Drones create lovely model of China’s Shenyang Imperial Palace

Maybe someday we’ll have great 3D models of every interesting building. But this model of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in China’s Liaoning Province is a lovely addition to the growing library. If you can’t physically visit the Shenyang Imperial Palace, admire this drone 3D model of a Chinese treasure.

After the Forbidden City in Beijing, Qing dynasty buildings don’t get much older than this. After nearly 400 years, Chinese restorers have kept the buildings looking almost new. Chief among the delights is Dazheng Hall, where major religious ceremonies were once performed.

More than 4,000 drone photos of the hall were taken and converted into a 3D model. It’s precision work. The details are down to the one-centimeter level. And the color is preserved as well.

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Drone 3D model of a Chinese treasure

China has A LOT of historic sites and many if not most are under some kind of pressure, ranging from extreme weather to vandalism and theft.

It’s hoped the 3D survey will provide enough data for ongoing preservation efforts and create a digital “twin” of the buildings for future generations.

The completed 3D model

You can get a better idea of the immensity of the palace from this drone video. The grounds cover about 60,000 square meters, including more than 300 buildings and 20 courtyards.

So far, the model hasn’t been released to the public, but we’ve shown how you can do this yourself. And with your own favorite buildings. Download the free software package Meshroom and set your drone to do a circle quick shot. The resolution isn’t accurate to the centimeter level, but it’s pretty good.

Especially for free.

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