View Full Version : Automated photo/video modeling: production journal

09 September 2010, 01:09 PM
I've been doing a bit of research and experimentation into automated methods of modeling from photos/video and I thought I would share some of my discoveries/progress here.

This is a mixed medium project, and in this case my goal was to automate the modeling of stand-in/proxy model. So obviously this approach wont work for all purposes, but I found it quite quick and relatively accurate (might also be good process to create a base mesh for further modeling as well).

Overview video;

For the 3d reconstruction I tried several applications, only 3 really worked for this purpose;

Vi3dim (
(pretty amazing $20 program)

-cool factor
-pretty accurate
-poor concave surface reconstruction
-registration matte is limiting

Autodesk Photofly (

-completely automated registration
-need only to upload your photos
-wasn’t able to reconstruct some parts
-point cloud detail was low
-only able to scan one side at a time

Microsoft Photosynth (
(the clear winner, oh and free)

-upload photos/completely automated
-accurate/dense point cloud
-even reconstructed convex areas quite well
-no export/”hacky” to get data

In the end I decided to use the data from Photosynth. Although exporting the point cloud was a bit technical. There are a couple of ways to hack the data out of the Microsoft servers(hopefully an export feature will be added soon); ( used this process.) (

Lastly there’s a great free tool called meshlab, that does a great job of rebuilding a surface from the point cloud. I was able to export an obj and send it right to Maya. Here’s a great guide for meshing your point cloud in meshlab; (

Ok, time to get back to work. Comments and questions are much obliged!

Check my blog for more pics and info; (

09 September 2010, 08:06 PM
very cool. :)

09 September 2010, 10:27 AM
Hey thanks Dare-o! Ya its pretty amazing technology, but I don't think modelers are out of a job yet though!!


09 September 2010, 01:45 PM
This could be really helpful to quickly knock out a proxy mesh to rebuild topology on top, cool stuff :)

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