Skip to Main Content

Using Agisoft Metashape: Workflow

A brief tutorial on using Agisoft Photoscan to produce 3D image from a series of photographs


Open the Agisoft Metashape software and follow the steps outlined below to produce a 3D model.

Load Photos

To begin, select “Load Photos” under the “Workflow” tab if your photos are scattered between folders or you only want to add a certain set of photos.  If your photos are contained within a single folder, select “Load Folder.”

In this step, you can edit what portions of your photos Metashape will process.  Spending time on cutting out un-needed space and setting markers (if you have used any) can save hours of time later.  To learn about masking and markers, please consult the Metashape user manual linked above.

Point cloud

Once all photos are loaded and any masks and markers are set, select “Workflow” –> “Align Photos.” During this process, Metashape will compare each photo to every other photo.  At the end of this process, you will see a series of dots on your screen in the rough outline of what you are trying to model.  If everything looks like it is in the right place, you can move to the next section.  If the sparse point cloud does not look correct, re-do this step and try entering different numbers for the “Key Point Limit” and “Tie Point Limit.”  See the Agisoft Metashape manual for suggested settings.



Dense point cloud

For the next step, click on “Workflow” and then select “Build Dense Cloud.”  This process is similar to the “Sparse Point Cloud” stage, but it will take much longer because the software analyzes each photo more closely and will build a much denser point cloud.  Once this stage is complete, it will look like you have a completed model, but if you zoom in, you will see thousands of individual points.




The final step to generate the base model of your object or environment is to turn the dense point cloud into a mesh.  Select “Workflow” –> “Build Mesh” and accept the default parameters.  At the end of this process, you will have a 3D model that can be exported for printing or loaded to a site like SketchFab for display.  If you are not printing your model, one more step remains:  adding the texture.




Select “Workflow” –> “Build Texture” and apply the default settings.  This option creates a texture based on an analysis of the loaded photographs.  Once the texture is complete, the software will wrap it around your model, adding a much higher level of detail than the previous model coloring.  This step is necessary only if you are going to display your object online or elsewhere.




To export your model, select “File” –> “Export Model.”  If you are going to be printing your file, select .stl as the file format.  If you are going to be display your file online, we would suggest exporting as .obj, .dae, or .fbx.