First of all, what is a 3D scanning?
3D scanning is a technique used to capture the shape of an item using a 3D scanner. The result is a 3D file of the object which can be saved, edited, and even 3D printed.
It can accurately describe the shape in terms of three-dimensional space. The item can be an object, an environment, or a person.
The sensors of the individual device collect data related to the shape, the depth, and the colour of the item you are 3D scanning and they form the final 3D file. After the 3D scan is converted into a 3D file, you can edit the result with a 3D modelling application.
This gives you the possibility to modify and use your 3D scan as an avatar in VR (Virtual Reality) games or even to 3D print it. That’s how the object passes from the physical form to the digital one.
Here we will provide you with tips on how to do 3D scanning using your smartphone. One good reason for purchasing a smartphone is that you can use them as 3D scanners.
How to make a 3D scan with a smartphone
If you already have a smartphone, you can download one of the many 3D scanning apps that already exist in the market. In all the 3D scanning applications the same guidelines apply for a successful 3D scan as following.
- First, you place the object or the person you want to scan to stand somewhere where you can walk around it/her/him.
- Then, you start the scanning procedure as indicated by the app, and the sensors of the camera of your mobile phone collect all the needed data. Once the 3D scanning is finished, and the data is collected, the app turns them into your digital 3D model.
- Save the result and 3D print it, use it as an avatar in Virtual Reality games or other applications.
Tips on 3D Scanning Objects
- Make sure you use the proper light when you scan an object, either it is indoors or outdoors. It is recommended that you use bright light that spreads equally around your object, especially when you 3D scan during the night.
- For objects of complex geometry or objects that are hollowed or have edges, also mind the light not to create shadows as they will not be properly read by the 3D scanning software.
- Keep an equal distance when you scan around the object, so as to get a uniform result. Moreover, beware that your models fit the screen, so adjust your position and do not scan from too far nor from too close.
- Avoid 3D scanning moving or thin objects, such as tree-leaves for example. Also, try to avoid plain objects, as they lack geometry complexion and they cause reflections that cannot be captured properly during the 3D scanning procedure.
- Beware of differentiating it from its background so that the 3D scanning depth sensors capture the volume of the item. For this reason, since transparent objects cannot be differentiated from their background, they cannot be properly represented on a 3D scan.
Tips on 3D Scanning People
- The procedure of 3D scanning faces of people is quite simple. To have a uniform 3D scanning result, scan the face from ear to ear by walking around the person. Make sure you capture different angles of the face so that you don’t miss any edges of the face.
- Keep an equal distance from the person as you walk around them. Since stringy objects are quite difficult to be captured, don’t be disappointed if the hair of the person you are 3D scanning is not represented in the best way.
- For the best results, place the person you are scanning in a background that is of only one colour and bright enough so that the depth sensors of the camera differentiate the head from its background.
- Last but not least, the person being 3D scanned should stand still and not move, as well as keep the same facial expression during the 3D scanning procedure.
3D Scanning Softwares For Smartphones You Can Use