How to Capture a Person with 123D Catch

 

So you want to capture your friend or relative in 3D with your smartphone? You want to print it out in color for mini-me present? You can do this with 123D Catch, which is freely available for iOS and Android.

123D Catch captures of Aidan, AiR Pam and Carl.

 

The hardest part about this, though, is that the person has to stand perfectly still, which is nearly impossible for anyone to do. I've had some good results by using some of the tips below:

1. Have the person sit down. Use a chair that isn't going to cover their back too much, or use a stool.

2. Frame your photographs of the person from the chest up with a portrait orientation, so the top of the frame is just above their head and bottom of the frame somewhere around their chest.

Note: It is more challenging to capture a whole person, since the ground they stand on is not moving (for sure) but the person is moving/swaying slightly no matter how hard they try to hold a pose! This can produce a great model for the ground and surroundings, but some blurriness or distortion on the person.

3. Start by shooting photos from one side of the person (profile) and work your way across the face, then back to just before where you started. You should only do one loop around the person avoiding to reshoot any part of the face. A second pass on the face usually results in strange, split distortions or even a two headed person! As I go around the front, I usually make sure to get enough under the chin. When around the back I tend to make sure I get some top down photos to cover the top of the head.

4. Let the person you are shooting in on the plan that you will do one loop, and that it will take about a minute or so. I usually coach the people I'm about to capture by telling them:

  • Blink between shots (when I'm moving)
  • Close your mouth, avoid opening/clenching your jaw. (Holding a smile is hard to do and you may come out looking like the joker)
  • Be a mannequin.

5. Shoot as many photos as you can...QUICKLY BUT CAREFULLY. I usually get about 25-35 photographs in my loop around a person. Make a point to frame and shoot in good time while moving around a circular loop of the person. The faster you shoot, the least likely your subject will have time to move! Make sure not to compromise on quality however, as the photographs should not be blurry or poorly framed. The better the photograph, the better the model.

It took me some practice, but I can get consistently great results from these methods. Also, if you are not sure if the person moved (or they think they did) just start over!

When you are done, you can heal the capture for 3D printing in Meshmixer. Just log in to 123D within Meshmixer, and you will be able to open any captures you made with the app by clicking "Import...123D". Here is a video showing a typical workflow for how to heal the capture in Meshmixer.

For a color 3D print of the healed capture, export it from Meshmixer as an OBJ, which will also export the texture and MTL files. Zip them all up into a .ZIP file and upload it to a 3D printing service such as Sculpteo for a full color 3D print. I've had good success with either Sculpteo or imaterialise uploading the zipped OBJ, MTL and textures exported from Meshmixer.

 

Meshmixer 2.8 infiltrates 123D!

With the new release of version 2.8 today, Meshmixer can now officially consider itself part of the Autodesk 123D family of products. We've added the ability to open and save to and from your 123D projects within the app! For example, now I can open a creation from the the recently released 123D Sculpt+ inside the new Meshmixer app.

123D Sculpt+ creation by Adrian Cortez in Meshmixer

You can browse with different filters in the public 123D Gallery of projects, type in a search, or pull in your own projects you have created with the other apps for easy access to mix, sculpt, or prep for 3D printing.

For those who are missing our now retired 123D Catch web app for editing and healing, this is the new way to quickly open your captures in your account. Prepping the mesh for 3D printing will be familiar, as the same tools are available as were in the Meshmixer web app...and more!

Open and heal a capture from 123d Catch for 3D printing and sharing back to 123D.

 

3D print of AiR Pam in color

Meshmixer will show you any 123D models you've created and saved to your online account, whether they originated in 123D Design, 123D Catch, 123D Make or 123D Sculpt+. Saving the new "meshmixed" creation back to your account, either public to the 123D community or private for your own use is equally as easy!

Give it a try today! It opens up a whole new world of amazing 3D models to play with.

Make a 3D Printed Kit with Meshmixer 2.7

Meshmixer 2.7 was released today full of new tools for 3D printing. Here I use the new version of the app to create a 3D printed kit of parts that can be printed in one job, and assembled together with pin connectors.

To do this I used several of the new features to make this a fast and painless process. I dug up a 123D Catch capture I took of a bronze sculpture of John Muir. I found it in my dentists office, it turns out my dentist sculpted it. I thought I'd make my own take on it by slicing it up and connecting it back together so it can be interactive, swiveling the pieces around the pin connectors.

I made use of the new pin connectors solid parts that are included in the release (in the miscellaneous bin). I also used the powerful Layout/Packing tool to layout parts on the print bed as a kit of parts to print in one print job. Also, the addition of the Orthographic view is incredibly helpful when creating the kit and laying it out within the print volume of my Replicator 2X. An instructable is in progress with a how-to for a 3D printed kit such as this.

 

This new release has some other nice updates. Check em out below:

- New Layout/Packing Tool under Analysis for 3D print bed layout

- New Deviation Tool for visualizing max distance between two objects (ie original & reduced version)

- New Clearance Tool for visualizing min distance between two objects (ie to verify tolerances)

    - Under Analysis menu, requires selection of two objects)

- Reduce Tool now supports reducing to triangle count, (approximate) maximum deviation

- Support Generation improvements

    - Better DLP/SLA preset

    - Can now draw horizontal bars in support generator

    - Ctrl-click now deletes all support segments above click point

    - Shift-ctrl-click to only delete clicked segment

- Solid Part dropping now has built-in option to boolean add/subtract

    - Can set operation-type preference during Convert To Solid Part

    - Can set option to preserve physical dimensions during Convert To Solid Part

- New Snapping options in Measure tool

- Can now turn on Print Bed rendering in Modeling view (under View menu)

    - Must enter Print View to change/configure printer

- Improved support for low-end graphics cards

For your kit of parts, try out the new pin connectors included in the Misc. parts library. One is a negative (boolean subtract it when dropping the part). The other you can drop on the print bed for printing by itself. It fits into the negative hole. You can also author your own parts and they will drop at a fixed scale (so they fit!).

Let us know what kind of kits you create...maybe we can add in your connectors in a future release. (There's a free 3d print and t-shirt involved). Let us know at meshmixer@autodesk.com.

Have fun!!

 

 

123D Design, 123D Catch & 123D Make Web Apps Closing


Update: 123D Circuits and Tinkercad are not using the unsupported plugins so they will continue to thrive! The only apps that are affected are the three mentioned below.

If you have been using the web based versions of the 123D apps that run in your browser, you probably noticed that they have gone bonkers recently.

We're well aware and have been anticipating the need to shut them down as the plugins that allows them to run within the most common web browsers are no longer supported. So, today, we are sad to see our trusty web based apps go, they were a trusty platoon while they were here!

So, what to do?! 

The apps continue on with their mobile and desktop comrades, and we have some exciting ideas we're working on for the new year and we'll continue bring you these apps for your creative making needs. Here is where you can find them:

123D Catch: Our popular "photos to 3D model" app is available for your iOS or Android device for your capturing on the go. There is also a Windows desktop version.

123D Design: Quickly whip up 3D printable prototypes with the Mac and Windows desktop versions. Also, available for your iPad!

123D Make: We just released a brand new version of the desktop app (v1.6) and it is available for Mac and Windows. 123D Make will nest your slices for printing/cutting, which optimizes material usage without manual post processing.  You may also send a cutting job directly to your system printer/lasercutter. Try it!  Lastly, we built a "teaser" app for iOS which gives you a preview of what 123D Make can do!

So, we salute the web based apps and say goodbye for now. We hope to meet again in your "easy-to-get-to-web-based-form". Check back often here for updates to these and other apps we are working on to help you be creative!

 - 123D Team, Autodesk Consumer Group

Meshmixer 2.6 on the loose. Tubes!

Meshmixer 2.6 was released today by Autodesk with some nice additions for your 3D printing workflows.

One of the new features I've found fun to play with is the Add Tube feature which lets you route tubes through your 3D models. Its pretty interactive as you drag the handles around to define the start and end of the tube.  By default, the tubes are routed automatically through the inside of your model and cut out. Some parameters and alternate behavior is possible such as routing with straight lines, splines, inside or out of the model, adjusting the start and end size, and creating a separate tube object. It will even route around previously routed tubes in case you need multiple tubes. Some amazing work by Valkyrie Savage, an intern with Autodesk Research, went into bringing this feature to Meshmixer for this release.

Here is my first model using this feature: a (hopefully not offensive) DIY bunny sprinkler that shoots water out of its eyes!

Of course there are many other (useful) possibilities using this feature in your projects including routing circuits or electronics through a 3d model, or possibly 3D printing conductive material. See this video for more of what Ryan and his team have been up to.

  

Amongst other things, here is a list of what is included in Meshmixer 2.6, now on the loose!

  • Simplified 3D Print UI
  • Support for Dremel 3D Printer (printer/support preset, send prints to Dremel Idea Builder software)
  • (experimental!!) DLP/SLA support preset
  • New Orientation tool for optimizing print orientation to miminize support volume/area, and/or maximize print strength
  • New Add Tube tool for creating tubes through/between shapes
  • New Preserve Boundaries option in Smooth Boundary
  • New Allow Top Connections option in Support Generator
  • Brought back Strut Density option in Support Generator
  • Fix longstanding Axis scaling bugs in transforms
  • Face Transform & Soft Transform tools now infer local frame from selection, and can optionally have separate frame for each ROI

 

Download Meshmixer here....onwards fellow Makers!



 

 

123D Catch now on Android

123D Catch for Android is here!

Ever since we launched 123D Catch in late 2011, I've heard overwhelming requests from the Android community for a 123D Catch app compatible for their device. 

Today, I am happy to announce 123D CATCH FOR ANDROID IS HERE!!

See 123D Catch for Android on Google Play.

Its the first 123D app on Android by popular demand and compatible with most phones and tablets. So check it out!

 

Create captures on the go using your Android device, and edit them for 3D printing on your computer with Meshmixer.  All of your captures are saved in one place on your account at 123dapp.com.

 

Get comfy with Meshmixer!

Patterned Chairs

Patterned Chairs

Just when you thought you had mastered all of the awesome features and tricks in Meshmixer, here we have a new version packed with new stuff to learn. Don't worry...Meshmixer 2.5, released today, is packed with new 3D printing features you have requested so the learning curve should be easy.

Take for example the new Hollow tool. A common workflow for making your 3D prints efficient and practical to use, creating a hollowed out object is now easier than before with this tool. Also, there are options for leaving cylindrical holes in the resulting hollowed out object making it easy to remove any internal support material and creating access to the inside of your print (see below).

Hollow Tool  Section of Hollow Result

 The new Bridge tool is another welcome addition for Meshmixer users, especially if you are working with captures from 123D Catch or scan data. Sometimes the holes are too large to fix easily or as desired. With the new Bridge tool, you can now join two selections on the hole's boundary with a patch. 

Bridge Tool

Bridge Tool

My favorite new feature is making linear and spherical gradients when using the Make Pattern tool. See the pattern gradient above on the right hand side chair as the features transition from large to small.

The full list of features is below, so take a look and download the new version at 123dapp.com/meshmixer!

  • Menu reorganization/New Preferences dialog
  • 3D printing Services update: support multicolor workflow
  • 3D printing Services update: improvement in Shapeways workflow
  • Custom symmetry plane adjustment option
  • Update to feedback
  • 3D Printing Help Document
  • New Hollow tool
  • New Bridge tool
  • New Tube Handle tool
  • New Thickness analysis/visualization tool
  • Extensive optimization of generated support structures
  • Make Pattern Linear and Spherical gradients, improved sizing UI
  • New Select Visible command (under Selection / Modify)
  • Project Face Groups and Minimum Thickness options in Make Solid
  • VRML (.wrl) export (with vertex colors)
  • Misc. improvements to Smooth Boundary, Remesh, Drop Solid
  • Various tools now remember settings
 
For those of you new to Meshmixer, check out our YouTube playlist for Meshmixer 101. I'll be adding more this week covering some of the basics of Meshmixer to help you create amazing things to 3D print.
Have fun!!
Patterned Primitives

Patterned Primitives

123D Catch – improved quality and 3D printing workflows

 

Creating 3D models from your photographs just got easier today. 123D Catch V3 for Windows was just released with a notable improvement on project success and mesh quality, including a streamlined workflow for healing and 3D printing your captures in Meshmixer. Below I'll go into detail for how to use all the new features.


Most notably, there is vast improvement on automatic stitching of photographs you submit. In the previous version of 123D Catch the same set of photographs below, of the Hindu Deity Vishnu at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, required manual stitching those photos that weren't automatically stitched together. This new version has no problem automatically stitching all of the photos I've submitted. Gone are the days of manual stitching! Hurray!

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF

Capture of Hindu Deity Vishnu at Asian Arts Museum in SF.

All of your captures are all stored in your account at 123dapp.com, so you can create captures on the go with the iOS app, then open them for further refinement on the desktop app. Below, I regenerate a denser mesh focused only on the sculpture by lasso selecting only the sculpture, then clicking Generate Mesh in the toolbar. This will only regenerate the selected area at a quality you decide (choosing Max will have more details at the cost of longer processing time and a larger file).


Finally, clicking File...3D Print...will load the capture into Meshmixer where you can heal and prepare your capture for 3D printing in a variety of materials with a 3D printing service or right on your own desktop 3D printer at home!

3D printing capture in Meshmixer

Hindu Deity Vishnu in Meshmixer, healed and with support structures for 3D printing

We are seeing some amazing and very unexpected captures coming in from our friends in the 123D community. The new 123D Catch desktop app will help even more whether you use the iOS app or shoot photos with your own camera. Need some tips or help on shooting just the right photographs for 123D Catch? Try here for some pointers.


I leave you with some of my recent favorite captures folks have shared in the gallery, for inspiration to create your own. Have fun!!

World Cup Trophy

World Cup Trophy

Hayderik on the Grass
Hayderik on the Grass

 

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

Falla Lo Rat Penat 2014

 

Meshmixer 2.4: Collect the Gold, Silver, AND Bronze

 

Autodesk Meshmixer 2.4

Autodesk continued the full court press on 3D printing today with the release of Meshmixer 2.4. Most notable with this release is the integration of direct printing to popular 3D printing services: i.materialise, Sculpteo, and Shapeways. 

The integration of the printing services within the 3D printing section now allows you to print in nearly any material including food safe ceramic, jewelry quality gold and silver, and the lower costing plastics and polyamides in different solid colors to name a few. The pricing is interactive, so one can easily size up a model with the material of their choice and get an instant quote from the printing service within Meshmixer. Making the object smaller will make the 3D print less expensive, which makes it easy to bargain for how much you want to pay to see your creation made real. See the video below for a quick workflow of healing a 123D Catch capture for 3D printing in a silver material with a 3D printing service. A new playlist of videos here, called Meshmixer 101 will get you up to speed with the basics of working in Meshmixer.

 

Creating, editing and printing to any 3D printer is a breeze, especially if you have a Type A Machines "2014 Series 1" printer. Meshmixer can send prints directly to your networked 2014 Series 1 3D printer, eliminating the need to fumble around with memory cards. Thanks to the folks at Type A Machines for their collaboration!!

 Meshmixer Patterned Logo with Bunnies

 

Meshmixer also adds some powerful new Patterning techniques with this release, examples shown above, which creates a border based on FaceGroups. We've been having a lot of fun with this new technique to easily create variations of existing models in our library....CHECK IT OUT!

Autodesk Meshmixer for YOU

We've been ramping up our Meshmixer production lately and released a new update with YOU in mind. See, we are gathering all of your feedback and suggestions and adding it into the application. We are especially excited for the new 3D printing workflows that are coming with each release, some examples below.

Patterned Bunny Pack

Make Slices  

Many of you requested to have 3D printers that we did not list in the pre-populated list of 3D printers. We heard you and decided to let you add your own 3D printer so you can layout and arrange a print job for your specific machine. Its fairly intuitive to set up if you at least know the build volume of your 3D printer.

Here is a list of what's new in Meshmixer 2.3, released yesterday, April 21st:

  • New add/edit custom printer so you can prep your 3D prints for any 3D printer
  • New Make Slices tool: Slice an object into a number flat slices. Two techniques: Stacked or Stacked3D
  • New drag/drop solid objects in addition to parts. Addition of primitives category
  • Added part categories to the Meshmix panel to accommodate growing libraries of parts and solids
  • New Separate Shells tool to separate combined but separate geometry into separate objects
  • Better naming of newly created objects from duplicate, separate, etc…
  • PLY binary format support (which is handy for importing the per-vertex color meshes coming in from depth cameras)
  • 3Dconnexion space mouse support
  • Lots of bug-fixes and stability improvements

By the way, it is now even easier to give us your feedback and suggestions directly from the application! You can see a new menu item named Feedback that you can use to send feedback (good or bad) directly to the developers. With this, you might possibly define some of the next features in the upcoming releases!

How do you use Meshmixer? What would you like to see next?

Pendant

Pendant designed in Meshmixer. A multi-material print on a Stratasys Connex machine