Introduction: How to Use Autodesk Memento for Conservation and Research - FFRL

I set out to explore a software tool that was supposed to make 3d models from pictures.

I had used some things like this in the past, but they all sort of sucked.

I pondered if I could capture mountains.

I planned to use this data to make better weather models and understand microclimates and how they change and influence our lives.

Along the way I found that the tool could potentially help do much more.


Step 1: Get the Gear!

Get a Camera

Go Explore

I choose to see what kind of models I could make while flying my Paraglider as part of a larger project I call the Free Flight Research Lab. The goal is to be a good steward of the earth and learn about its terrain and weather using a zero fuel flight platform.

I took the images at the top of the climb, as you can see I only had one really good climb so the research had to happen fast!

Step 2: Take Loads of Pictures

I try to imagine that I am at the center of a sphere, I take tracks of images from a given sort of Focal Point.

In the case of this capture I think the trees by launch were a focal point in all images that day.

I then try to take pictures along sweeping longitude lines.

Then If I can take some along sweeping latitude lines.

The whole time I am flying forward, and or turning.

When going forward with distance you can get many perspectives with the camera straight and level pointed at the hill with no sweeping action.

Step 3: Open Memento

Now let the Robots do the work.

Step 1.

Open Memento

Step 4: Select Where to Compute

To the CLOUD! i like this because of flying, and this is part of a new future of creative process. I use multiple software tools that enable me to do more by massive computation elsewhere.

Step 2:

Send the data to the Cloud!

Step 5: Select Images and GO

Add images to folder, in beta it was capped at 250 I think this is changing.

Create Model.

Now let the robots work. grab a tea. go for a hike... see you in a couple hours!

Step 6: Like Magic

Out of the cloud come incredible models. You can even see the detail of the trail.

I was really intrigued. How might I use this and my free flight platform to create positive impact, and create a better future. I grew up working with land and forest conservation groups. I think that it can be really valuable to them and weather research, and being in California FIRE WEATHER!!!!!

One item that can help improve weather forecasts is improved terrain modeling.

Due to this years El Nino event, we are gettting massive rains, after almost 5 years of drought. The earth is dynamic. How the sun's energy is absorbed and re-emitted dictates the world we live in.

I set out to conduct other experiments in free flight and on the ground, even using old data from a University.

Check it out.

Step 7: Mission Peak Regional Preserve

I captured Mission Peak in the South Bay.

One feature that allows us to fly is the slide, but this slide wasn't always there.

The slide is growing. This year will be a year of change.

I think that paragliders and parks can work together to create a mutually beneficial relationship.

Free Flight can provide valuable conservation data that does not cost $700/hr of helicopter fuel, or invasive drone noise to local animals and nesting birds.

Step 8: Mission Peak Close Features

The Slide Grows!!!

Step 9: Considerate Conservation

When I took the images of Mission Peak Slide I flew with golden eagles. We fly together often and its always magical. The only noise is the wind through the wing, and their feathers.

Step 10: Im Melting! University of Colorado

After showing the terrain models to some friends, one of them reached out to a former professor.

The group is investigating glaciers.

I made these models from old data they had. Its incredible how well Memento captured both small (huge) features, and entire valleys (really huge)

Dr. Pfeffer was really kind to share this data. The next steps are to register, meausre features, and track change.

W.T. Pfeffer

Professor, INSTAAR and
Dept. of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering University of Colorado at Boulder

Step 11: Point Reyes - Marin Agricultural Land Trust

An awesome person named Sherry connected me to a friend that works in Marin Perserving Farm Land Forever.

I went out on an exploration to see if the method I was using for memento could also help his group get valuable data and insights into the hands of decision makers.

This would allow them to secure projects and scope proposals and resources based on real data.

This is getting exciting!!!

Step 12: Point Reyes - MALT Captures

It worked really well. The next steps are to track changes, and estimate loss volumes.

Step 13: 3D Malt Capture

This feature is huge!

Click the video!