Photogrammetry – 3D scan with just your phone/camera

3D scanning with just your phone? In todays video we’re going to take a look
at photogrammetry Most of us do not have access to high end
3D scanners, they can be quite expensive And they can also be somewhat limited in the
size of the scanned object With photogrammetry all you’re gonna need
is a camera and a reasonably powerful PC Before you start taking pictures, try and
lit the object evenly from all sides and avoid creating hard shadows Circle around the object and try to get pictures
from as many angles as possible Don’t forget to take pictures from top and
bottom as well Do not move the object or it’s surroundings
between shots The photogrammetry software is looking for
features not only on your object, but also in the background, so this would really confuse it This is an example of a decent set of photos
for photogrammetry There are lots of options in terms of software However most of them are either expensive
or very limited in the free version We’ll be using Colmap, it’s available
for all Windows, Mac and Linux For windows and Mac, you can donwload the
pre-built binaries On windows you’ll find two batch files inside
the downloaded archive One tests your machine and confirms, that
everything is ready to run Colmap The other batch file launches the application Prepare 2 folders. One of them should include all your photos
and the other will be used as an output directory In Colmap select Reconstruction – Automatic
reconstruction Set the workspace folder, which is the output directory, and the Image folder, which is the one you just placed all your pictures
in Change the quallity to medium and hit Run This can take a while, especially if you took a lot of pictures Colmap will show you the estimated camera positions and point preview of the tracked object To actually create a printable mesh, we’ll
use Meshlab Import fused.ply file, which you’ll find
in Colmap’s output directory Now you can see all the points that got reconstructed We only want to keep the points on our object, so we’ll delete everything else In our example, the extra points are various contrast features in the room we took the pictures in Use the Select vertexes tool from the main toolbar By holding down the Ctrl key, you can add
to the selection Then click on the Delete vertices in the main toolbar Repeat this process until you’re left with
mostly just the points representing the model to be reconstructed Select Filters – Remeshing – Screened Poisson Surface Reconstruction Change the Reconstruction depth to a value
between 10 to 15 and hit Apply This make take a minute to process You can toggle visibility of objects in the
top right corner with the eye icon This looks pretty rough, so let’s try to
increase the reconstruction depth The higher value you’ll set, the longer
it’s going to take to compute And at some point, usually at values above15, the model won’t get any more detailed This looks much better, we’ll use this model going forward. Here you can see the difference between reconstruction depth 14, 15 and 17 To get rid of the weird shape often generated at the bottom of your scanned object select Filters – Selection – Select faces with edges
longer than. Toggle preview and adjust the Edge threshold value until the vast majority of the faces you want to delete are selected, but all faces
you want to keep are still unselected Then use the delete faces tool from the main toolbar You can also use the select faces tool, which works the same way as the select vertexes tool You can smooth your model with the Laplacian Smooth Smoothing steps between 8-20 usually work well Be aware that too much smoothing will remove valuable detail from your model We are now ready to export the mesh Use PLY or 3DS if you want to keep the texture, for example for publishing the file online Or STL if you really want to save just the
geometry of the model Doing photogrammetry with glossy objects is tricky Glossy surfaces will change in appearance as you circle around the object You can easily prevent this from happening with painters tape, which will add detail and created matte textured look Here you can see the difference this made on the reconstruction The same applies to transparent objects, like glass Spray it with chalk spray or cover it up with painters tape, otherwise the reconstruction won’t succeed Statues are perfect for photogrammetry Their surface is rough and won’t cast any
reflections They have a lot of tiny features to be tracked and reconstruced Your model will amost always end up with a hole on the bottom But that’s very easy to fix in for example
Meshmixer And in this case, it’s even better to just
cut the stand and create a perfect surface to be placed on the print bed Check our older tutorials to learn how to these edits in Meshmixer Now you’re ready to slice and print
your reconstructed model

100 thoughts on “Photogrammetry – 3D scan with just your phone/camera

  1. Prusa, please spare us the background music in your videos. Not all of us have perfect hearing, and it's very hard for us to hear your voice with annoying tunes in the background.

  2. There was a very cool app from Autodesk that made the same thing automatically and without pc. But now it's deleted from app store and google play. I don't know why

  3. Hi, quite impressive. Can i start trying photogrammetry with a Laptop Asus i7-451U 2.4GHz 12GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce820M? Thanks in advance.

  4. Running a brand new PC with Windows 10 (fully updated). 
    Hit a brick wall within 2 minutes of this demo, Once the Colmap software is downloaded, the initial scan to test the computer fails multiple times, saying 'system Error, code execution cannot proceed because VCOMP120.DLL was not found',  this happens multiple times… 3hrs later, many searches, Microsoft advise not to download the ,DLL file on its own, but to reinstall the entire PC!   I later found a forum post saying "If a package requires any DLL that is not part of the operating system the developer should add the DLL to the setup program, failing to do so is the developers fault, a bug that nobody should ignore before publishing", not sure if this is true as I'm not a computer Developer, but I decided NOT to reinstall my 1week old install of Windows 10… The path later lead to various old posts telling me to download old software to fix the issue  (Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013), I also looked into the updated Visual Studio 2017 software,  which lead to an install of hundreds of various tick boxes, and more wasted of time,  in the end I gave up!!!
    Way to confusing for my computer knowledge and should not be this difficult anyhow!!!.,  Since price isn't a factor, I'm now looking into paying for some software that works without a degree in computing.  willing to pay rather than have this pain.  ANY RECOMENDATIONS PLEASE for software with a one off payment plan preferable (not monthly, as I will only use in infrequently)… I can only guess the developers of software haven't updated the software yet?  Why do they make what should be a relatively simple Photogrammetry package so difficult?

  5. Ik blijf hier plakken voor de lounge…music…. 👂 en toch ook een beetje voor de mogelijkheden die je hier ziet gebeuren.

  6. Try 3DF Zephyr free. It does all the things in the video but in one tool. Much easier to use as well. Free is caped at 50 photos.

  7. Cool , i was wondering if one can uses just a video clip because all the software would have to do is beable to take the .avi or mpeg and split it into a frame by frame images that it then build the .stl file from ? It be easy to just video it rather then take tons of pictures so curious if you can uses videos / camcorders instead. But this picture method is really really cool.

  8. Nice information thanks I will give a try to this software . And I have to say 3D Creator from Sony xperia is really easy and awesome and avoid alot of step compared to this traditional method.

  9. We have released a sequel – Photogrammetry 2 that shows even better results and is much easier to do! 🙂 (But needs an Nvidia GPU to run, unlike this tutorial)

  10. Well, what do you do with a hollow object? Let's say a basketball that has been sliced in half (and we just want to scan one of the halves), and we need it to be detailed on both the outside and the inside? I've been trying to figure this out for months…

  11. čau Pane, zaujíma mne SLA tisk, je možne tak udelat i vizitku? dost se bojim že by se to poškodilo pri odlepovani z baseu. dekuji za inspirace. Maťo.

  12. It is a pity for this good tutorial.
    Why this stupid music? Did you hear any music in the scool while the teacher was speaking?

  13. Dlaczego filmik nie jest po polsku skoro jestes polakiem, niech amerykanie czytaja a nie my polacy. Za to leci lapka w dol 🙁 ale masz ode mnie sub bo ciekawy tutek

  14. how many photos did you take of groot? My total was 278 with iphone and in good lighting. Still did not come out detailed on meshlab

  15. Interesting. Would it be possible to scan a model of the Enterprise (1701-D), clean up its details (hull panel lines, windows, etc…) re-position components (rotate saucer, move warp nacelles, etc…), add scanned components from other models (USS Reliant hoop) and finally 3D print it to four times the original models size (alternative is to 3D print original model (NCC-1701-D) to .25 size)?
    How and/or where could I get this done inexpensively?

  16. or i use some of the google ARcore apps and import the textured 3d Model in under 2 Minutes as obj/mtl in Blender.

  17. hello, I have a question: should the photos shoot horizontally or can they also shoot vertically?

    Ps: excuse my bad English, it's not my native language, I'm using google translator……. Grazie (Thank's)

  18. I really like that you make this videos about 3D and don’t make them for just people that own prusa printers

  19. Very interesting. I tried to do exactly the same, but I still have errors with the filter applied in Meshlab… and I had to export manually the ply file from COLMAP. Maybe that's where the problem is. I'll try to fix it…

  20. So basically, how to steal props and small object from stores. Go to gift shop, scan toy or thing you like a lot, go home and print it.

  21. don't know why but Colmap isn't working on my machine and i use a really high end machine Alienware R17. Can anyone help????

  22. there is another cool open source app for photogrammetry called "MeshRoom"
    Links: or
    thx for that great tut

  23. You are awesome. So now I understand how this rotating round stand for small models works. Its just a motor, sheet of round material with some non repeating pattern on it. So you put your camera/phone on the stand and do fast shots while the round stand rotates.

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