Perfume Bottle - 123D Catch & Mesh Mixer




Introduction: Perfume Bottle - 123D Catch & Mesh Mixer

About: I am a masters candidate at School of Visual Arts in New York. I have a Bachelor of Design Innovation in Industrial Design from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. I am based in product design ...

This tutorial explains a technique for using 123D Catch to get an easy 3D scan of your your favorite ceramic Vase then 'grow' twigs out of it to create a 3D model and render. Once you have the scan or "catch" the tutorial will take you through a technique to clean it up and manipulate it ready for rendering.

You will need:

-A ceramic Vase (I chose one by Zena Verda Pesta)
-iPhone or iPad
-123D Catch from the app store (free here)
-A Computer
-Meshmixer computer program (download for free here)
-Keyshot  (Trial Version here
-Photoshop (for optional image enhancements, trial available here)

Step 1: Preparing for the Catch

There are two approaches to the catch, with an iPhone iPad or with a digital camera & computer. In my experience I have found the iPhone iPad method to be the fastest & most reliable so that is the method I will explain  If you would like to know the other method (which is actually very similar) visit:

For the iPhone/iPad approach download the (free) 123D Catch app from the app store 123D Catch App. Then create an account & log in.

Place your vase* on a wooden table top, the reason is that 123D Catch needs reference points to create the 3D model and the grain of wood works well, newspaper can also work. The lighting should be as evenly lit as possible and you should have enough room to move around the vases taking pictures.

*If the vase you want to catch is glass or metallic try covering it in masking tape for a better result.

Step 2: Taking the Catch

Open 123D Catch and tap "New Capture" at the center bottom of the screen.

Taking a photo by taping the camera icon while circling around the vase keeping it within the frame. I have tried various shooting techniques but found a combination of 2 to be most successful:

1 lap horizontally around the Vase at a low angle (25 shots)
3 vertical passes from low to high (5 shots each pass= 15 shots)

Think of your object as the top half of a globe cut off at the equator. For the horizontal lap you want the iPad/iPhone to be orbiting latitudinaly just above the equator. Then for the vertical passes start at the equator then orbit longitudinally upwards till you reach the north pole with the camera facing straight down. 

Tap the "Review" button in the bottom right corner. Then tap 'Finish Capture' button in the top right hand side.

Step 3: Publishing the Catch

Tap "Tap to Process" & name your capture, choose a category, add tags and a description then tap submit. After the loading bar reaches 100% you can inspect the catch. You are looking for a clean hollow model, that closely represents the catchee. Any discolorations or unnecessary background can be removed in the next step.

Tap the export icon and select "Share to Community".

On your computer open your web browser and navigate to the 123Dapps site & sign in.

Navigate to "My corner tab" and find the model you just shared, click it and on the right hand side you will see a download section. Download the .zip file under "Mesh Package File File".

Step 4: Cleaning the Model in Mesh Mixer

Download MeshMixer from here

Open MeshMixer and go to File > Import and find where you downloaded the .zip file in the last step. Once located select & open the .obj file.

Follow Makerbots tutorial on cleaning up a model using the Inspector & Autofix Tools.

Step 5: Pulling the Stems & Branches

Then using the "VolBrush" tool to begin pulling a stem out from the top of the vase, large stems at first then smaller and smaller branches. To create more realisitc stems and branches rotate the object after every stem you pull, this helps to ensure they branch out in all differnt 3D directions and look more organic.

For a more in-depth explanation of this refer to MeshMixers tutorial page.

Once done select File > Export obj.

Step 6: KeyShot Rendering and Photoshop Finishing

Download the Trial Version for Key Shot here.

Import your obj file.

Follow the Keyshot Basics - Getting Started Tutorial

pply material to your model by dragging from the materials dialog.
Choose a scene in the Scene dialog.
Hit render and choose the render settings you desire, generally the larges frame size in the presets drop-down is sufficient quality at a fast speed.

If you want to apply touch-ups to your render take the image file into Photoshop and do so. I choose to photo-merge two different materials to make a copper vase and marble twigs. I did this by rendering on shot with the copper material applied, then without moving or rotating the object or the scene I changed the material to marble. Then I overlayed the two in Photoshop marble layer ontop and masked out the vase section of the marble layer. I then added some text and a disclaimer to make it more believable as an advertisement.

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project. I like the end result. That said... If you used a 35mm camera and the PC version of catch, you would have captured the plant better (if that was your intent). You could also try using a camera flash. That sometimes performs miracles.

    Zaphod Beetlebrox
    Zaphod Beetlebrox

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    With my experience 123D Catch hates flashes. It's suggested that you don't use them.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I know... but I found things sometimes improve when you do... I think it comes down to ambient lighting and distance from subject. From a few feet, it usually adds a nice fill which I found improves the model. If you do this, you'd probably want to shoot them all with flash and from a distance.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great Project !
    I think that 3D catch and Meshmixer makes a wonderful couple

    like the result.