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PLEASE BY NOTIFIED THAT CLOUD PROCESSING SERVICE IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO METASHAPE PROFESSIONAL LICENSE OWNERS AND CAN NOT BE USED WITHOUT METASHAPE.


Currently cloud processing is only compatible with Metashape Professional edition starting from version 1.8.5.

How to process a project in the cloud


Understand the basics


Cloud processing service is only available for Metashape Professional license owners including trial and educational licenses, Metashape Standard license does not provide access to cloud processing service. The lowest version of Metashape Professional that supports processing in the cloud is 1.8.5.


To ensure the flexibility of Metashape while processing in the cloud, the cloud processing workflow is organized as follow:

  1. Desired processing operation or batch of desired processing operation should be configured and sent into the cloud from Metashape Professional user interface.  

  2. When the processing is completed  the local project's version is automatically synchronized with the processed cloud project's version, and available for further editing and processing on your local device.

 

The workflow described above has a number of advantages:

  • Control over what to build - single processing task or a batch or processing tasks can be configured and sent into the cloud.
  • Control over where to perform every operation - computation power demanding operations can be done in the cloud, and other locally.
  • Control over every parameter - all parameters available for configuration when processing locally are available for configuration when processing in the cloud.

Sign up for an account

To get started with the Agisoft Cloud you have to sign up for an account first.


To sign up for an account:

  1. Open https://account.agisoft.com/register page in a preferred web-browser,
  2. Fill in your personal information and credentials
    1. Valid email address, disposable email addresses are not considered as valid,
    2. Password of at least 6 characters 
  3. Make sure that you've read and agree with our terms of service,
  4. Click on the Sign Up button.



Check your inbox for an email with Registration confirmation subject from noreply@cloud.agisoft.com, open it and click on the Activate my account button.



For a detailed tutorial on how to manage your account refer to "How to manage your account" article. 


Configure Metashape


If you don't have a Metashape Professional installed yet, download the latest version from https://www.agisoft.com/downloads/installer/ and activated it with a valid license key or activate trial license.


Once you have an active account it's time to set up Metashape Professional for cloud processing:

  1. Start Metashape Professional
  2. Select Preferences option from the Tools menu

  3. In the Preferences pop-up open the Network tab

  4. In the Network tab opt-out Enable network processing option and opt-in the Enable cloud processing option and og option.

  5. Input account credentials in the Cloud section and click on the Ok button to finish configurations.


In case you are using a firewall ensure that ports 443 and 8086 are opened through a firewall as well as https://api.agisoft.com:8086 and https://account.agisoft.com URLs are whitelisted to allow Metashape to communicate with the cloud.



Start processing


When Metashape is set up for cloud processing, each time you start a processing operation or a batch of processing operation you are asked to process locally or in the cloud.


To estimate time needed for the common processing operations on the cloud for different types of datasets please refer to "Memory requirements for processing operations" article.


To start processing in the cloud:

  1. Start Metashape Professional
  2. Open an existing PSX project or create a new project, import the desired photoset and save it in PSX format.
  3. Configure and start desired processing operation or a batch of processing operations
  4. Confirm that this processing should be done in the cloud when asked


In case you need to work with project visualization online, opt-in Publish results option.


When initiating the processing in the cloud, synchronization procedure starts and the source imagery together with the project files directory are uploaded to the cloud.  When synchronization is finished the project is locked for local usage until processing completion and you can safely disconnect from the cloud to work with other projects locally.



Monitor the progress


Processing progress may be monitored both in Metashape or through the Agisoft Cloud web-interface.  


To monitor project status in Metashape simply open the corresponding PSX file in Metashape, current progress on the project, the time spent on processing and the estimation of time left to finish the processing will be displayed.



You can safely disconnect from the cloud to work with other projects locally at any time or wait for processing completion to automatically synchronize the project with its processed version in the cloud.


To monitor project status in the web interface, sign it to your data dashboard at https://cloud.agisoft.com with your credentials. On My Projects page current progress on the project processing and the estimation of time left to finish the processing will be displayed.


Get the results


When processing is finished, you receive an email notification. To get a processed project from the cloud, open the corresponding PSX file in Metashape and the local project’s version will be automatically synchronized with the cloud one - which means that update project files will be automatically downloaded to your device.


In case an error occurred during cloud processing, you will not be charged for the failed processing operation. To find the solution for your case please refer to "Common cloud processing errors" article.



Alternatively, in case the local project's version has been deleted from this device, on in case you need to download the project to other device:

  1. Start Metashape Professional
  2. Select Download project option from the Cloud submenu of the Files menu 

  3. In the Download project pop-up select desired project and click on the Ok button

  4. Select directory and optionally project's name and click on the Save button


If you also need to download project photos, do as follow:

  1. Start Metashape Professional
  2. Open an existing PSX project that has been previously uploaded into the cloud, for which you want to download photos
  3. In the Download photos pop-up select photos you need to download and download directory and click on the Ok button

  4. When downloaded, photos paths will be automatically updated.



Run new processing


Once the project is in the cloud you can run new processing operations in the cloud without need to reupload project photos and files. 


To start new processing in the cloud:

  1. Start Metashape Professional
  2. Open an existing PSX project that has been previously uploaded into the cloud
  3. Configure and start desired processing operation or a batch of processing operations
  4. Confirm that this processing should be done in the cloud when asked

How to handle synchronization issues


In exceptional cases project may be corrupted while downloading from the cloud due to a network or other unexpected error. In this cases after synchronization procedure is finished, project may not open with errors like: 


Can't open file: the system cannot find the file specified....


To get the processed project from the cloud in such case, you can manually download project' from the cloud instead of automatic synchronization.


To download project from the Cloud:

  1. select Download Project...  option from Cloud submenu of File menu;
  2. select the desired project and click OK button;
  3. set the path to save the project and set the new name for it, downloading procedure will be started.


When downloading a project from the cloud manually, we recommend saving it under a different name so as not to confuse a damaged and a consistent project.


How to process large photo sets


Below there are a number of best practices allowing to spare the budget and time when processing projects with thousands of photos on the cloud.


1. Go step by step instead of running batch.


In projects with oblique photos there may be a lot of Tie Points and points of the Dense Cloud outside of the zone of your interest, so the region for the next processing step may be bigger than needed. Bigger region leads to more time required to perform the processing operation.

 

The best practice is to run alignment procedure, get the results, adjust region and then start a Build Dense Cloud operation.


Processing region may be adjusted on any stage to avoid further processing of unneeded areas.


2. Use preselection on alignment stage.


The alignment process of large photo sets can take a long time. A significant portion of this time period is spent on matching of detected features across the photos. Image pair preselection option may speed up this process due to selection of a subset of image pairs to be matched.  


3. Split large portions of photos into chunks.


We highly recommend not to process more than 50 000 of photos in one chunk, because it leads to exponential growth of time needed to complete the alignment procedure. The recommended workflow of processing a project with more than 50 000 photos is to divide the project into chunks, process separately and merge them after alignment completion. 


The same approach is also applicable to the smaller amount of photos, less photos in one chunk requires less time  to align.


4. Do not calculate point colors if the point cloud is not of interest.


In case the desired processing result is not a point cloud, but for example DEM & Orthomosaic, Mesh or Tiled Model, uncheck the calculate point colors option in Build Dense Cloud operation advanced settings in case the points color is not of interest. This will save up processing time.


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