Introduction: How to Create a Catch Using the 123D Catch Web App

In this instructable I'm going to walk you through creating a Catch using the 123D Catch web app. 123D Catch is a totally free piece of the software that turns photos into 3D models.

It's available (as of right now) for PC, on iPad and also as a web app, which is what I use!

To see what other people have made using Catch, please check out the 123D Gallery - tons of amazing stuff on there. The portraits and buildings are especially neat! It might give you some inspiration to make your own Catch!

Step 1: Go Out and Take Some Photos!

The most important part of your project. I recommend starting with smaller objects around your house to get a feel for the software!

Here are some tips for getting good photos:
  • shoot in consistent lighting - a cloudy day is better than a sunny one, make sure if you're working indoors that the lights you're using aren't producing glare
  • avoid reflective, highly glossy or shiny surfaces - they will not render correctly. You'll end up with holes in the model or entire sides will be missing!
  • make sure your photos are in focus
  • plan the shoot ahead of time and make sure that you are able to take photos all around the object
  • the number of photos you take it up to you. I have taken everywhere from 15 to 40. Just make sure they're evenly spaced around the object! For a big (a few feet tall or more) object, I walk in a circle around it and I take a photo every two steps.
  • make sure the object is the main focus of the photo - keep it in the middle and make sure all of it is in the photo. Only having half the object in the photo or including a photo where it's off the the side and something else is more in focus can cause rendering problems!
Here's a video that will explain the process a bit better, and will hopefully answer any questions you've got! If not, leave a comment and I'll try to help you out. :D


Step 2: Open Up the Web App

Go to http://www.123dapp.com/catch and scroll down the page until you see the download/app options.

Click on "try it online" to launch the web app!

Step 3: Create a New Capture

You'll be greeted with the choices shown above. Click on "Create a new Capture" to get started.

Step 4: Fill in the Prompts and Choose Your Photos

Be as descriptive as possible! Try to tell us as much about your project as you can:
  • what is it?
  • where is it?
  • why'd you decide to get a Catch of it?
Also be sure to add any relevant keywords you can think of - it'll help others find your model in the gallery! Make sure to choose the category it should go into and what quality you would like your model to be. (I always go with medium)

Once you're done filling in the fields, choose your photos to upload. I like to go through my photos before I upload them - if you have any that cut off part of the subject, are out of focus, or where the subject is to one side of the photo, remove those! They can seriously skew the finished model.

For more tips on how to take photos for your Catch, visit our learning and tutorials page.

Once you've culled your photos, click add photos and select the photos you would like to add. Once you click open, it might take a minute or so (depending on your internet connection) for them to appear in the "photos" box.

When all your photos show up, click "Create Project."

You'll then be shown an upload progress box. Now you will wait.

Step 5: The Waiting Game

This could take a little while. Depending on the quality you chose and how many images you uploaded, it can vary a ton! You'll need to keep checking back - it can take as little as a half hour or as much as two hours from what I've seen.

To check the status of your project, log in to the 123D Gallery and hover over "my corner" and go to "models and projects."

You should see a screenshot of the model in your projects. Click on the model, and if you see a "preview" button you are good to go!  Click it like you've never clicked anything before! Oh the excitement!

Note that you can also edit the model information from this screen. :)

Step 6: And Here's Your Finished Catch!

If all went well you should be looking at a very fancy Catch made from your photos once the viewer loads!

You can rotate, pan and zoom in/out to check everything out.

At this point, you can decide you like your project as-is or do a little editing. I'll be doing some editing and posting that as a separate instructable. :D

Step 7: Publish Your Model to the Gallery!

If you're happy with your model and you want to share it make sure to click the "Share in the Gallery" checkbox and save it. This will publish your model to the gallery and allow others to see it. :D

Comments

author
ravenking made it!(author)2012-08-03

This is highly detailed and I am adding it to my favorites. :)

author
ericCycles made it!(author)2012-07-28

I tried using this as a web app about a year ago. At the time, it wasn't "totally free" in that to export your model to anything other than their proprietary format, they charged a fee. Has that changed?

author
jessyratfink made it!(author)2012-07-28

Ah, I didn't know there was ever a charge! As of right now, you can download the stl and mesh package files for free in the web app and in the iPad app.

author
sunshiine made it!(author)2012-07-25

Thanks Jessy! I have been pondering this.

author
PKM made it!(author)2012-07-25

Wow! The developers at my work have been playing with some alleged "3D scanner" apps trying to find one that worked even remotely well. This is streets ahead of anything that we've seen so far- I'm almost certainly going to start including these scans of my finished projects on future Instructables.

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2012-07-25

Great detail Jessy. This will come in handy to those in the challenge who are still having trouble.

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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