What is Gaussian Splatting? Here is a example of mine

Apr 8, 2022

Groningen gaussian splat

Polycam and Gaussian Splats: 3D reconstruction with stunning results (and my splat creation!)

The ability to create immersive 3D experiences from videos or images has long been a dream for creators and researchers alike. Polycam, a groundbreaking new software program, is making this dream a reality through its innovative application of Gaussian Splats. This technology not only empowers individual creators but also holds immense potential for researchers and cultural preservation efforts. And guess what? I even jumped in and created my own splat!

Beyond voxels and meshes: The power of gaussian splats

Traditional 3D reconstruction methods rely on voxels (3D pixels) or polygonal meshes. While these methods are established, they can struggle to capture intricate details. Polycam leverages Gaussian Splats, a technique originally developed in the scientific field for a different purpose.

Think of a Gaussian Splat as a data point containing information about location, colour, and transparency within the 3D space. Unlike the sharp edges of traditional methods, Gaussians are smooth and adaptable, allowing for highly detailed reconstructions that faithfully represent the original subject.

Real-time exploration made accessible

Polycam utilizes machine learning to streamline the process. The software analyses input footage and calculates the precise parameters for each Gaussian Splat. This user-friendly approach removes technical barriers, making Polycam accessible to a wide range of creators, regardless of their technical background.

The true power lies in the real-time nature of Polycam creations. These reconstructions are viewable directly within a web browser, allowing for exploration from any angle imaginable. This opens doors for detailed analysis of objects, virtual tours of locations, and a truly immersive user experience for anyone with an internet connection.

Preserving our past: A new frontier in Cultural Heritage

The applications of Polycam extend far beyond personal exploration. Researchers can leverage this technology to create detailed 3D reconstructions of historical sites or artifacts using aerial footage. Imagine studying the intricate details of ancient monuments or weathered sculptures in unprecedented ways. This paves the way for in-depth analysis, preservation efforts, and fostering a deeper appreciation for our cultural heritage.

Polycam and Gaussian Splats represent a significant leap forward in 3D reconstruction. By simplifying the process and enabling real-time exploration, this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with and preserve the world around us. This innovative approach holds immense promise for the future of creative expression, historical research, and cultural preservation. And to see this potential in action, I created my own splat using some drone footage of a church steeple in Groningen, Netherlands. It's pretty cool to be able to explore the details up close from anywhere!