16.15. convert_pinhole_model

This tool can be used to approximately convert a pinhole model from one of the types listed in Section 20.1 or an optical bar model (Section 20.2) to any other pinhole model type.

This can be convenient, for example, because for the Brown-Conrady and Photometrix models the distortion operation is iterative and slow, and by converting to a Tsai or Adjustable Tsai model this operation can be sped up.

This program can also be used to convert a pinhole or optical bar model to a pinhole model with RPC lens distortion (Section, which is a model where distortion is expressed as a ratio of polynomials.

The degree of the RPC lens distortion can be specified via --rpc-degree. A smaller value is suggested to start with, as lower-degree polynomials may be easier to interpret.

16.15.1. Usage

convert_pinhole_model [options] <input image> <input camera> \
  -o <output camera>

16.15.2. Examples

Convert a camera model to have RPC lens distortion:

convert_pinhole_model input.jpg input.tsai --output-type RPC \
  --rpc-degree 2 -o output_rpc.tsai

Specify the image dimensions instead of the image, and convert to BrownConradyDistortion:

convert_pinhole_model input.tsai --output-type BrownConradyDistortion \
  --image-size "5000 4000" -o output.tsai

16.15.3. Validation

The cam_test program (Section 16.9) can be used to project from the camera to the ground using one of the models, and then back to the camera using the converted model. Here is an example:

cam_test --image input.jpg --cam1 input.tsai --cam2 output.tsai \
  --session1 pinhole --session2 pinhole --datum D_MOON

The --datum defines the ground to use.

The produced statistics of pixel differences can be used to judge the quality of the distortion model conversion.

16.15.4. Refinement

Bundle adjustment can be used to refine a produced camera model. For that, it is suggested to have many overlapping images, a well-aligned terrain model to constrain against, and to ensure that all images acquired with the same sensor share the intrinsic parameters. A detailed recipe is in Section 12.2.2.

16.15.5. Command-line options

-o, --output-file <filename>

Specify the output file. It is expected to have the .tsai extension.

--output-type <string (default: TsaiLensDistortion)>

The output model type. Options: TsaiLensDistortion, BrownConradyDistortion, RPC.

--sample-spacing <number-of-pixels>

Pick one out of this many consecutive pixels to sample. If not specified, it will be auto-computed.

--rpc-degree <int (default: 3)>

The degree of the polynomials, if the output distortion model is RPC.

--camera-to-ground-dist <double (default: 0)>

The distance from the camera to the ground, in meters. This is necessary to convert an optical bar model to pinhole.

--image-size <”int int” (default: “”)>

Image width and height, specified as two numbers in quotes and separated by a space, unless the input image file is provided.

--threads <integer (default: 0)>

Select the number of threads to use for each process. If 0, use the value in ~/.vwrc.

--cache-size-mb <integer (default = 1024)>

Set the system cache size, in MB.

--tile-size <integer (default: 256 256)>

Image tile size used for multi-threaded processing.


Tell GDAL to not create bigtiffs.

--tif-compress <None|LZW|Deflate|Packbits (default: LZW)>

TIFF compression method.

-v, --version

Display the version of software.

-h, --help

Display this help message.