Thursday 3 July 2014

3D Lightning 2

About a year ago two redditors happened to take a photo of the same lightning bolt, but from different places, and I use them to make a 3D reconstruction: 3D Lightning.

Well, it happened again!
The two source images.

This time the lightning bolt struck one World Trade Center (Freedom Tower), and two people got a shot of it from over the river. A little adjustment for the rotation of the image and some guestimation of their approximate locations let me work out that there was very little vertical shift between their locations, but quite a large horizontal shift.

Just like last time, a 100% accurate reconstruction isn't possible. You need to know the exact locations and elevations of the people, and field of view of the cameras used, to do this precisely. However, just like last time, a rough reconstruction is possible where the difference in horizontal position of part of the lightning bolt between the two images is proportional to the distance from the people taking the photos.

The approximate 3D reconstruction.

After grabbing the coordinates from the photos it was just a matter of plugging them into Blender to make an approximate 3D reconstruction.

Software used:
ImageJ: Image analysis.
Blender: 3D modelling and rendering.


  1. this is awesome man. thanks for posting

  2. I have done this myself but i am wondering how to plug the coordinates into blender. Please help.


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