3.3. Reference: The Thumbnail Window

This section describes how to manage the images in a 3DSOM Project using the Thumbnail Window and perform operations on multiple images at once.

The Main Menu > Images menu can be accessed either from the main menubar or by right-clicking in the Thumbnail Window.


If the project contains more images than will fit on the screen and you are doing a lot of work with the Thumbnail Window, try dragging the separator below the Thumbnail Window down so that the images are displayed in more than one row.

3.3.1. Organising the images in thumbnail mode

Clicking the ID_VIEW_ICONS.jpgView as icons button will switch to thumbnail mode (the default when a project is loaded or created). If the camera orientation is known for an image, the image will be displayed rotated so that the object is nearly upright - this may be a different orientation to the original image on disk.

Figure 3.3.1. The Thumbnail Window in thumbnail mode with some images selected.

You can select one or more thumbnails using the mouse or keyboard. Click on an image selects it. Dragging around a region of images will select or deselect all of them. Holding down CTRL will add or remove it from the existing selection. Holding down SHIFT will add or remove all the images between the last selected image and the current one. The cursor keys can also be used to navigate around the thumbnails.

Hovering over one of the thumbnails will bring up a tooltip with the details for that image. These are described in the Image properties section.


When you load a saved project with lots of images, you can cancel the thumbnail loading if you are not interested in seeing them — you can still perform operations on these images.

You can load (or reload) the thumbnails later by using the Images > Load Thumbnails menu item.

The thumbnails are initially shown in the order in which they were added to the project ("project order"). You can change this when displaying in details mode (see Organising the images in details mode). When multiple rows of thumbnails are visible, the images are sorted down the rows then across the columns.

3.3.2. Organising the images in details mode

Clicking the ID_VIEW_REPORT.jpgView image details button will switch to details mode. Each image is displayed as a row in this mode with the various information associated with it in columns to the right of the image name as shown in Figure 3.3.2. The contents of the columns are described in the Image properties section.

Figure 3.3.2. The Thumbnail Window in details mode with four images selected sorted by camera position.

You can sort the images on any column by clicking on the column header. Clicking a second time reverses the sort order and a third time returns to project order. An arrow in the column header shows which column if any is sorted. The sort order affects the ordering of the images when displayed in thumbnail mode.

You can also change the order of the columns by dragging the column headers around and change the displayed width of the column by dragging the separator between the column headers.

3.3.3. Image properties

This section describes the properties that are associated with each image and how they can be affected. You can see the properties for an image by hovering the mouse over it in thumbnail mode or by switching to details mode using ID_VIEW_REPORT.jpgView image details button.


By default this is the filename of the image (without the path or extension), but if you wish you can edit this to be more meaningful. This is useful in the thumbnail view where this is the only information displayed next to an image.


Most images are described as "normal" which means that the mask associated with the image will be used to generate the geometry and the colour information in the image will be used to generate the texture.

You can change the type of selected images from the Images > Image Type menu. Selecting will set the type to "projected stripes" if the image was not already of that type. This will mean the image is only used for point cloud generation. If the type is already set to "projected stripes" then selecting this menu item means the image is treated as normal.

If the images is not selected as "projected stripes", Image Type > Geometry Only menu item changes the type to "silhouette" while Image Type > Texture Only menu item changes the type to "texture".

Finally, if the image has been created by Geometry Editing > Create Silhouette menu item, then the type will be "synthetic".


Images can be marked as "rejected" by selecting them and then choosing the Images > Reject Images menu item that means that subsequent operations will ignore this image. In the thumbnail mode, a cross is drawn over the image. By default, images will be "included".

This field will display "aligning" if this image is currently being aligned with the Align Wizard.


When an image is loaded into 3DSOM Pro for the first time, the software automatically attempts to find where the camera that took the image was positioned relative to the object. It does this by identifying the calibration target(s) in the image. The camera elevation and rotation angles are displayed in this field (to the nearest degree) as well as a number representing the distance to the object.

In some cases this field will indicate that the camera location is not known for an image. Such an image will be marked as rejected since without knowing the camera position, it cannot be used. To manually specify the camera, use Images > Align Images... menu item as described in the Adding texture underneath an object tutorial.

"Mask Status"

This field displays "mask created" if a mask exists for this image.


This field defines an ordering of the images according to which 3DSOM Pro thinks contributes the most information. There are several operations that process images using this order, such as surface optimisation and texture generation.

It is possible for the advanced user to override the automatic ordering using your own knowledge of the object to mark some images as high priority using the Images > Image Order menu.


This field displays the size of the image in pixels as it is stored on disk.

"Full path"

This field displays the full pathname to the image. If the thumbnail image has not been loaded, this will be the last known location of the image. When the thumbnail is first loaded, 3DSOM Pro will look for the image in its last known location. If it can't be found it will look in the same directory as the project file, and if it can't be found there you will be prompted to locate the file.

3.3.4. The images menu

Managing images

The Images > Select All menu item and the Images > Select None menu item can be used as shortcuts for selecting images. Note that operations that usually work on selected images will be applied to all images if none are selected.

Choosing the Images > Load Thumbnails menu item will take any unloaded thumbnails from the currently selected images and try and load them from the image files on disk. If all the selected images have already had their thumbnails loaded then they will all be refreshed from disk.

Use Images > Add Images... menu item to add new images to the project. You will be prompted to select one or more files from disk and then each will be added in turn. As the images are added, the camera position is calculated. If this fails, usually because the calibration mat isn't in the photograph, you will be notified and the image will be rejected. You will need to align these images by hand using the Align Wizard.

Note: 3DSOM Pro will only operate on images that are all the same size. Images of different sizes can be added to the project for convenience, but will be marked as rejected.

To remove some images from the project, select them and then choose Images > Delete Images menu item. This will leave the image intact on disk, but will destroy any mask created in 3DSOM Pro and remove it from the project permanently.

Use Images > Replace Images menu item to replace a set of images containing the calibration target(s) with replacement images taken from the same orientation without the need for a mat. The thumbnails must have been loaded to allow 3DSOM Pro to determine the camera position and rotation from the image features. This function can then be used to replace the images with corresponding images taken from precisely the same viewpoints. This can be useful for a fixed hardware configuration with, for example a computer controlled turntable. A set of shots can be taken with the mat placed on the turntable for calibration. Then the mat can be replaced with the object and another set of shots taken from the same positions.

Using images

Choosing the Images > Edit Mask menu item will load the selected image into the Edit Masks Window for viewing or editing the mask.

Choosing the Images > View Camera menu item will change the camera viewpoint in the View Model Window to match the camera position used to take the selected image.

Choosing Images > Copy Image menu item places a copy of the selected image in the Windows clipboard so that it can easily be pasted into an external editor. The image will have been subsampled and colour adjusted if these options are chosen so it matches its use in texturing.

Once the model geometry has been generated, you can choose the Images > Paste Into Model menu item to blend just the selected image into the texture map.

Operations on images

The Images > Include Images menu item will mark the selected images as "included" (no longer rejected) so that they are used for subsequent operations. Note that all the "included" images must be the same size and must all have a defined camera position - if this is not the case you will be unable to change their status using this command.

The Images > Reject Images menu item will mark the selected images as rejected so that they are ignored for subsequent operations including masking, surface generation and texture generation. Images that are rejected can be deleted from the project and may also be aligned.

The Images > Image Type menu allows the type of the image to be altered as described in the Image properties section.

The Images > Image Order menu allows the order of the image to be altered. Images are often processed in order as described in the Image properties section, but you can use this menu to mark images as high priority.

The Images > Masking menu allows you to operate on the masks associated with just the selected images.

The Images > Align Images... menu item allows you to align additional shots taken without the calibration target(s) or taken after the object has been moved. See the Adding texture underneath an object tutorial for details.