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 or idealizing photos.

Marine Decking



Marine Canvas


Yes - for covers and full boat point clouds.

Accident Reconstruction

Ground-based photography

Using Point Clouds as pins and control and UAV/drone photography

2D Template Pattern Digitizing


DEM, Contours, Ortho-photos


Research / Academics

Simple and Coded-Target projects

Everything else.

Feature Comparison Standard vs Premium

See the full feature descriptions here

Model Objects
Points, Lines, Edges, CylindersYesYes
Volume Objects Yes
Curves: referenced and fit through points, NURBSYesYes
Point Clouds and Mesh Surfaces Yes
3D PlanesYesYes
Surface DrawYesYes
Contours on mesh surfaces Yes
Major and Minor contours Yes
Profile curves on mesh surfaces Yes
Offset pointsYesYes
Corrected TexturesYesYes
Measurement / Review
Bundle adjustmentYesYes
Camera calibrationYesYes
Field calibrationYesYes
Sub-pixel targetsYesYes
Sphere targetsYesYes
Charts and GraphsYesYes
Residuals and precision reportingYesYes
3D confidence region displayYesYes
3D view light ray displayYesYes
On-photo dimensionsYesYes
Measurement PaneYesYes
Check distances and pointsYesYes
Point review paneYesYes
Project review paneYesYes
Colorize surface heightYesYes
Colorize mesh surface models Yes
Line Object ExtendYesYes
Auditing functionsYesYes
Measurement UnitsYesYes
Context-sensitive and hyper-linked helpYesYes
PDF ManualYesYes
Private Local ProcessingYesYes
Dense Surface Modeling Yes
Multi-View Stereo Yes
Automatic Target MarkingYesYes
Automatic ReferencingYesYes
Auto surfacing on pointsYesYes
Coded targetsYesYes
Template targetsYesYes
Point Auto-detect Yes
Auto-detect control Yes
Single photo supportYesYes
Single photo full calibrationYesYes
Low photo-count supportYesYes
Inverse cameraYesYes
Idealize Yes
Photo SetsYesYes
Camera libraryYesYes
Mesh modify tools Yes
Triangulated mesh slice and crop Yes
Water-tight mesh creation Yes
Project MergeYesYes
Texture masksYesYes
DSM masks Yes
Chroma-key & alpha masksYesYes
Motion – type 1 Yes
Motion – type 2 Yes
Pattern Capture WorkflowYesYes
Automatic 2D TracingYesYes
Enhanced photo viewingYesYes
Photo visibility controlYesYes
User Point TagsYesYes
ZIP BackupYesYes
Multi-core support for speeding up core algsYesYes
User Interface
Customizable user interfaceYesYes
3D viewerYesYes
Photo 3D projectionsYesYes
3D viewer stereo displayYesYes
3D viewer photo displayYesYes
Network floating license supportYesYes
Selection controlYesYes
Zoom controlYesYes
Epi-polar reference helper linesYesYes
External Interfaces
Multiple Image types loadedYesYes
Film, digital and video camera supportYesYes
Import Videos Yes
Multiple 3D export formatsYesYes
Export photo-textured modelsYesYes
Export ortho-mosaic mapped modelsYesYes
Print/output viewsYesYes
Ortho-photo creationYesYes
Ortho-photo blending, masks & occlusionsYesYes
Point coordinate transformsYesYes
Multiple scalesYesYes
Geographical coord systems Yes
Independent coordinate system axesYesYes
Control pointsYesYes
Import 3D objectsYesYes
Auto-assignment of import dataYesYes
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 coordinatesYesYes
3D animation exportYesYes
Upload to YouTubeYesYes
Scripting and external programmingYesYes
Flexible text and CSV importYesYes
PDF Report Generation Yes

Feature Descriptions

Model Objects
Points, Lines, Edges, CylindersThe basic building blocks of 3D modeling: 3D points, lines, edges (lines without matching end points across photos), and cylinders.
SmartPointsPoints that are automatically detected on ‘interesting’ features in photos.
Volume ObjectsAn object that makes it easier to document and measure 2.5D volumes (like stockpiles)
Curves: referenced and fit through points, NURBS3D splines from matching two or more 2D photo splines, or by fitting through 3D points.
SurfacesSurface types: triangle, path, NURBS fit to points, loft, sweep, revolution, cone.
Point Clouds and Mesh SurfacesDense, triangulated and point-cloud surfaces.
3D Planes3D Planes along an axis, or fit to selected points, lines or contours.
Surface DrawPoints, lines and curves drawn on a 3D surface from a single photograph.
Contours on mesh surfacesExtracted contour lines at user-defined intervals on a mesh surface.
Major and minor contoursProvide display different characteristics for minor vs major contours.
Profile curves on mesh surfacesExtracted profile curves from intersection of a user-defined plane with a mesh surface.
Offset pointsAutomatically compute virtual 3D points from single and doubled points of known relationships. Useful for many measurement tasks with inaccessible or hard to reach points.
MaterialsSolid RGB colors with specular controls, and photo-texturing on created 3D surfaces.
Photo-texturesDetailed textures for 3D viewing and export extracted from original photographs. From single photos or blended from multiple photos – with occlusion checking optional.
Corrected TexturesPhoto-textures, pulled from photos, have all perspective and lens distortion aberrations removed, and then with multi-photo blending options provide superior results.
LayersGroup objects logically for viewing and export.
Measurement / Review
Bundle adjustmentThe main photogrammetric algorithm that generates accurate 3D data from photographic marks and camera information.
Camera calibrationOffline high-accuracy calibration of cameras from provided pattern. Solves for focal length, pixel size, principal point and lens distortions.
Field calibrationAbility to calibrate a camera’s internal parameters simultaneously with solving a real measurement project.
Auto-calibrationDuring SmartMatch improve a camera’s calibration for higher accuracy.
Sub-pixel targets2D center-finding of circular, high-contrast targets to sub-pixel precision – used to improve overall accuracy of 3D point projects.
Sphere targetsPrecise center finding of sphere targets in photos. Great for laser scanner data integration.
Charts and GraphsChart and graph key quality metrics (such as point residuals, angles, and photo connectivity).
Residuals and precision reportingReporting of point residuals and bundle precisions to aid with assessing accuracy and troubleshooting.
3D confidence region displayPoints 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 displayShow 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.
TablesSpread-sheet-like data tables showing information on photos, model objects, etc. With configurable columns, sorting, etc.
On-photo dimensionsParametric dimension lines shown photographs between user-chosen points. Can be exported.
Measurement PaneScrolling 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 pointsSpecial 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 paneDisplay 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 paneWizard and user-interface pane that gives intelligent feedback on project quality and possible issues.
Colorize surface heightFalse-color surfaces by height.
Colorize clouds and mesh surface modelsFalse-color point clouds and mesh surfaces by height and by number of photo overlap.
Line Object ExtendLines, 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 functionsAudit dialog provides overview data on model objects and their quality.
Measurement UnitsHandle 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 helpExtensive help file with links from the program dialogs to give context, as well as extensive internal hyper-links for easy browsing.
PDF ManualFull manual matching the help file available as  a PDF file for easier browsing.
Private Local ProcessingProcessing is carried out on local computer and is private.
SmartMatchAutomatic extraction and matching of natural feature points in images, and the orientation and processing to produce 3D data.
Dense Surface ModelingExtraction of dense 3D point clouds by matching textured surfaces across images.
Multi-View StereoDense surface model extraction with easier and higher quality MVS method.
Automatic Target MarkingAutomatic search, and high-precision marking, of circular dot targets in one or more images.
Automatic ReferencingAutomatic matching/referencing of non-coded targets and photo points in images.
Auto surfacing on pointsCreation of triangulated surfaces from auto-marked, and auto-referenced points.
Coded targetsCoded 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 targetsTargets that can be automatically detected that are of user defined shape and not circular dots.
Point Auto-detectAutomatically detect, mark and reference points in other photographs from a single mark in one photograph.
Auto-detect controlAutomatically detect, mark and reference control points and multi-point transform points in other photographs from a single mark in one photograph.
Single photo supportThe ability to extract information from a single photograph using various constraints such as known points or line relationships.
Single photo full calibrationThe 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 supportThe ability to extract useful information from 2 or 3 photographs – common in forensic cases, or where you did not take the photos.
Inverse cameraReconstruct camera parameters (such as focal length, principal point and pixel shape) from photos and constraints for unknown cameras. Great tool in forensics.
IdealizeRemove 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 SetsGroup photos into logical sets for viewing and processing. Good for projects with a large number of photos.
Camera libraryA library where camera calibration data can be easily stored and retrieved.
Mesh modify toolsTools for filling holes, decimating, smoothing, etc. dense point meshes.
Triangulated mesh slice and cropTool to create clean edges by slicing and cropping triangulated meshes.
Water-tight mesh creationCreate a triangulated mesh that is water-tight – great for export to 3D printing.
Project MergeMerge multiple projects together into one project with a consistent coordinate system.
Texture masksA bit mask that controls what part of a photo is used a source of texture data.
DSM masksA bit mask that controls what part of a photo is scanned for dense surface modeling.
Chroma-key & alpha masksCreate bit masks from input alpha-channels or chroma-keys (blue/green backgrounds).
Motion – type 1Track targets across frames to produce 3D models over time – using multiple synced cameras.
Motion – type 2Track targets across video frames where object moves slowly and one camera is used.
Pattern Capture WorkflowA work-flow and workspace that make doing 2d templating projects much easier.
Automatic 2D TracingA 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 viewingModify a photo’s rotation, brightness and contrast for easier viewing.
Photo visibility controlControl over what objects, types and layers appear on photos – to reduce clutter if need be.
User Point TagsEasy method of ‘tagging’ a point for future reference.
ZIP BackupOne command to save all relevant project data (photos, and data files) in one zip file for easy storage or transmission.
ScriptingRun script commands in a console, or load a text file with commands. See External Programmability below.
Multi-core support for speeding up core algsMany 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 interfaceToolbars, short-cut keys, window layouts, and table configurations are all user configurable.
3D ViewerWindow for displaying the resulting 3D models, meshes, textures, etc.
Photo 3D projectionsDisplay the 3D model data on top of, and projected onto the originating photographs.
3D viewer stereo displayView the 3D viewer with true depth – using stereo glasses.
3D viewer photo displayDisplay a small version of the photograph in its correct location and orientation in the 3D view.
ThemesInstall themes to change user interface colors, shading effects and button styles.
Network floating license supportRun multiple licenses on a LAN.
Selection controlVarious 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 controlVarious photo zoom functions such as mouse wheel zoom, zoom pop-up window, alternate keys to access zoom, etc.
Epi-polar reference helper linesLines that appear in other photos during manual point referencing to indicate where the other point should be.
External Interfaces
Multiple Image types loadedJPEG, Tiff, BMP, Paintbrush, Targa, PNG, Pict, Photoshop, PPM, MAC, IFF, CALS Raster, PhotoCD, SGI, & MS Hdphoto.
Film, digital and video camera supportLoad, and use effectively, photographic stills from digital, video and film cameras.
Import VideosImport 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 formats3D 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 modelsExport of 3D data with mapped and corrected photographic texture files in 3DS, OBJ, VRML and 3DM formats.
Export ortho-mosaic mapped modelsExport 2.5D surfaces with mapped texture UV from high quality ortho-mosaics. Great for aerial and drone projects.
Print/output viewsPrint 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 creationCreation and export of a remapped image that has an orthographic projection (all effects of perspective are removed) and to scale.
Ortho-photo blending, masks & occlusionsAdvanced 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 transformsThree or more externally defined points or axes to define coordinate systems.
Multiple scalesPhotogrammetric projects are scaleless until a scale is defined. One or more scale distances can be provided.
Geographical coord systemsImport 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 axesDefine 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 pointsImport of known 3D data points (from a survey or other source) to control the orientation and coordinate system of the 3D project.
ConstraintsUser-specified constraints on parallel and perpendicular relationships.
Import 3D objectsImport of 3D files to combine with and overlay with photographic and created 3D data.
Auto-assignment of import dataAutomatically 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 importImport of point clouds (LAS, STL, OBJ, PLY, BYU, FACET, DAT, TXT).
Align laser scanner point cloudsImport 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 cloudsImport 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 imagesSome 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 coordinatesUser-defined coordinate transform points tied to coded target ids, for automatic assignment and project coordinate system setup.
3D animation exportExport animations (fly-throughs etc.) to various video formats.
Upload to YouTubeUpload of 3D viewer animations directly to YouTube.
External programmabilityControl the program (create projects, mark photographs, dense surface modeling, smartmatch, etc.) from an external programming language.
Flexible text and CSV importFlexible 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 GenerationGenerate a good looking pdf report of the project for internal use or client submission.