The purpose of this paper is the investigation of the performance of four well-established commercial and open-source software packages for automated image-based 3D reconstruction of complex cultural and natural heritage sites, i.e., Agisoft Metashape, RealityCapture, MicMac and Meshroom. The case study is part of the inaccessible giant rock of St. Modestos, in the archaeological site of Meteora. In terms of computational time, the commercial software packages were the most time-efficient solutions, with Metashape being the fastest. They also have a friendlier user interfaces, which makes them adoptable even by non-photogrammetrists. Αll four solutions yielded approximately comparable results in terms of accuracy and may be used for the generation of 3D dense point clouds of complex sites. With the exception of Meshroom, they may produce georeferenced results. Also, with the exception of MicMac, which did not yield satisfactory results in terms of textured mesh, they may be used for generating photorealistic 3D models. The comparative analysis of the results achieved by the tested software will serve as the basis for establishing photogrammetric pipelines that may be generally used for 3D reconstruction of complex geometries.
The authors of the paper are Styliani Verykokou, Sofia Soile, Panagiotis Tokmakidis, Konstantinos Tokmakidis and Charalabos Ioannidis from the teams of Laboratory of Photogrammetry of NTUA and Laboratory of Topography of AUTH.