A Guide to Free 3D Scanning

A Guide to Free 3D Scanning

Phil Nolan has an old, but useful video that proves the cheapness of photogrammetry.

3D scanning does not always require expensive tech and software. In fact, you can implement photogrammetry approach for free with just a camera and some free, open-source software. Don’t believe us? Phil Nolan has an old, but useful guide that proves the cheapness of the technique.

Some notes from the artist: 

  • For lighting, a cloudy day is good or for small objects fluorescent lighting also casts very little shadow. You can also try doing it inside a shadow.
  • Note: No need to install Visual SFM or CMVS, just extract Visual SFM, then extract CMVS into the same folder.
  • The download link for CMVS is on this page, lower right called “Download Zip”.  In the zip file open “BinariesWIn-Linux / Win64-VS2010” Then copy all the files in there and paste them in the same folder as Visual SFM Of course if you’re using WIn32 you’ll do that one instead.
  • If you press tab and nothing happens all I can say is make sure CMVS is installed as described and check the log window for errors. I don’t know any more than that.
  • Many people are confused about where all the files go. They really all just get dumped into the same folder. Here’s what mine looks like.
  • Many people are asking if it could done with video and the frames saved out to make the photos. It probably could but I don’t think the quality would be as good because photos are higher resolution and also taking stills forces you to pay attention to the framing, lighting, focus, etc. to get the best quality images possible. 

Phil Nolan 

Software you’ll need:

If you find this guide useful, you can support the artist on Patreon

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