Beginner Needing Help with 3D Photo-stitching from digital photographs

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  10 October 2006
Question Beginner Needing Help with 3D Photo-stitching from digital photographs

Hello, my name is Brian and I am a high school student and an amateur photographer.

This weekend I rented the Matrix Revolutions from my library, and I was interested by some computer algorithms I heard about in the special features documentaries, in which an extremely realistic and complete 3D environment is created using a collection of still photographs taken from various vantage points. In the documentary, it mentioned the crew of the Matrix taking a large amount of photographs of downtown Sydney Australia to reconstruct surfaces for use in the simulated Matrix.

Being an amateur photographer, I am very interested in this technology, I would love to be able to recreate a 3D scenery; I already am accustomed to taking numerous photographs at many different vantage points.

Also, having absolutely no knowledge of computer graphics, I am looking for a free or low-cost program which can meet my needs. Also, being only in a Calculus II class, I have not much experience with surface integrals and topology. However, I could with time probably understand the essence of any math thrown out in relevence to this issue. I must regret and admit that I do not use computers as much as some of my peers do; I prefer old-fashioned instruments: typewriters, quills/fountain pens, film SLRs, and I even prefer to do as much math as I can without a calculator (I calculate e by hand with power series and roots with differentials, and I am just beginning into non-linear regression, although I am struggling to find texts on non-linear regression because very few people do it by hand anymore). I enjoy using mechanical and non-electronic utilities as I feel that electronic instruments do not provide as much instant-feedback, which dilutes the emotional meaning and cander of one's thoughts. I am very interested in the field of topological spaces, and this summer I was glad to read into Grigori Perelman's proof of Poincare's conjecture. I would gladly appreciate any advice into the matters of digital imaging, 3D rendering with preexisting photographs, and the algorithms and higher-order mathematics involved.

Thank you, and have a nice day,
-Brian Clarkston
  10 October 2006
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