Creating and animating a 3d model by scanning a real world object with a smartphone

At Droidcon a couple years back I had a go sitting in a chair while a camera was rotated around me to create a 3d model of myself. The company said they would give everyone a link to download the 3d models following the event, but disappointingly they never did, and they just ignored my attempts to contact them. This left me wanting a way to create a 3d model of myself… myself.

I found an app called ‘123D Catch’. It’s avaliable for Android, iOS and a windows application via Autodesk’s website

The most interesting object I could find in the house to scan was a Unicorn candle I made for my partner.

Unicorn Candle

Unicorn candle that I made for my partner

It’s pretty simple to use, you take photos from several angles around the object (the app keeps track using the gyro) and then you select all the good images (delete blurred photos etc) and upload them. Note that the upload process can take a while as you are uploading 30-50 photos, and on top of that the server takes quite a while to create a 3d model out of all your images.

Downloading the object and importing

You can download the 3d model from Autodesk’s website. Choose .obj and download the object mesh. I then followed this quick youtube tutorial on how to tidy up the model by deleting all the surroundings. The model had a very large number of vertexes (which can take up a lot of memory)

Vertexes before tidying up: ~700,000
Vertexes after tidying up: ~120,000

Screenshot of object in blender

Screenshot of object in blender

If there is any interest I will make the .obj and .blend available for download.

Blender wiki was invaluable, as it’s seemingly impossible to remember the keyboard shortcuts.

Animating and Exporting

I wanted to use blender to make a simple video rotating the camera around the object. Following this stackoverflow post it was quite simple.

Finished Result

Next step
Creating a model of myself!!!

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