Scanning 3D scenes with a camera

2019/03/18

I had a look at this guide on 3D scanning objects and gave it a try.

The guide describes how to take pictures with a normal camera and make a 3D representation of it. For the mesh to be decent, you must take a lot of pictures. In my test, I took 21 photos. Covering as many angles as possible. The lighting must be consistent in all images. So I had to be quick in taking the pictures outside, while the sun was behind clouds.

I used my Canon D500 set on manual mode. With ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1100.

The scene in the photograph is 3D scanning friendly. There’s no reflective surfaces. No semi transparent objects, like leaves.

Angles

In the guide they use the open source program Meshroom. I installed the program on my gaming PC, which has a beefy graphics card. The program utilized GPU acceleration when processing the scene. First I tried running on my laptop. But I had to cancel the processing, because it took too long.

After importing the images into Meshroom, I just ran it with the default settings enabled. Ca 5 minutes later, the scene had been constructed from the images:

Animated scan

Neat!

To use this mesh in a real-time graphics situation, the amount of vertices should be cut down:

Vertices