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in this video we're going to be talking about polycam polycam is an ios app that allows you to create 3d models from an object from photos so in this video we're going to be taking this dog taking some pictures of it and then generating a 3d model you ready let's dive in polycam was originally created as a lidar scanning app but since expanded to include a photogrammetry mode that they call photo mode that's compatible with most modern iphones so before we talk about polycam let's take a step back and ask ourselves is polycam a good fit for me so take a look at the statement on the left and the statements on the right if you're somebody who's looking for sub millimeter precision and advanced mesh heading capabilities and you want it to be free polycam is probably not going to be a great fit however if you want a simple and easy to use app on your phone that doesn't require any mesh editing and can produce watertight meshes with a colored texture and you're comfortable paying under 10 a month for 100 scans then polycam is probably going to be a good fit for you if you're interested in an app that gives you more control over the scanning process you can check out some of my videos on metashape in the description below it's a more powerful program but it's more expensive and it has a much steeper learning curve so let's get started with polycam you don't really need a whole lot of equipment to use polycam here i'm going to be using a turntable just to make a little bit easier to move the model around and i'm also going to be using a tripod that i can mount my phone to this is just the phone doesn't shake or jitter when i take a picture and to keep the images nice and steady i'm using an iphone 13 pro max but pretty much any iphone will work with this app whether or not it has lidar with our model on the turntable and our phone on the tripod we can start to get things set up for our scan one of the first things that i like to do is to put the model onto the turntable and rotate it a couple of times so i can see through the phone whether or not the object will stay in frame during the entire rotation if you see one part of the object sticks off camera a little bit go ahead move it and try again so with everything lined up perfectly we can start taking some pictures i use a pretty steady process i just take a picture turn a little bit take another picture turn a little bit more and i try to keep everything as steady as possible once i've made a full revolution around the model i'm gonna go ahead and place it on its side this lets me capture some of the detail under the legs under the chin and kind of around the spots a little bit harder to see dead on once i've captured this full side i'm gonna flip the model over and repeat the process again this just lets us get the maximum coverage possible and really the more photos you have the better the mesh is going to look and the better the texture is going to look too you'll notice there's a pretty harsh standing shadow here i did my best with the lighting but it's something i'm not particularly good at so the less shadows you can have obviously the better your scan is going to come out so from here we can go ahead and upload the files and before we do anything else one of the things that i like to do is scroll through all the photos that i took and just quickly make sure there aren't any blurry photos or any photos that are out of focus that might cause the algorithm to skip a beat anything that looks like it's going to be a problem we're just going to go ahead and delete this all looks great to me so at this point i feel pretty confident that all these photos look good so now we're able to move to the next step which is processing them we've got a couple of options for processing the model but the most important one for us is to make sure we select use object masking this will cut the model out from the background and from the turntable and just makes it easier to process for the level of detail we have a few options we have reduced medium and full basically all that we're doing here is determining what is the size of the texture how much detail is this texture going to have what is this model going to look like so for this scan we're just going to go ahead and select medium and click go and that's it about two minutes later our 3d model is completely finished and ready for us to inspect the texture looks pretty good you can see there's a couple areas here on the mesh where it had a hard time with the spikes and it kind of stitched them all together into one big spike it's not the end of the world the mesh itself looks pretty good and the texture looks fantastic you can even see some of this writing on the belly of the dog so it's pretty impressive stuff considering this took only a couple of minutes to make you pretty much watched it happen in real time so from here the last step of our process is to upload and share our model i'm going to upload and share it to sketchfab i'm a big fan of sketchfab it's an easy way to upload models and share them especially because it has an in-browser viewer from the sketchfab web interface we can also take a look at the mesh of the model so we can see here the texture has been applied so we're looking at the model in full color but we can also pull that texture away and just look at the raw mesh underneath so if we were planning to use this model for 3d printing this would be the mesh that we'd be printing so it does have some minor issues but generally speaking considering it took under five minutes to make i would say this is definitely a success we can also take a look at the wireframe of the mesh and see that it's pretty clean it doesn't really have any high concentration or excess density so overall polycam is a great app and i think it's a great way to carry a scanner around in your pocket and use it to scan things out in the wild i'd love to hear your thoughts so please let me know if this is an app that you've used before or if there's an alternative that you prefer as always thanks for watching and have fun printing
Thanks for your comment Rory Chatriand, have a nice day.
- Gregoria Schleimer, Staff Member
how's it going 3d printers andrew sink here and in this video we're going to be talking about how to scan and 3d print a replica of this cat figurine the app we're going to be using is called scandi pro it's an ios app that uses the truedepth front-facing camera on an iphone to create a mesh model for our setup i have the iphone running scandi pro on a tripod so it's stationary and then i've put the cat on a lazy susan so i'll be spinning that back and forth so we can create our mesh once we have a good quality scan we're going to clean it up in meshmixer to make it printable and then send it off to our 3d printer so we can make a copy of this figurine once we have everything set up and in place we'll check to make sure that the scandi app sees the model in the foreground once we've got to this point we can hit start and now it will begin scanning from here all we have to do is slowly rotate the lazy susan making sure that the cat figurine stays in focus if we see a red flash that means the camera's lost its tracking so we can always move back and then go back into the original position to continue scanning for this model i did two full revolutions of the lazy susan and that's so i captured a good amount of surface detail and also because this was a really shiny model i wanted to make sure that any glare didn't show up as a defect later on once i was happy with the scan i hit end record and now i can view what the mesh looks like and this looks pretty good to me so we've captured a lot of the detail there's a few small holes like on the top of the ear and under the chin but we can fix those later overall i'm happy with this so i'm to hit save from scandi pro we also have some basic editing functionality and one of the first things that you can do is under render mode we can determine if we're looking at a color model or a monochrome so because i'm going to be 3d printing this i'm not too worried about the texture which is the color i'm more interested in the mesh so by clicking monochrome i can view the mesh and i can see this is going to work for me scandi pro has some basic editing tools built into it like fill holes and crop plane but we're going to be doing a lot of that in mesh mixer so even though we're not doing it here it's good to know that we have that ability in the app from here all we have to do is export the stl and bring it into meshmixer the first thing we want to do is trim away the lazy susan so to do that we're going to select all of the non-cat geometry and we're going to delete it so there's a couple different ways you can do this the easiest way to do it is to use the lasso tool in mesh mixer select a large chunk and then click x and that will delete it and once we have a couple of these sections deleted we can then do a plain cut to trim away what's left this is just a fast and easy way to get rid of a lot of that geometry so i feel pretty good about this right here so from here the next step is we're going to do a plane cut and typically a plane cut is used to create a solid model which we will be doing later here though for instance i'm going to say no fill under fill type because i don't actually want to fill the bottom of the model in yet i still have some holes that i need to clean up first so we can get down to about here so so it looks like a nice solid model all the way around and that looks good to me and we'll click accept so we're already getting closer to what we want our final model to look like there are a couple spots on this model that i'm going to clean up manually depending on how much time and effort you want to put into a project like this you can spend more or less time doing it all i'm gonna do is using the flatten brush in mesh mixer under the sculpt tools i'm gonna clean up a little bit of this geometry here because that looks a little bit rough to me and we're going to do a little bit more manual cleanup later but right now all i'm trying to do is make these holes a little bit clearer so this geometry is now a little bit easier to fill and it doesn't look quite as jagged so from here the fill process should be a little bit easier on the top of that ear there are a couple of small spots in a few different holes that we want to fill the easiest way to do that is using the inspector tool this will go through and manually close up a lot of these small holes there's still some manual work we're going to want to do but this is a good way to get started this process can take a minute so we're just going to jump cut until when it's finished so after running the inspector tool we can see the model looks better already a lot of those small holes have been filled but we still want to go back and before we run our final smoothing operation it's not a bad idea to just go and clean up a couple areas and so what we're going to do is go through and look for some of the areas that have bumps and flatten them out just a little bit so that's going to smooth down a little bit easier one of the larger holes on this model was directly under the chin so we want to spend a little bit of time here and you know depending on how much time you want to put into the model you can either you know spend a good bit of time reconstructing this or just doing what i'm gonna do which is we're just gonna go through and try and clean up that border just a little bit to make it look a little bit smoother it's not a perfect fix but it is a quick way to get the model to a better place so once we finish with that process we've got a smoothed out area here i am definitely not a sculptor so this can be done a lot better and especially if you have a little bit more time to dedicate to it so once we get to this point the model is looking pretty good we can do any last detailing we want to do before we run the smooth and so i'm going to go through and just add a little bit of i'm going to use the flatten brush just to sort of help highlight some of these areas where i want to separate you know the cat from the base and also some of the features of the cat as well so there's a few different ways you can do this and again depending on how accurate you want your model to be you can spend more or less time on this process so once we're finished manually sculpting the model it's time to run our final smoothing and to do that we are going to select the entire model and then go to deform smooth here's our smooth model and meshmixer did a great job of going through and removing a lot of that graininess while overall preserving the shape of the model so once we get to this point this is a pretty good place to hit accept and that'll give us our smooth model from here i'm going to run one more plane cut and the idea is to give us a nice flat base with no curling on the outer edges so when we click accept that's going to give us our final model so now we have a model that's been smoothed out has a flat base and it's ready for 3d printing so from here we're going to export the stl file bring it into our slicing software and send it to the printer so here's the cat in our slicing software i'm going to be printing this out on my minga d2 and i'm u
Thanks otipant your participation is very much appreciated
- Gregoria Schleimer
About the author
I've studied paleopathology at Missouri Valley College in Marshall and I am an expert in economic sector. I usually feel numb. My previous job was screen printing machine operators I held this position for 19 years, I love talking about origami and papermaking. Huge fan of Ellen Pompeo I practice bodysurfing and collect classic cars.
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