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TLDR: has the capability to allow users to add their own 3D and 2D assets for use in simulating environments for synthetic data generation.  In many cases, the specific preparation process for models will be unique to the synthetic data channel. In this example, we’ll discuss how to prepare 3D models as Blender assets for use in a Satellite RGB Imagery channel.

Enabling users to BYO-3D assets to

Last year, the team implemented capability to allow any user to create their own virtual space in which to put 2D and 3D assets for use in simulations. These spaces, called Volumes, are accessible both through the web front end of and within workspaces so that the assets can be used with published channels to generate synthetic imagery. Users might want to add their own assets for objects of interest, distractor objects, scene context, or even for 2D backgrounds useful with some simpler RGB imagery channels.

Volumes can even be shared amongst users, set up to contain 3rd party materials such as from an outside vendor, and they can allow users to organize their assets. Volumes can even be configured by partners to limit if assets can be downloaded or only used in our hosted platform.

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Adding assets for generating RGB Satellite Imagery

One of our most popular channels has been a synthetic data application for near-nadir RGB satellite imagery. This was used, for example, as the basis for the channel that helped us win the NSIN competition last year.

When using synthetic data for object detection in satellite imagery, you will often find that you need to add new objects of interest or distractor features to your training data. This guide provides video walkthroughs to cover the steps required to prep, deploy, and edit 3D model assets for use within the RGB Satellite (SatRGB) synthetic data channel within the Platform in order to quickly add or change objects within your synthetic satellite image data pipeline.

Sketchfab model for demonstration

We’ll use this Sketchfab model for demonstration

Preparing Assets

The SatRGB channel requires that 3D models be in the .blend file format, along with a few other requirements. Below is a video tutorial on how to convert a 3D model from a .gltf format into a .blend file that is usable by this channel:

The following checklist covers what is necessary for an asset to be properly prepared within SatRGB:

  1. The asset must be a .blend file.
  2. The file should have a single root object. That object can have child objects, which is common in .gltf files.
  3. The root object must be sized correctly.
  4. The root object must be rotated to face the -Y axis.
  5. Scale and rotation transform modifications must be applied to the root object.
  6. The root object must be in a collection.
  7. The root object and collection should have the same name. Ideally the same as the file name.
  8. If the root object or its children have textures, pack those external files into the .blend file.

Deploying Assets

Once you have prepared your assets, the fastest way to deploy them to the platform is by using the web interface. Below is a video tutorial on how to deploy a .blend file to the platform using the GUI:

The following steps are outlined in the above video:

  1. On the Organizations page, click on your organization and then click Volumes from the resource dropdown and create a new volume.
  2. Click into a workspace in your organization and open the Resources window.
  3. Add the volume to the included volumes list.
  4. Navigate to the Libraries page and select the Volumes tab.
  5. Click on your new volume.
  6. Upload your file.
  7. Go to a graph and click the + button.
  8. Click the Volumes button in the + window.
  9. Click your new volume and then your new file.
  10. Link your new asset to the appropriate node and you are done.

Editing Volume Data in the Development Environment

You may also want to make changes to a model that is referenced by a channel on the platform. To do that, we can pull the channel code and mount the volume within our local developer environment to make these changes and push them up to the platform. Here’s a quick video on how to edit specific volume data in the development environment.

Using the steps outlined in this guide, you can now quickly adapt your synthetic data capabilities to meet new model needs and mission requirements for object detection in satellite imagery.

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The results

As you can see in the images below, the A340 model should be usable in Graphs and should work for generating image chips with accurate labels.  This is just one example of how users can take advantage of adding 3D models or 2D imagery to use with a channel on the platform.

A graph showing how our A340 model will be used in a synthetic data run

A graph showing how our A340 model will be used in a synthetic data

An image chip generated with our A340

An image chip generated with our A340


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