To acquire and interpret geological outcrops, IPFEN has developed a set of efficient technologies and expertise combined in a seamless workflow, from field-trip to your office, and from pictures to your favorite geomodeler. We rely on photogrammetry as an easy and light way to collect data (we just take photos) and combine them into a final digital model. 

Recent advances in 3D photogrammetry make it possible to integrate 3D numerical outcrop models into modeling workflows. These 3D models are particularly useful in the case of sedimentary systems with complex  architectures. They permit to gather  3D virtual outcrop data that yield significant constraints for the building of surface models, and quantitative parameters or relationships (spatial characteristics / length scales…). IFPEN proposes an innovative workflow with 3D outcrop data acquisition and interpretation. It is based upon 3D photogrammetric data acquired with a SUAV (Small Unmanned Air Vehicle, or drone) and interpreted using the in-house software “Virtuoso”, used for horizon picking and facies interpretation (Deschamps et al., 2013; Schmitz et al., 2014).

To interpret 3D models, our team has developed a 3D geological interpretation software:

VIRTUOSO (Virtual outcrop analysis).

Virtuoso is fully integrated in the SmartAnalog™ workflow:


Facies painting

Level of Detail (LoD) management

Polyline picking

Fracture picking

Fault planes / fractures automated recognition