Case Study with Utah State
Utah State University is using photogrammetry and virtual reality to design a new community on Powder Mountain in the Ogden Valley of Utah. Benjamin George, a professor of landscape architecture at USU, is using three Puget Systems workstations for this particular project, and says by using VR his students are able to design as if they are actually in the landscape. One of the Puget systems runs Pix4D for processing the thousands of images they took of the mountain, while the other two are used for design and modeling in VR.
Imagine being able to close your eyes and visualize what you want to create. With Puget Systems workstations, the students at Utah State are now able to work on projects that exceed what they were able to do before and do it faster.
Metashape Workstation FAQ
Q: What happened to PhotoScan?
A: Metashape is simply a new name for Agisoft's photogrammetry application, formerly known as PhotoScan. The underlying application and functionality is still the same, it has just been rebranded - and, of course, it is being continually updated and improved too.
Q: What is the difference between the two recommended systems?
A: Our recommended workstations differ in the number of video cards (GPUs) they support, the number of CPU cores available, and the maximum amount of RAM that can be installed. The "standard" workstation is optimized for a wide range of Metashape project types and workflows, and is the best choice if you do a lot of different things within Metashape or if you want to have the most cost-effective configuration.
The "specialized" workstation, on the other hand, is purpose-built for two situations:
- Large model projects where a higher core count processor is faster
- Creating model meshes using Depth Maps, instead of a Dense Cloud, where additional GPUs improve performance
If your work falls mostly into one or both of those categories, this system should provide a moderate increase in performance over our standard Metashape workstation. It also accommodates up to 128GB of memory, allowing you to work with very large projects at higher quality settings.
Q: Is the CPU or GPU (video card) more important for Metashape?
A: Metashape needs a balance of both the CPU and video cards, and the usage of each varies across the different steps involved in using the application. The first two major steps, Align Photos and Build Dense Cloud, are the only core parts of the Metashape workflow to use video cards - but those steps can accounts for 50% or more of the total processing time, so the GPUs are extremely important to performance. Build Dense Cloud also uses multiple CPU cores to good effect, but the Build Mesh step is heavily dependent on clock speed; lowering that too much will hamper performance. You can read more both CPU and GPU scaling in the articles linked to on the right.
Q: How many video cards does Metashape support?
A: Agisoft has done a good job with supporting multiple GPUs. We've only tested up to four video cards at a time, since that is the most that even a large tower chassis can accommodate, and we have found that going from one to two GPUs decreases the time taken by the Build Dense Cloud task by about ~20-25%. Adding a third GPU decreases the build time by another ~10%, but adding a fourth GPU only saves another 1-3% percent. As such, we usually recommend 1 to 3 GPUs depending on your budget and how high of quality settings you use when building the dense point cloud.
Q: How much RAM do I need?
A: Memory requirements in Metashape depend directly on how many photos you are working with, the size of the images themselves, and the quality settings you want to use. Agisoft has published a handy document showing the RAM needs with different combinations of photos, using 12MP (megapixels) as a base image size. This can be used to estimate the amount of RAM you will need by factoring in your image count, photos size, and quality goals.
Q: Should I get a solid state drive (SSD) or hard drive (HDD)?
A: We strongly recommend using solid-state drives on all computers these days. They have a huge impact on every aspect of computer usage, from faster boot times to more responsive operation. Metashape will also load images more quickly from a fast drive, both at the start of a project and a couple times throughout processing. Image sets can also take up a lot of space, though, so having a secondary hard drive for archival of projects and other data is handy.
View Related Articles:
- Metashape Hardware Overview
- Metashape 1.5.1 AMD & Intel CPU Performance
- Metashape 1.5.1 AMD & NVIDIA GPU Performance
- New Metashape Public Benchmark
- Core i9 9900K & i7 9700K CPU Roundup
- GeForce RTX 2080 & 2080 Ti GPU Roundup
- CPU Performance Comparison
- Dual Xeon CPU Performance and GPU Scaling
- CPU and GPU Preferences in PhotoScan
- GeForce GPU Performance Comparison
- Multi-GPU Performance Scaling
- PCI-Express Scaling (x4, x8, x16)
- Mac vs PC Showdown
Why Choose Puget Systems?
Rather than getting a generic workstation, our systems are designed around your unique workflow and are optimized for the work you do every day.
By keeping inventory of our most popular parts, and maintaining a short supply line to parts we need, we are able to offer an industry leading ship time of 7-10 business days on nearly all our system orders.
We make sure our representatives are as accessible as possible, by phone and email. At Puget Systems, you can actually talk to a real person!
Click here for even more reasons!