3D Models


Modern photogrammetry and the advancement of computing power now allows for the creation of photorealistic 3 dimensional models from digital imagery.  Using computer vision and SfM (structure from motion) feature detection algorithms such as SIFT (scale-invariant feature transform), modern photogrammetric software powered by multi-core CPUs and advanced GPUs can now automatically search through thousands of images for matching pixels between images.  Using these matching pairs the software is able to build a 3D model of the scene based on reconstructing the exact position and orientation of the sensor for each captured image.  


Until recently if we wanted to analyze the world around us in three dimensions we were stuck with using stacked 2D layers within a GIS, contour lines on topo maps, or the low resolution 3D models of Google Earth or Street View.  LiDAR of course provides a wonderful 3D experience but only if you can afford to buy an expensive sensor to capture data and costly software to be able to view it. And even then you are stuck with a colorless point cloud of data.  

TLT Photography changes this by offering very affordable capture and creation of photorealistic 3D models using modern photogrammetry.  Models are professionally edited and exported for viewing in free desktop software such as Meshlab, QGIS, and Google Earth as well as popular business suites such as AutoCAD, ArcGIS, and Global Mapper.   For ultimate convenience models can also be exported to online 3D content sites such as Sketchfab where you can view your model from any mobile device as well as experience it in VR.  

3D Structure Visualization

High resolution photorealistic 3D models of structures are stunning.  By using aerial imagery captured by UAV (drones) as well as terrestrial imagery, a building or cultural landmark can be captured from all possible angles, creating a detailed model that can be conveniently studied with free software on a computer or even published on the web for others via a site like Sketchfab.  These models not only allow you to see the structure from angles not visible at ground level but it also serves as a preserved digital record of the site at the time of capture.  Realtors can promote properties in a unique way and even 3D print a scale model of a home for a customer upon sale. Landscape companies can market themselves with detailed before and after models of their work and commercial property owners have the ability to visualize their assets for both planning and inventory assessments.   No longer do you need to hire a full crew of people to slowly inspect structures at unsafe heights above the ground.  A UAV can capture the structure in a fraction of the time and create a sub-cm resolution unbiased digital model that can be inspected for defects from the comfort of an office and serve as a record of compliance.  

Cultural Heritage

  • landmark digital preservation
  • analysis & discovery
  • interior 3D reconstruction

Real Estate & Landscaping

  • 3D printed models with sale of home
  • complete visualization of property
  • before and after landscape modeling

Commercial Properties

  • planning
  • inventory


  • bridges
  • wind turbines
  • dams
  • electrical and cell towers
  • smoke stacks

3D Terrain Visualization

No longer do you need a million dollar lidar sensor mounted to an aircraft to achieve the point density necessary to make detailed sub-cm models of geological features. Geological applications of such models include debris flow modeling, fault identification, lithology, rock type and mineral identification, texture and structure analysis and much more. No longer do researchers and scientists need to scale a large cliff face and put themselves at risk of a fall to study the rock structure or take measurements. A 400 foot long cliff face can be fully acquired by UAV with sub-cm resolution in under an hour and the resulting 3D model can serve as an unbiased digital record of the terrain at the time.   If optional ground control points are collected by a professional land surveyor centimeter-level accurate 3D measurements are also possible.  TLT Photography specializes in affordable 3D terrain modeling professionally produced by Jon Ellinger, a Certified Photogrammetrist and Mapping Scientist in Remote Sensing with advanced degrees in both geology and geography.  Pricing for acquisition and full processing of a 300 foot long cliff face for example starts at just $500.  

Use your mouse wheel to navigate around the model on the right.  Hold down the shift key and left mouse button to pan around the model.

Geological Applications

  • lithology & rock types
  • topographical analysis
  • erosion analysis
  • glacier recession

Hazard Detection

  • fractures 
  • landslides
  • faults
  • volcanic bulging

Mining & Excavation

  • volume analysis
  • stockpile assessment

3D Art Marketing & Living Subject Matter

Are you an artist?  How amazing would it be to create a detailed 3D model of your sculpture for marketing and sale?  Instead of boring, traditional photos via a website or email, why not put it on a site like Sketchfab where a potential customer can zoom in, rotate and appreciate your hard work in a unique way?  My father, Richard Ellinger, was a world-renowned decorative bird carver.  He never had the opportunity to promote his art beyond photographs, but you do.  On the right is the miniature red-tailed hawk he won 2nd place in world competition with.  TLT Photography can capture and post your work of art in 3D high resolution on the web for as little as $200!  

And yes, if the subject holds perfectly still living objects can also be modeled in 3D.  


  • sculptures
  • street art

Living Objects

  • people
  • pets
  • flora


  • post to web for investors to evaluate
  • detailed component views

Latest 3D Models