Autodesk® ReCap™ software converts reality captured from laser scans or photos into a 3D model or 2D drawing that is ready to be used in your design.

Image courtesy of TMS CADCentre, Morphotechnics & Thomas Haywood Aerial Photography, UK

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What is photogrammetry?

Photogrammetry is the art and science of extracting 3D information from photographs. The process involves taking overlapping photographs of an object, structure or space and converting them into 2D or 3D digital models.

Photogrammetry is often used by surveyors, architects, engineers and contractors to create topographic maps, meshes, point clouds (US site) or drawings based on the real world.

Types of photogrammetry

There are two primary types of photogrammetry: aerial and close-range.

Aerial photogrammetry

The process of utilising aircrafts to produce aerial photography that can be turned into a 3D model (US site) or mapped digitally. Now, it’s possible to do the same work with a drone. Drones have made it easier to safely capture hard-to-access or inaccessible areas where traditional surveying could be dangerous or impractical.

Close-range photogrammetry

Close-range photogrammetry is when images are captured using a handheld camera or with a camera mounted to a tripod. The goal of this method is not to create topographic maps, but rather to make 3D models of a smaller object. 

How is photogrammetry software used?

Try ReCap Pro for 30 days

Try ReCap Pro free for 30 days and use laser scan (US site) and photo data to create 2D and 3D models. Includes ReCap Photo, our photogrammetry app built for UAV and drone processes.

ReCap Photo

ReCap Photo is our cloud-connected solution tailored for drone/UAV photo capturing workflows. Using ReCap Photo, you can create textured meshes, point clouds with geolocation and high-resolution orthographic views with level maps.

Getting started with reality capture

Reality capture is the process of scanning an object, building or site and producing a digital model.

  • Intro to reality capture

    Learn what reality capture is and why adoption of it is increasing in the design and construction industry.

  • Free eBook

    Download this free eBook to find out how reality capture is changing the design and construction industry.

  • Video tutorial

    Learn reality capture workflows and how to integrate laser and photogrammetric scans into Revit.

  • Tips for set up

    Here’s a roundup of tips, tricks and best practices for getting quality results when capturing photos.

Workflows for photogrammetry

Converting photogrammetry to 3D models

Learn how to create a model in Fusion 360 using photos processed in ReCap and complete the workflow in Inventor software.

Drone workflows with the AEC Collection

Learn about the photogrammetry workflow in ReCap and how to process photos collected from a drone. Create a funtioning TIN surface and a georeferenced orthomosaic.

Free photogrammetry software


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Photogrammetry resources

Learn more about photogrammetry with these tutorials, tips and guides.

  • Get all the latest news, reality capture technology trends and insider resources, all in one place.

  • Check out the latest reality-tech articles, submit your ideas directly to our product development team, ask us a question or follow us on social media.

  • Autodesk University offers free, on-demand classes by topic, product or industry.

  • Join our technical experts in this webinar series focusing on cloud-connected reality capture, 3D BIM modelling and immersive visualisation.

  • Discover techniques for taking high-quality photographs that will produce the best results for photogrammetry.

  • Drones in construction are being used to more accurately – and safely – capture valuable data from project sites.