Britain’s Most Iconic Castle in 3D: Alnwick Castle Reality Capture

Britain’s Most Iconic Castle in 3D: Alnwick Castle Reality Capture

How do you capture one of the UK's most iconic castles using 3D scanning? Learn how our team at Luminous did just that, in this blog.

Alnwick Castle Model

Alnwick castle is one of Britain’s most iconic castles and is the second largest inhabited castle in the country the first being Windsor Castle.

The castle has seen many renovations over the centuries and is still being renovated to this day.

Luminous have been commissioned to aid Northumberland Estates with the on-going repairs and restoration of the castle.

Alnwick Castle 3D capture.

Luminous have worked with the estates department over many years.

Originally the castle was scanned in 2014 using terrestrial laser scanning. However for the latest update Luminous opted to swicth to using a drone and photogrammetry to produce scaled high resolution orthographic images.

All of the drone data was processed in Reality Capture and delivered on a phased basis.

Once all phases have been complete the full data set was brought together to produce a model for the whole site.

  • 12,471 individual drone images
  • Registered in 13 individual registrations
  • Exported as individual components
  • All components imported into a new project
Alnwick Reality capture
Alnwick Castle 3D capture.
Alnwick mesh

Processing time for complete model

  • Aligning and merging all components = 4hrs
  • Time to mesh total registration = 24hrs with a count of 2.5 billion tris using approximately 600gb of space on the C Drive.
  • Time to unwrap the mesh = 30mins
  • Time to texture = 2hrs
Alnwick Castle 3D capture.

Decimation of complete model to use in visualisation software

Once all datasets where processed and merged the model was optimised to be used in a range of 3d applications.

  • Mesh model reduced from 2.5 billion tris to 150 million in Reality Capture
  • The materials where then reprojected from the high-resolution mesh
  • This was then used in the visualisation software to render out images and flythroughs