interesting reading – 3d Scanning on the cheap.

I read this article a while back and actually tried something like it a year or three ago… actually gave me a reason to buy a laser level! 🙂

Using I-modeler and/or d-sculptor is much easier since you don’t have to mess with lasers and stuff. I might try to get in to this sort of thing at some point in the future again.

Using d-sculptor about 6 years ago, I created a 3d image of my sister and brother in law. They were kind enough to stand still long enough for me to shoot them about 30 times from different angles to make it work.

Back then, I did that using a blown up d-sculptor grid – version 1 – the version 2 grid is a lot harder to blow up – version 1 is just a square that’s cut in half – so the dots are much easier to put on a blown up thing… I used 4 blocks of hardboard (masonite) that were taped together with duct tape to do that, and I made the dots on there with white china market and black sharpie pen and permanent marker to make it visible from a distance.

Imodler is much harder to blow up since it uses a proprietory algorithm in how far apart the dots are… pain in the butt to print out a 6 foot wide thing on 8 and a half x 11 paper to blow up the imodeler – but believe it or not I tried that at one point in time, lol. If I do this sort of thing again in the future, I’ll set up the hardboard so that it has both the Imodeler and Dsculptor grids on it simultaneously so that I can make the 3d meshes in both programs using the same digital photos… as one might work better then the other and/or be more “professional”

At one point in time, I thought I could do this sort of thing as a part time job – sort of set it up to do 3d scans for people at county fairs and things to get the kids on 3d models that could be used to make 3d prints, modify to create avatars in 3d games that looked like the people scanned, etc. However, never pursued the idea too far since it takes so long to shoot the images and the model has to stand still. It could work with a single snap from a bunch of photos all taken at once, but that would require a lot of helpers and/or some sort of automated system similar to the rigs they use in Hollywood to do stuff like is shown on the Matrix I movie dvd… it’d be possible but difficult, and pricey… otherwise, it’s a slow process that requires the model to stand perfectly still. Getting children, or even adults to stand still is not always the easisest thing in the world to do…