It’s been a few years since I’ve done a review of all the software I’ve tried. It’s time to update that, with more free software, and the commercial (paid) software I’ve been trying out.
I was trying to find a way to include a sort-able and filter-able table, but that requires a business plan apparently, and this website doesn’t get anywhere near enough traffic to support that.
So here’s everything I’ve tested so far (I think) with my standard dataset, in image format.
My dataset is deliberately not optimal – lighting isn’t great, and the table surface is reflective. More and better pictures will always produce a model, but I’m also interested in robustness of software to crappy photos.
Timings are to the end of the arrow (not all processes got as far as texturing), and based on running the dataset on my desktop computer (i7-4790k, GTX 970, 16Gb).
“Reconstruction quality” is entirely subjective, based on what I reckon the model looked like, but I invite you to visit the posts listed below and take a look for yourself – in many cases I uploaded the model to sketchfab.
Links to my testing of each software are below, in the order they appear above:
- AliceVision Meshroom (and as of Sept. 2021, Meshroom-CL, for non-Nvidia cards)
- COLMAP (and as of Feb 2021, COLMAP-CL for non-Nvidia cards)
- VisualSFM + MeshRecon
- VisualSFM + PMVS
- Colmap + OpenMVS
- VisualSFM + OpenMVS
- OpenMVG + MVS
- OpenMVG + MVE
- Regard3D + MVE
My Choice: Meshroom
I use Meshroom, almost exclusively. When I find Meshroom struggling with a dataset I’ll use COLMAP, or sometimes Metashape if I’m at work. COLMAP is faster, and with OpenMVS produces stunning results, but it’s just way more fiddly than Meshroom, where I drag photos in, press start, and away it goes.
However, it is worth noting that software that works well on one dataset might struggle with another. Don't be afraid to try a second or third program if your dataset isn't working.
Non-CUDA and mac-compatible software:
Most software requires an Nvidia CUDA compatible GPU, but not everyone has one, and no modern Apple Macs use them. I’ve listed below the software that doesn’t need CUDA, and that works on a mac.
Does not require CUDA GPU:
- Agisoft Metashape
Works on a Mac:
- Agisoft Metashape
- OpenDroneMap [not tested]
- OpenMVG [not tested]
I don’t have access to a mac at the minute, so if you know of other mac-compatible software, let me know. If I’m stuck at my iMac at work (which is running Windows), I’ll just run things through Metashape, or get up and go to a PC with an Nvidia card so I can run Meshroom.