HMCS Yukon (DDE 263) Photogrammetry Model — Dive 1


Last year, as part of my learning progress of building photogrammetry models, I decided to build a model of the guns (whose barrels are fake) and a model of the prop (which is also not the real prop) on the HMCS Yukon wreck in San Diego. They were well contained projects and helped me learn how to build models. At the time, I thought that someday I would try to build a model of the entire wreck.

Here are links to the Sketchfab 3D interactive models for each of those:

Sketchfab HMCS Yukon Guns
HMCS Yukon Prop & Rudder

Within the past twelve months, a large part of the superstructure has collapsed into the sand and I wanted to preserve at least the current state of the wreck.

I made my first dive of the project last week.


I’m still not sure if I will complete a model of the entire ship, including the hull. The hull is largely a “boring” area and might take a few more dives to complete it. My current plan is to at least do the top deck (which is now sideways since she is on her port side).

For the first dive, the Marissa was tied into the stern line so I decided I should just start there. It isn’t ideal due to the lack of features, but it had to get done sooner or later. I spent about 50 minutes on the dive and took 860 photos. I took way more photos than I needed but I wasn’t sure given the lack of features on the deck. I covered from the stern through to the stern guns and then started to get into the bridge structure.

I think I will need 3-4 more dives to finish it. I believe the biggest challenge is going to be the starboard edge of the deck where it curves onto the hull. The reason is that currents are often present and staying in one place at that “intersection” is very tricky. You can see that on the current model I don’t have that corner completed.

Below is a link to some screenshots of the stern section and a link to the model on Setchfab. I hope to get the complete model done by the end of the year and will keep posting progress updates. Next dive is scheduled in about a week and I hope to get most of the bridge done — although that is also going to be challenge since parts of it are now crumpled into the sand.

You have to start somewhere…

HMCS Yukon Photos

Below are some photos of the HMCS Yukon that can give some context of the model section.

Model Screenshots

Photogrammetry Model

A link to the model on Sketchfab is included below.

3 thoughts on “HMCS Yukon (DDE 263) Photogrammetry Model — Dive 1

  1. This is great stuff, Brett. The non-profit I founded, Ocean Sanctuaries, has had a long-term marine life study being undertaken on the Yukon since 2015. Citizen science divers upload our marine life photographic data to iNaturalist, which is run by the California Academy of Sciences and does the species confirmation. We are thinking of perhaps going for a peer reviewed study on it and I was wondering if we might, at some time in the future–use some of your modeling of the Yukon–with proper credit, of course.

    Project Link:


    Mike Bear
    Community Science Director
    Ocean Sanctuaries
    San Diego, CA

    1. Sure, of course. At the end, I will also have a library of probably 3,000+ images of the ship. They won’t be very “photogenic” since they are being used for a photogrammetry model, but they will cover a lot of the ship.

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