3D model of bare Apricot Tree

My horticulturist wife recently pruned the apricot tree, removing almost all the small branches as it had become too massive to easily put a protective bag over. I flew the drone around it, mostly manually as there are other close trees, to see how difficult it was to make a decent 3D model of it.

There is a lot of grass texture attached to the undersides of the branches, so today I’ll get some more drone images from low down and see if I can fix that, without adding to much distracting background or other inappropriate bits of texture.


Adding a significant number of images taken from lower down, including some looking slightly upwards, has improved the model significantly, although now with the larger number of images taken closer to horizontal than vertically looking down, the model has developed a bit more of a lean.

Original 200 photos

200 + 148 photos from lower down around the tree

I used sky subtraction when reprocessing with the extra images, and a larger crop.
The lighting wasn’t ideal for the upward looking images, with a bright overcast sky.

A few minor artefacts (white lines on some branches) were introduced on the branches when I re-ran with the extra images, perhaps due to the sky subtraction?

Camera positions


Love this!

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This is amazing

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I’ve run the full 348 images through again, this time with ultra feature extraction, but no sky subtraction. Sky subtraction did not make much difference in the output in this case, other than increasing the time taken for the task.

Using ultra feature extraction has retained more of the smaller branch ends. I only used high quality PC, ultra may well have improved things a bit more, but I don’t want to tie the computer up for 3 or 4 days to find out :wink:


Hi Gordon - thats really nice! And a bit of motivation to reprocess some tree imagery I got a while ago :slight_smile:

this is --feature-quality high and --pc-quality ultra with --sky-removal Quite a bit better than its first run in ODM in 2019! Leaves are, well, hard! they just keep moving…

images show a view of the model, height measurement, top view of flight pattern. It was flown in one session using an ANAFI thermal - some laps were flown very close to ground with the camera looking slightly up. Basically started at the top looking down-ish and wrapped the tree, adjusting gimbal angle to suit. my thought process was ‘whats the hardest thing I can try to model?’

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This does my heart good. This is the first problem I wanted to solve in photogrammetry.


That’s a pretty good result Adam :slight_smile: Yes, trees are rather difficult!

Bunches of leaves usually end up looking like they are wrapped in clear plastic- it seems almost impossible to capture realistic foliage in a textured model, although point clouds can look quite good.

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thanks! And yes, I have tried to tell various ecosystem/ag/forestry people about leaves for years - I guess by now they’ve discovered by themselves :wink: