Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Your phone is your 3D scanner

Or it can be, with the amazing ProtoFly project. In short it allows you to take a few pictures of an object and using their Windows-only software pictures are uploaded to Autodesk servers and a 3D model of your scene is obtained.

Either small objects, the interior of a room or the outside of a building can be "scanned" just with a cellphone camera. And don't underestimate the power of this technique (photogrammetry). I have been more than impressed with the quality of the output mesh. And given that the service is free of charge I cannot complain about the price :-)

Once you've got the 3D model of your scene the next problem is how can you start editing it and showing it to others. I have found a very nice piece of software called MeshLab that does a great job and it is a multi-platform open-source solution.

But the coolest thing is that there are some cellphone apps that can show a 3D object too. I am still fighting with one of them called "Shader Devel and 3D Viewer" that might do the job once I figure it out.

The video below shows the first capture I have attempted using just 2 Megapixel images. Please note it is not a video but a 1080 rendering of the textured 3D-model (scene has not been properly cleaned up so some objects are levitating into the air).


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