use it in a multi-point transform to set up an accurate geo coordinate system. Great for UAVs that have geo-tagging cameras.
Pre-defined coded target coordinates User-defined coordinate transform points tied to coded target ids, for automatic assignment and project coordinate system setup.
3D animation export Export animations (fly-throughs etc.) to various video formats.
Upload to YouTube Upload of 3D viewer animations directly to YouTube.
External programmability Control the program (create projects, mark photographs, dense surface modeling, smartmatch, etc.) from an external programming language.
Flexible text and CSV import Flexible import of 3D points and distances from csv, space-separated data files. Control over which rows and columns to import and their order. Great for survey, and point cloud import from external instruments and programs.
PDF Report Generation Generate a good looking pdf report of the project for internal use or client submission.