Speeding up Photoscan’s dense cloud generation

A while ago, Agisoft added GPU support to its wonderful photogrammetry program Photoscan. Calculation speed for the various processes that can make use of it went up a lot. Great!

However, many users complained that generation of the dense clouds suddenly took much longer in the new version. I’ve seen the same thing, and how posted a few images of ridiculously long (and ever increasing) projected calculation times to Facebook. Here’s one:

Given that this was running on my new PC, 14 hours plus was a ridiculous amount of time!

Luckily, Photoscan is getting a new update very soon! Version 1.4.0 is out as a pre-release, and the comments and questions thread on the Agisoft forum site is quite active. People are reporting bugs and asking all kinds of questions – and some of them are not really 1.4.0-specific! And in one comment, the slooo.oo.oooo…….oooowww dense cloud generation popped up, too – and was answered!


“In the version 1.3.0 the number of pairs for the depth filtering has a strict threshold: 50 pairs, in the later updates the limit has been removed.”


Well, the user asked the next logical question:

“It’s there a way to adjust the limit on the newer versions?”

and got this answer:

EDIT Nov 5, 2018: new version of Photoscan have made the below fix unnecessary, by adding the option that needs changing to the Preferences! See HERE on how to edit the settings, now also available in Photoscan Standard.

A huge THANK YOU to reader Thomas Van Damme, who pointed this change out in a comment below!


“You can use the following line input to the Console pane to limit the number of pairs:

PhotoScan.app.settings.setValue('main/depth_filtering_limit', N)

Here instead of N you need to input some integer value, for example, 80. Hopefully, it would reduce the processing time considerably without any visible issues. I do not recommend to go under 50-60 pairs, though.
To return the value to the default (unlimited) value, please use “-1”:

Code: [Select]
    PhotoScan.app.settings.setValue('main/depth_filtering_limit', -1)

So, there you are:

open the console window via the View –> Panes menu, and enter

PhotoScan.app.settings.setValue('main/depth_filtering_limit', N)

Exchange the N for a suitable number and press RETURN – I have been using 80 for N and my dinosaur bones look good!
Unless you make a typo, you’ll simply see an empty line and a new prompt. GO run your dense cloud now 🙂

In my tests, calculation time dropped dramatically, and I saw no ill effects on the dense cloud.
🙂 Are you now happy? I sure am…..

About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy
This entry was posted in Digitizing, photogrammetry. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Speeding up Photoscan’s dense cloud generation

  1. dobermunk says:

    Thanks for this. Very cool feature!
    Unfortunately, the delighting feature will seemingly be reserved for the pro edition 😦

  2. Pingback: Photogrammetry: index to Heinrich Mallison’s tutorials | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

  3. Pingback: Photogrammetry tutorial 11: How to handle a project in Agisoft Photoscan | dinosaurpalaeo

  4. Gerardo Jimenez says:

    One question, Do you have to define the script each time you use ohotoscan or it will be the default?

  5. Thomas Van Damme says:

    Thanks a lot for pointing out this solution!!

    Just want to comment that since version 1.4.2 there’s a new way of limiting the number of pairs, explained by Alexey in this post: http://www.agisoft.com/forum/index.php?topic=9294.msg43358#msg43358

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