In addition to Maya I am working with software called 123D Catch. This application is from Autodesk and remarkably it’s free. It requires the user to take 40 to 60 photographs of an object and then upload them to Autodesk. From the photographs a fully textured 3D model is built. An Internet connection is required but the process usually takes under 20 minutes. Autodesk even sends a confirmation e-mail when the model has been built. It is important to use well focused and well lit photographs, avoid transparent and reflective objects. It is also important that the subject matter remain stationary. I made one catch of a fellow student (see the image below and the Daniel model on the 3D works page) . So long as the subject does not move the process works. Models can be saved as object files and imported into other 3D software such as Maya, 3D Studio Max and Blender. For those who are not familiar with these more complicated programs 3D Catch allows the user to easily make movies. There is even an option to export to YouTube directly.

Below is a screen capture from 3D catch. The white cameras that surround the scene represent the positions from which photos were taken. The small thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen are the photographs I took that were used to make the 3D model. The program allows the user to delete sections of the model, to pan and rotate and to view in a wireframe or textured format. Most of these options are accessible from the bar positioned top center in the screen capture.

 

This is a fun and easy program to use. I recommend anyone with an interest in 3D modeling take a look at it.

May 3rd 2012