This article describes the main changes that are introduced in version 2.0 of Agisoft Metashape available for download at the forums as a pre-release version:


Forum: https://www.agisoft.com/forum/index.php?topic=14904.0



Update from Metashape 1.x to Metashape 2.0 is completely free and does not require any 
additional payments from the licensed users.


The main differences in Metashape Professional 2.0 include the new concept of laser scans vs aerial lidar data support. For purely photogrammetric workflows there are also several new features, that include, for example, DEM editing.


Project files created in version 2.0.0 can't be opened in Metashape 1.8 and earlier versions.



The new license activation system


Agisoft Metashape Professional 2.0 comes with a new license activation system. If Metashape Professional 2.0 is the first version that is activated on a machine - this license would not be suitable for earlier versions, as it uses the new license format incompatible with Metashape Professional 1.x versions. If an update to version 2.0 is installed above activated version 1.8 or earlier - then existing license file will be used.




The differences with some commands on the GUI:


The instance Cameras on the Workspace pane is renamed to Images:




Dense Cloud is now called Point Cloud and the command on the Workflow menu is now Build Point Cloud:




Laser scans and aerial LiDAR data


In Metashape Professional 2.0 both structured terrestrial laser scans and unstructured aerial laser scans can be imported using Import Point Cloud (select File > Import > Import Point Cloud) command. All point attributes including structured information are now preserved in this function. If several point clouds are selected in the Import Point Cloud dialog, then all of them will all be imported into the project.


The imported point clouds are displayed on the Workspace pane and in the Model view



In the Model view there are 2 Regions visible around the point cloud. The red color indicates the Point cloud Bounding box.


To specify that the laser scanning data has been imported, select Use As a Laser Scans command from the Point Cloud context menu. Perform this action for each point cloud.



After the point cloud is identified as laser scan data, the Laser Scans folder will appear in the Workspace pane. The folder contains all the point clouds that are received as laser scans data. 



The point cloud and spherical panoramas with depth maps information (captured by the laser scanner) are also accessible on the Workspace pane:



If the point cloud is assigned to be used as Laser scans, then it can be displayed in Model view by using Show Laser Scans data Toolbar button. It can be displayed as various modes: Solid View, Colors View, Classes View, Intensity View, Elevation View, Return View, Scan Angle View, Source ID View, Confidence View. The command is accessible from the Point Cloud context menu on the Workspace pane. To display the position of the scanner during shooting use View Cameras button:



You can merge Laser scans to build a combined point cloud, for the purpose select all Laser Scans on the Workspace pane and choose Merge command from the context menu. The resulting cloud will appear on the Workspace pane:



Laser scans can also be grouped and fixed as a single group (i.e. Fixed group). If in the project there are several independent lidar groups (that include external alignment), it is necessary to group the scans. On the Workspace pane select the laser scans and choose Move Laser Scans > New Laser Scans Group, click right button on the Group and specify Set Group Type > Fixed.



To align the laser scans relative to each other, use the Align Laser Scans command on the laser scans context menu.



To align images and laser scans select Workflow > Align photos and enable Reset current alignment parameter: 



Markers can also be used for alignment. In Version 2.0 markers are shown as white flags in Model view. If the position of a marker for each laser scan is specified, the flag becomes green. In all other cases (i.e. if the positions of the markers is only specified on the images) the flag remains white:





Import Depth Images


The Import Depth Images (File > Import > Import Depth Images) command is intended to be used only for RGBD images from smartphones equipped with TOF depth sensor or similar devices. Metashape still supports PTX and E57 import formats, however such workflow is not considered optimal in Metashape 2.0. In versions 1.8 please use the algorithm described in our article:  Smart cameras with depth sensor data processing


DEM editing tools


Starting from the version Metashape Professional 2.0 the DEM editing tools are available. The DEM editing applies to the surface and allows to edit for example the edges of roofs, or add surface in the areas with holes (water, forest and so on). The detailed workflow is available in the article:  DEM editing tools



Show local axes


Starting from version 2.0 Metashape allows to display the direction of the axes for each camera at the time of shooting. Select Show Cameras > Show Local Axes on the Toolbar