Begin the beguine

Having worked through Agisoft and various other approaches, WebODM provides a lot of insight into how it works, which is very helpful, but trying to decipher the UI as far as navigating an image has proven to be a challenge. Sometimes a rendering just can’t be moved into a desired view with the mouse. Are there any suggestions on how to manouver with the mouse ? What do the navigation tools do ? What is the meaning of a helicopter, a bird etc, I know I can hover over them, but what does “helicopter” do. If some kind soul could explain the UI, that would be super. It is always the simple stuff that is missing one slight peice of information that causes a lot of delay for noobs like myself.



Love the song reference :wink:

This should not happen often with a reconstruction that has proper scale and orientation. One thing to keep in mind is that by default the camera in PoTree moves slower as you get closer to the “ground”.

Most of these are relying on interaction familiarity from other softwares/suites.

In short:
image Earth Control:
Move the camera relative to the Earth. Left-click to pan, mouse wheel to zoom, Right-click to rotate around point of interaction.
image Fly Control:
First-Person game controls. WASD/arrow keys for movement. Left-click to move camera angle, mouse wheel to adjust speed, Right-click to strafe/move laterally.
image Helicopter Control:
First-Person game controls with steady height above ground. WASD/arrow keys for movement. Left-click to move camera angle, mouse wheel to adjust speed, Right-click to strafe/move laterally. You will not fly closer in height towards what you’re looking at, unlike Fly Control.
image Orbit Control:
Tilt-table like control. Left-click to set the point upon which the ground will pivot, mouse wheel to zoom, Right-click to strafe/move laterally.
image Full Extent:
Reset view to default Full Extent and orientation.
image Navigation Cube:
Shows a multi-colored cube to visualize which plane is being viewed.
image Compass:
Shows a compass to visualize which direction the camera is facing
image Camera Animation:
Setup keyframes and locations to make a moving camera path

image Back:
View back face of the scene
image Bottom:
View bottom face of the scene
image Front:
View front face of the scene
image Left:
View left face of the scene
image Right:
View right face of the scene
image Top:
View top face of the scene


Thanks Saijin for the quick explanation. I will try these and perchance the material below will become irrelevant. May I suggest that you drop these explanations into a "instructions " topic, or perhaps I will do this if you are too busy. Just let me know pls

Perhaps I dont understand, but if I know that a face has been constructed and I can see if from a specific angle, why can I not manipulate the screen to place it into a viewpoint that I create? Some of the software I have used, allows the user to make a “trackball” visible with 2 different coloured circumference which are at 90 degrees to each other. Selecting any point of a colour gives you control of the “trackball” and allows you to move the image according to that axis alone. Perhaps adding a function associated with a key/mouse combination could do the same. What do you think ?


Working on it for a documentation update, so no need :slight_smile: Thank you though!

As for the change in behavior to Orbit Control, we can file a feature request. I’m not sure how extensible PoTree’s view modes are.

Do you have examples of software that do this? Does this specific type of navigation have a common name?

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I’ll suggest image view manipulation or similar would be a suitable description.

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If you go to Agisoft , there is a free version and import some images, align them and create a model,

You will see what looks like a trackball. Selecting one or the perpendicular circle controls the image positioning on the axis. I defer to you and Gordon on what you want to call it, but I have attached an image for your delight and delectation ;). Here’s an example of its implementation in words
GitHub - jorienoll/3D-virtual-trackball: OpenGL program for 3D virtual trackball and even a paper Still room for improvement in traditional 3D interaction: selecting the fixed axis in the virtual trackball | SpringerLink


For my taste, PoTree’s navigation (WebODM viewer for point cloud and 3D mesh) is better than Cloud Compare,

PoTree navigation is similar that I feel with sketchfab

But I agree If someday, there are some documentation or pop up tooltips for each buttom in PoTree

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