Create a 3D Minion Pumpkin From Photos Using 123DCatch

Introduction: Create a 3D Minion Pumpkin From Photos Using 123DCatch

I wanted to try using the relatively new 123DCatch Web Application to create a modified 3D pumpkin for the 3D Jack O' Lantern Challenge Looks like a cool application and Edward Lewis has already given us a great Blank Jack O' Lantern to use, so let's go!

First off we need to "catch" a Minion. I had a little plastic guy from a happy meal, so that part is covered.
If you have an iPhone, 123DCatch has an iOS app. I had a friend try this, but at the time he was on iOS 7 and the app was not ready yet.
Never fear, if you don't have an iPhone, you can take pics with any digital camera and upload them to the 123DCatch web application (or use the Windows based application which has some extra features that optimize your model for 3D printing). 

The directions for taking pictures are quite easy:
  • place your subject on a patterned tablecloth (or use newspaper under the subject)
  • add some unique reference points such as Post-it notes (I used bottle caps and a coin for reference points)
  • take more than 20 pictures as you continuously circle the object.
Lesson Learned: Keep the camera oriented with the same side up. The first couple times I tried to take a set of pictures looping over the Minion which caused my cellphone camera to essentially turn upside down...then I flipped them in a photo editor...those were extra steps and they caused terrible results.

Step 1: Upload Images and Create a New 123DCatch Model

Once you have your images created and loaded up to your PC (remember to create more than 20 pictures), follow these steps to create your 3D Model
  • Launch the 123DCapture web application. (or use the Windows Application)
  • Upload your images
  • Name your creation and add tags and a description
  • Press the Process Capture button
  • Do something else for a while...this will take 5-10 minutes for the model to be processed.
You'll be notified when the processing is done, the picture shows approximately what your model will look like after processing.

Step 2: Trim the Excess and Export Your Model

Because the reference points and table/patterned tablecloth are used as part of the modeling process, you'll find you'll need to do some trimming. Then export your model as an STL file. We're doing this in order to import the file into 123D Design where we can easily edit the original Jack O Lantern file supplied  in the Challenge. Here's how:
  • Trimming is a simple process, just use the lasso tool to select the sections you don't want and the use the delete option. I found it was easiest to do this in small sections rather than attempting to lasso the entire unwanted section.
  • There are menu options provided to "heal" holes in your model...anomalies where the processing doesn't quite work. I didn't need to use this tool for this project. 
  • Save a copy of your edited model, keeping the original for "redo's"
  • Use the Save/Download option and choose Fabrication to convert the file to STL format.

Step 3: Merge the Minion and the Pumpkin

Create a Simple Minion Pumpkin Morph
  • Edit the sample Jack O Lantern file in 123D Design
  • (optional) use the stretch options to turn the round pumpkin into a more oblong pumpkin. 
  • Import the STL file we exported from the 123D Catch editor.
  • Use the move tools to position the Minion so it seems to be emerging or carved out of the pumpkin
  • The only problem here is you are limited to the STL file being all one first attempt was all orange as shown...I wanted something read on...

Step 4: Add Some Detail and Color

To get some additional detail and color I did the following:
  • Added white spheres in the goggles for bulging eyes
  • Added smaller red spheres for the Iris/pupils of the eyes
  • A half sphere flattened made for a nice smile
  • a red rectangle for the tongue
  But all yellow just didn't look to get 1/2 blue and 1/2 yellow in this editor:
  • Use the Smart Copy option to create a duplicate of the Minion body
  • Paint the copy Blue
  • Use the Precise move option to move the Blue Minion 6 off on the x axis
  • Create a Cube object and overlap the top half of the Blue Minon body (as shown in the picture)
  • Select the Cube and the Minion body, use Combine -> Subtract to get rid of the blue top
  • Use Precise move to move the Minion back into position
  • Do essentially the same thing to get rid of the bottom yellow section

Step 5: Oops! 123D Lessons Learned

Thanks for checking out this Instructable, as a reward for reading this far I figured I'd include an "Outtake".
I made two mistakes when taking images for this model and as you can see it's a total fail.
  • A small mistake was that I didn't include reference points as recommended by the 123D Catch tutorials (since I had a pattern in the tablecloth it might have worked anyway)
  • I took pictures not only around the character, but on top of the minion as well...that isn't really a problem, but I flipped the camera over and then reoriented the pictures in a photo editor...I won't do those steps again.
Happy Halloween and good luck on all your projects!
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