I've seen this done with climbassist.com in the US but wanted to try myself so after a few climbs and checking no one else was around I spent 10 minutes taking photos with a drone.
This is SW Buttress in Polldubh, Glen Nevis. Hopefully, I'll work out how to add lines to the topo at some point. This isn't the best crag to demo it on as the guide works well in a 2D photo anyway but for a more complex 3D crag it could be useful.
Great job!! Looks really nice. I love this sort of stuff and I think it adds value even for a relatively flat crag like this one. You can see the slabbyness here, and things like how under-cut that diagonal fracture is.
One thing to consider is some sort of scale, e.g. a person-sized model at the base of the cliff.
It's very memory intensive ... I had to reboot my iMac.
Not a bad idea for scale! I'm looking for things that can annotate well so the topo can sit on the 3D surface. I'll post about that later
I imagine it's doing some quite intensive stuff in the background
Do you know how to get a .stl file out of it for 3D printing ?
Yeah you can print directly from Sketchfab I think. The file is open so anybody could do it
> It's very memory intensive ... I had to reboot my iMac.
Works fine in Chrome on W10 (uses about 600Mb) and on my 2yr old phone too.
This is great work, although would the purists count it as an on-sight if you'd scoped everything out in 3D beforehand?
Photo topo, description, grade, chalk, boots. I think a pair of tricouni's, a hemp rope, a few stones (both kinds) and a time travel machine are the only way to onsight properly
El Cap's out already ;-)
Worked fine on my phone... Might be time for you to upgrade.
This is very clever Tim. Well done!
So you mind sharing what tools and software you used to generate it?
I've been thinking about using my drone to generate topos for a while but haven't figured out how to take the photos and line then all up.
Any pointers appreciated.
Fascinating, thanks. As someone who's spent a fair bit of time working on the current crop of guidebooks, I would say not so much use for short "outcrop" style climbs, but would really work for mountain crags. Especially if it can be integrated with sufficiently accurate GPS. The days of getting lost on big multipitch routes may be drawing to a close. Or even failing to find the crag. Not that I've ever had that problem of course.
Of course, some may view this as a bad thing....
I was working on some software for handling the route markup side a few years ago but unfortunately real life intervened and it never got finished.
Maybe time to revisit it.
> So you mind sharing what tools and software you used to generate it?
> I've been thinking about using my drone to generate topos for a while but haven't figured out how to take the photos and line then all up.
No problem, I looked online to checkout a few techniques etc and saw that you could use some 'mission planning' software to create a flight path and automate a grid of photos etc. However, I didn't get a chance to practice before going and so winged it by just doing six rows of four at different elevations and looking down at higher ones.
Turns out the software doesn't seem to care about regular grids etc so you can take more detail where you need it.
I then used a free trial of agisoft metashape
And you import them, create a point cloud, draw a box around area of interest, create a dense point cloud, create a mesh, create a texture mesh, align the axes (fiddly but OK) and then export to obj format, zip up the three output files and upload them to Sketchfab (might have to fiddle to get below 50Mb for the free account).
Sketchfab then lets you light it and add annotations. I'm chatting with the guys from Climb Assist later (climbassist.com) about uploading my scans to their app
> I was working on some software for handling the route markup side a few years ago but unfortunately real life intervened and it never got finished.
> Maybe time to revisit it.
Is that for 3D annotations? That would be cool
Yes. If I remember rightly I had a simple three.js object viewer/loader and was just drawing the polylines. The json file had fields for route names and other markup but I hadn't got to the point of displaying them.
Code quality is terrible as it was a js learning project. I always intended to throw it and rewrite.
Unfortunately my laptop died and life got very busy so that never happened.
I'll dig out the link when I'm on a real computer. Workable navigation on phones is one of the things I hadn't addressed.
3D visualisation software is the day job so writing a real renderer for it probably wouldn't be that hard if I had the time.
I'm talking to the guys at climbassist.com who are happy to help so hopefully we'll see parts of Scotland on their at some point
Maybe you can add the option for an animated climber to show you the beta too, put it behind a paywall for people that are going mad trying to figure a sequence out, you'll be rich son! $$$
In all seriousness though, great work, got me excited to climb just spinning the model round!
> Maybe you can add the option for an animated climber to show you the beta too, put it behind a paywall for people that are going mad trying to figure a sequence out, you'll be rich son! $$$
Isn't that YouTube? ;-)
Very cool. I climed Tear there last year and recognised it without knowing what the crag was.
Look very nice but surely it's cheating if I can see the holds and pretty much size up the gear placements. Definitely useful for complex mountain crags rather than outcrops I would think.
> Look very nice but surely it's cheating if I can see the holds and pretty much size up the gear placements. Definitely useful for complex mountain crags rather than outcrops I would think.
Nothing you couldn't see normally or with some binoculars and arguably the same could be said for photo topo (and for some sketch topo that selectively picks out the important edges etc). That makes me wonder whether inspection by drone is not OK but by powerful binoculars is?
I think it will come into it's own on more three-dimensional crags where a single photo can't be read as easily. I'll try to do a more difficult one next. And as always, you don't have to use it
Cool How did you draw the lines then?
I wrote some code that lets me pick points on the surface to draw the lines in 3d. These are saved out with a bunch of route metadata in a json file.
The viewer processes the lines into a mesh with some special vertex attributes that are processed by a custom vertex shader to draw the fat lines. Its a bit glitchy if you get v sharp corners but mostly works ok.
The file format is pretty basic but simple enough to extend. It looks like this.
The whole thing stalled when my old laptop died and then I was too busy to work on it by the time I got a new one. Also couldn't justify the expense of my own drone with a small child in the house.
I'm tempted to pick it up again though.
Have a look at climbassist.com - I think I’ll be putting up so,e content via them. They have line drawing routine that sounds similar. Let me know how you go on
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