I have a Sketchup scene with a 3D model and a geolocation, but I also have a photo for the scene.

How cam I match/create a virtual camera in the 3D application to match the viewpoint of the physical camera's viewpoint ?

Would be cool if the solution is also in Sketchup, but can be done using other 3D packages as well.


  • do you have one more photo from a different angle?
    – Inan
    Jan 13, 2013 at 8:32
  • someone who knows about this should really answer this.
    – b2550
    Jan 13, 2013 at 16:12
  • @InanBerbatov I've got several. The only catch in my situation is the resolution/quality as some images come from a compact camera and most of the others from an IP camera Jan 13, 2013 at 21:30
  • Do you have one more photo from the same camera? If so, two angles from same lens may be enough to recreate the scene with a camera. I am trying to figure out if a solution involving Blender's built in camera tracker would be possible. In this situation you obviously know the camera model and have lens information, right?
    – Inan
    Jan 14, 2013 at 10:32

2 Answers 2


Production Software Used:

PfTrack, PfMatchit, Boujou, Syntheyes, Nuke Camera Tracker...

Student free use: Autodesk Matchmover

All of the above software is used to 3D Match Move Cameras to video sequences. Most of them are very expensive. PfTrack is my personal favorite.

Although all of the above mentioned software is used to solve cameras for video sequences they work just as well with stills. PfTrack has tools to orient a scene based on hints that you give it about scale, x-axis, y-axis,z-axis, FOV and so on. The solve is easier with more reference images that have been taken from different angles looking at the same scene.

As was mentioned above looking for key signs in the photo that give hints for y-axis and z-axis will help you align your scene. If you Place grids down you can try to ballpark the perspective of the shot and give yourself a good horizon line. You can also place proxy geometry of some of the objects in your scene to guess depth and so on. Many of these techniques are what is used to match CG to video.

In the end the more information you have about the original physical scene is what will make matching CG easier. such as actual dimensions of the scene and as many measurements as possible. If you have access to any of the above software you can undistort your stills and have assistance on producing good solutions to your scenes 3D camera.


There may be software to look at a photo and determine the lens, lens height, and lens angle. But I only know of software that does this with video clips.

However the way to do would be to look at the shot and overlay the photo with the scene, and play with 3D cameras lens, lens height, and lens angle and get it close. Due to lens distortion there is some margin of error but you can probably get very close.

  • which software can do it easy? Jan 14, 2013 at 7:34
  • 1
    The OP could make a video clip of his photo (every frame would be identical) and then use the software you are referring to. Could you please post a link to that software? Jan 14, 2013 at 14:23
  • No that would not work, it uses the movement of the camera and objects in the scene to determine parallax of objects, etc. @saber there is no easy software to do this, even with video it takes tons of training to be able to do this correctly, But here are some software that does it with video Boujou - vicon.com/boujou The Foundrys Camera Tracker - thefoundry.co.uk/products/cameratracker PFTrack - thepixelfarm.co.uk/product.php?productId=PFTrack And AE CS6 also has one built in, but again I can not stress this enough, these will not work with a still image Jan 15, 2013 at 19:21

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