Instructables

Use Android or iPhone Pictures to create 3D Object with Autodesk Catch. I Made it at TechShop.

Goal:
    To learn how to create 3D Imaging using the newly released 3D Imaging using Autodesk Catch.  To share lessonw learned and tips.

Procedure: 
    Take pictures around the object.  Hold the camera close to your body to provide stability.  Walk around the object and keep taking pictures, Autodesk Catch training videos suggest 20 around the object and around 10 more around 45-deg angle from the top.  Make sure that the targeted object is always inside the len's scope.  Allow ample space so to make sure.   Try to shoot pictures at same distance to reduce distortion.  Any digital camera can be used.  The higher quality pictures, the better.
     In Autodesk Catch, create NEW project.  Drag and Drop all the pictures in one or few times.  Process images.  Edit and cut off the excess portions.  Save completed images.  Keep saving good images a few times so you don't lost your valuable work.

Lesson Learned:
      * By putting the object in a raised table, the object could be quickly isolated from the other object.
      * By putting the object in bright and natural lighting surrounding, using flash is eliminated would produce better images.
      * During editing, I found the best way to remove the surrounding images is to put it on top view.  Draw a lazzo around the main 
object.  Normally it would select it.  But to my surprise, it highlighted everything except the images inside.  So I was able to remove the unwanted images in one stroke.  This trick saved me over 1 hour of work from previous trial.  The online version is very slow, so taking out a huge chunk of unwanted images is a very big deal..   Next I put on on side view, and make a straight line box to remove the bottom unwanted portion.  So in theory, I could delete all unwanted images in 2 steps.
      * It would help if there is contrast in color / shade in the object. 
      * Too deep concave shape might not get enough light.
      * Current version appear to have problem completing the bottom surface. I continuing my tests.  The bottom surface need illumination.  A diffused light on the bottom would help.  I used 15-LED flash light to shine up a raised object.
      * Using flash appear to make it worst.  Object that glow appear to make it hard to create 3D image.
      * Taking picture in the daylight might have.  Too strong light could cast shadows on parts with concave features.  I think facial features are okay.  I am sure Autodesk guys are working hard to improve Catch.  Visit www.123dapp.com/catch to see other samples users submitted.
      * Catch appear to like a pedestal flat reference. 
      * A friend at TechShop said he scanned 3D images and import them to Autodesk Inventor and quickly fix the detail.  It still save him a lot of time comparing if he would start from scratch.  The dimension and proportion would be very good help.
      * I don't have to worry about the barbecue stick that I used to raise to toy object.  The stick did not get captured by Catch.  Even so, it would be easy to take it out.  But I think the raised object compromised having the flat reference base.
      * Pure convex shape are the easiest object to create 3D imaging.  See the Big Egg example.  The detail drawing on the surface of the egg was surprisingly nice. 
      * Though the Fuji Apple (See picture) is mostly convex shape, it did not have enough features on its surface. I think it is why the apple image was not quite round and smooth.
     *  The wooden bowl (See Picture) is the best ever.  The huge concave surface is very well replicated.  And it has the bottom surface surface also very well replicated.  From this we learned that Concave shape are ok.   The wood grains and shape edge helps.  The bright light shine down the bowl concave surface help as well. 
     * It can be observed that the wooden bowl appeared to have helped get a better image of the table and cup.  In deductive reasoning, a good table and cup would help the main object.
     * The corql did not quite came out good.  The detail of each branch were not quite captured.
     * At this point, ample lighting, contrast (such as checkered or stripped shirt), constrst backgound, and texture of the surface (wood grain) are identified as enabler for good imaging.   Avoid dark shirt, same color on a rectangle sides, flash, dark inner surface, dark concave surface, dark interior or shadows, single color (all glass, all white, etc).  Take more pictures around difficult surfaces.

Comment:
      The eggs did not came as smooth as the original.  To be fair, this is my one of the first practices and I did not take as many pictures as suggested by the training video.  I very impressed with the outcome and will do a lot more and post them here.
 

Next Experiment:
      Raise an apple on a barbecue stick and take lateral, top and bottom views.

More Lessons Learned to Come.   Keep in your favorites and return.


 
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