3d house model with photogrammetry


New elf
Generous elf
Nov 21, 2020
Being a sucker for punishment, for my first year (2021) I decided to go the 3d route in xLights despite all of the warnings from the seasoned pros that 2d is just fine.

I didn't create any house model in xLights, but instead painstakingly took measurements with a laser in real life, calculated the positions for each model, and entered them in numerically into xLights. Whilst a bit tedious and OCD, this worked well.

Come around this year and I was looking to add in among other things roof outlines. Just as I was about to start doing pages of trig calculations, I thought there must be a better way.

I happened to look across at my poor DJI Mini SE collecting dust and decided to give photogrammetry a go - I heard about others doing this and getting the model in to xLights, however haven't seen much about it (possibly due to not being on the FB groups?)

The following video is a screen capture of the results, playing a short sequence used between songs last year. Second video is a quick capture from last year just after I got the icicles up (and before the canes + chromastar)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fv_0s4Scvw

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRmYIR4c4B4

I manually flew the DJI Mini SE to capture 172 images using the 2 second interval photo capture mode. Dropped these into Meshroom with all the default settings, then opened in Blender to clip out the unwanted parts of the model, plus decimate the mesh (down to 1/10th the output from Meshroom). Finally imported to xLights with 1:1000 scaling. It came out surprisingly close to what I had manually entered last year.

Next I'll tweak the layout / scaling to get things to line up properly, then hopefully add the roof outline + other additions for this year with ease :)
xLights still runs nice and smoothly with the model and textures.

Anyway, I just wanted to give people an idea as to how well this process can work without too much effort. I have max 2 hours flight experience with the DJI Mini SE, plus until this morning had never installed Meshroom or Blender.


Journeyman Elf
Jun 26, 2021
I was so inspired by this that I ordered a drone to do the same thing. I'm not hoping to have the same high quality results since it is a cheap drone but to at least have a decent 3d layout of my house would be a huge benefit.


Crazy elf
Generous elf
Dec 19, 2021
Western Sydney
That's a quite a decent model that it's produced. For the purposes of what you're using it for - absolutely perfect! Well done.