TLDR; I’m working on the Second Edition of the OpenDroneMap book and it’s available for pre-sale: OpenDroneMap: The Missing Guide - 2nd Edition. Check it out!
A few days ago I finished the cover for the upcoming 2nd Edition of the OpenDroneMap book.
Which is also viewable in VR, because why not?
I took the original isometric design of the first edition (made with Inkscape: https://odmbook.com/img/book.png ) and recreated the scene using Blender. I wanted the cover for this second edition to reflect the quality improvements in the OpenDroneMap software that have happened in the past 4 years (when the first edition came out).
Blender gives the final result realistic shading and smooth geometries thanks to the Cycles engine.
What’s really neat is that once a scene is created, we can render it using a stereoscopic equirectangular camera (360):
We can then animate several frames and place them on a sphere for VR viewing (using a little help from aframe)!
The most difficult part was probably recreating the original flat-style isometric mountain:
Getting the surface normals of the mountain to align correctly while preserving the feel of the original design proved very tricky, as any small deviation in position of a vertex would create visible color artifacts.
Let’s try to move this vertex… whoops!
The original mountain also had some physical impossibilities, like a plane that loops around the mountain (going uphill), but somehow retains uniform flat shading.
Anyway: the second edition of this book is happening! People can purchase it at a discount and get access to material as soon as it gets written. Check the website OpenDroneMap: The Missing Guide - 2nd Edition for information on content and timeline.
I’ve assembled a new (open source) tech stack for typesetting the second edition which uses a combination of pandoc, LaTeX and Calibre to generate the book from plain markdown files. Happy to share info on that if there’s interest.