123Catch

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Old 02 February 2013   #1
123Catch

I've just done my first few attempts at using 123Catch, and am curious to hear what other people's thoughts are on the program - problems you may have run into and solutions you've found.

I have found that the online app requires very small photos (1000x1000 low quality JPEGs) otherwise it just stalls out in the upload process. This is a pity, as I'd love to be able to submit some nice 4K - 5K stills from my 7D for better results.

The UV maps are absolutely icky; I was hoping to use this as a texture extraction tool, but it seems at initial glance that this is best used to generate an initial base mesh that you have to adjust before you try to project your photos back onto the mesh.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #2
Yeah, used it a couple of times and had similar issues. Only when going through their forums did I find out that there is a maximum number of pictures that it will use (something like 80 but I cant remember) and while I sometimes got it to use very high res apparently it is supposed to only work with 4k images.
However why the upload dialogue could not check for these rather simple criteria and itstead just stalled at some point..
Also quite often got corrupt scenes when using the notification through email option and click on the link. Sometimes I would simply not get an email at all. Not even an error message.
Plus the upload process is very slow and has way too few options...
Sure it is a free app so you cant really complain but I#d rather pay some money for an offline version.


-k
 
Old 02 February 2013   #3
I've had some pretty good results with it, but just get annoyed that you can't run the scene creation locally, so it is immediately ruled out for work that falls under NDA. Also the problems with scenes just disappearing off into the ether and never getting a mesh back is frustrating. Nice little app though, and very easy to use.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #4
I just started playing with it this weekend. It's a lot of fun, but I can see how it would be very difficult to actually use the output in an ideal way. It's a very simplified process, but more control over it would be nice. It seems to make assumptions as to what you are trying to "catch" based on the frequency of things appearing in photos.

I was also bummed that I couldn't seem to switch cameras in use. Tried to do a self scan of my head, but couldn't get the pictures to take while holding the camera toward my face. I'd like to see a timer mode, maybe a snap every 5 seconds would work.

As for the UV textures, isn't there a way to remap those? My first thought was zBrush AUVs and then remap and convert.

Also curious where this technology originated. It reminds me of something called JMiner that a group called CoyoteFlux were showing off at least 10 years ago.

Last edited by moogaloonie : 02 February 2013 at 02:25 AM. Reason: accuracy
 
Old 02 February 2013   #5
I love 123d catch for the particular way I use it.

I use the program to build a base mesh, but also to create cameras. I'll fbx all that into 3dsmax and use the cameras to load image planes with the associated pictures. Now I have a way to build a cleaner version of the object, with references locked to the camera that took them.

Hope this helps someone.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #6
Great concept with the FBX & Cameras; now I need to find out if the online app can export FBX.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #7
20 or so cams placed in a circle

run as video

process frames ... wait 10-20 days

import OBJs as geo cache into 3d program

rotate and move freely around an animated actor ...

serious p_orn potential!!!

you know everyone's thinking it!!

.. seriously though; i really think this has a lot of potential and intend to try and use this in work for collecting various refs on the cheap; ie people pods etc just ashame it all goes back to autodesk. I mean where's the angle on this? Are autodesk targeting the minecraft generation of kids with this? or considering this as a serious industrial tool, because like others have mentioned; NDA protection is a big wall for me too.

Dave
 
Old 02 February 2013   #8
Originally Posted by LukeLetellier: I have found that the online app requires very small photos (1000x1000 low quality JPEGs) otherwise it just stalls out in the upload process. This is a pity, as I'd love to be able to submit some nice 4K - 5K stills from my 7D for better results.


I use Bundler (not a typo, Bundler is the name of an open source photogrammetry toolset) rather than 123Catch and as counter intuitive as it sounds, I've found that sometimes that extra detail or resolution doesn't help the photogrammetry workflow.

I normally try it first with lower resolution (512px) images as it runs faster and if it works with the lower resolution images I know it's going to likely work with larger resolution images. If it doesn't work I get faster feedback and know I need to either take out any images it doesn't like. Once I know it's going to work I increase the resolution of the input images (1K, 2K, 4K, etc) until it breaks (typically runs out of memory).

Last edited by earlyworm : 02 February 2013 at 07:01 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #9
Originally Posted by earlyworm: I use Blunder (not a typo, Blunder is the name of an open source photogrammetry toolset) rather than 123Catch and as counter intuitive as it sounds, I've found that sometimes that extra detail or resolution doesn't help the photogrammetry workflow.

Could you send the url to their site? Google is having a spell check seizure.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #10
I am guessing that earlyworm meant Bundler:

http://phototour.cs.washington.edu/bundler/

I haven't tried it myself and it does look like it has remained undeveloped for several years , but I would interested to see any results. 123catch is capable of some great results, but the whole web interface and being owned by Autodesk is somewhat of a turnoff. It is a pity they didn't roll this tech into Imagemodeler, as I still have a license for that gathering dust somewhere.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #11
Sorry. Brief moment of dyslexia. I did mean Bundler.

There have been others who have developed the individual modules further, but it can be rather complicated getting it up and running. The Python Photogrammetry Toolkit is probably the easiest to get setup on Windows or Linux.

http://opensourcephotogrammetry.blogspot.ca/
 
Old 02 February 2013   #12
There's also agisoft photoscan, if you don't want to send pictures to an external source

http://www.agisoft.ru/
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Old 02 February 2013   #13
I'm a pritty strong advocate for 123D catch. Such a joy to work with. Made countless small nice setups - 1 currently sitting in the Octane 3dsmax manual ( wooden log on sand )

I do miss some of the features the alternative surgested by CnexS in previous post inside 123D catch.
More specifically:
The option to select banks and do grouping so you can for example take 500 images and process then over 10 times and stitch the data together and blend textures, so that you in theory could start to scan a small corner of some ruin for example, and keep patching up to it.

Im only aware that there is a cap of 40 images pr session on the Ipad, havent actually seen if the cap applies to the desktop version too, but if that is the case it needs to be removed. I do know its a potential void for data spam on the servers reciving, but I wouldnt think that is a problem, especially if the data is handled on the ec2 as ec2 upload is free of charge. Perhaps its a rough estimate from developer that not more than 40 images is needed but especially because the app doesnt allow patching and banks, more images is needed to cover larger areas in detail. I do know they fill on the server but it can hardly be an argument as server space comes for cheaps and I bet autodesk has that covered.

Last edited by gkmotu : 02 February 2013 at 04:57 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #14
Wow. Look what makerbot announced today. Scant on any kind of technical info, but the potential is there.

http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2013/0...ime/#more-62465
 
Old 03 March 2013   #15
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