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

 

Autodesk University: In the Can.

 

Thanks everyone who dropped by the Creative Studio this past week at Autodesk University in Las Vegas!

We had a great week and enjoyed talking to you.  There's lots of exciting things on the horizon for Autodesk and all our customers, and we're looking forward to next year.  

In spite of the apparent possibility of building a crossbow that will puncture a trash can with wooden skewers, we didn't even have any (serious) injuries from the Office Warfare table!  So all in all, we think it was a success!

Remember: "What happens in Vegas...", BUT if you have any great memories of the conference, let us know!

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused: Part 3

This week brings us the third installment in the 123D Creations series with Dazed and Confused. For this project London-based artist Yuri Pattison took a closer look at the Chelyabinsk Meteor that lit up Russia's sky for a brief moment in February 2013. He became fascinated with the subsequent "fragments of meteor" that appeared for sale on eBay at a much higher cost than other meteorites online.  

Using the photos from the eBay listings, Yuri created 3D models on 123D Catch, despite not having every angle necessary to create a perfect capture. He then printed 3D models of the meteorites, inconsistencies included, to emphasize the "example of traditional culture fetishizing the 'original' object,” wherein the representation of the object becomes just as valuable, if not more so, than the original object despite not being the real thing. Through 3D printing technology Yuri is able to bring his vision to life. See more details in the video below and by reading the Dazed article about the project.

 

In this digital age, there is no doubt that the lines between original and re-creation are becoming blurred. Yuriy states, "That's what's interesting about digital for me, and the possibilities of reproduction like 3D printing: the information contained and conveyed is the most important thing rather than copy vs original!"

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused: Part 2

Today we bring you part 2 of our installment on 123D Creations with Dazed and Confused. This week's focus is on world renowned artist Clement Valla. Clement has been a long time researcher into technology and its role in Fine Art and creative expression. When working with 123D Catch he became inspired by the "texture maps" that exist in the intermediary between capturing a 3D image and refining said image. 

 

 

Ultimately what Valla communicates is the apophenia, or "the very human tendency to see meaningful patterns in noise, such as faces in clouds," that exists in the 123D Catch capture process. For more details on this amazing project, visit Dazed online.

Merci Beaucoup! 3D Print Show Paris All Wrapped Up.

Whoo - after a long week of flying and chunneling, we ended a great week of 3D Print Shows.  London was very exciting, with people from all over coming to say hi and learn more about 3D modeling. 

Based in the Carrousel de Louvre, it was essentially a remix of the London show, only with a lot more French. By the end of the week, my technical (if not conversational) French was parfait, but fortunately, our awesome Paris Autodesk staff came by to help bridge the language barrier.

Some attendees were professionals looking for new ways to model, like with MeshMixer or 123D Make, others just wandered in from the Louvre, not knowing what they were getting themselves into.  But in all, the show was a success and it fit nicely in one of the oldest museums in Europe.

Thanks to everyone who came by - maybe we'll see you next year!

123D Creations with Dazed and Confused

By now you've likely heard about the brand new 123D Catch for iOS 7 - it makes turning photographs into detailed 3D models even faster and easier - read more about the improvements here.

To celebrate the release we want to share an amazing story that combines the technology of 123D Catch with the beauty of art by announcing 123D Creations! This project comes in collaboration with our friends over at Dazed and Confused, and together we embarked on a journey with four artists to explore their creativity using 3D design and printing technology. Over the next month we will share how the artists have used the Autodesk 123D suite to express themselves. 

For the first installation, artist Lawrence Lek opted to use 123D Catch to create a piece he calls "KI$$." Check out the video below to see how Lek transformed his vision into a tangible reality using 123D Catch.

 

 

Isn't that amazing? Head over to Dazed for more details, and don't forget to keep checking back here for upcoming projects over the next few weeks!

 

 

London 3D Print Show all wrapped up!

Thanks to everyone that came out to the 3D Print Show this year!  We met so many great people and companies, and we hope to stay in touch until next year.  These pictures show only some of the great things we saw, let us know if you you saw something we didn't.

A huge thanks to the show organizers and technicians for their work, we'll see you in Paris!

Tokyo Maker Faire

Maker Faires are in full swing around the world, and Autodesk 123D got in on the action this weekend in Tokyo, Japan, a city renowned for its history of innovation. 

Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, even got in the action, delivering a presentation on "the appearance of new manufacturing in North America."

 

The 123D team hosted an area equipped with MakerBots, iPads with all the 123D tools installed, interlock assemblies, LED badges, duct tape bags, a black rocket shelf, and even a 3D photo booth. 

 

 It's so rewarding to see firsthand how people incorporate the 123D tools into their personal creative expression. Thank you to the thousands of smiling people of all ages that came to visit and create with us! We can't wait to do it again next year, Tokyo Maker Faire!

 

Bring 3D Printing With You To College

We imagine our college-aged audience has spent the past few days and weeks getting settled into the joys of sharing a dorm room with strangers while navigating what it's like to live away from home. With all the details that come inherent to making that transition, it’s understandable when you leave something at home or think of something you need when it’s too late to get it.  

For example, perhaps you get to your dorm and realize your parents have supplied you with roughly one metric ton of pens and pencils, but nowhere to put them. They have already driven back home with their credit cards, leaving you to your own devices, but fortunately 123D and 3D Printing are there to fill in the gaps.

For example, instead of quietly stealing a pencil holder from your roommate, use 123D Catch to capture his/hers and print it, or select from the multitude of options developed by your fellow 123D’ers, like the cannon pencil holder picture here:

 

Courtesy of xyzebra 

If you’re a person who goes through lots of drafts, nothing is more satisfying than tossing out failed ideas. Spice up that process by using 123D Design to create, and then 3D print your own basketball hoop for the trash can, gamifying your editorial process.

 

Courtesy of Kazga_Fitteyai 

 Playing with a Frisbee (or novelty flying disc) is one of the stereotypical college activities that must be undertaken. Customize your own plastic disc in 123D Design and everyone will want to hang out with you.

 

Courtesy of CocaKoala 

One of the hardest parts of college is surviving homesickness, so we recommend you use 123D Sculpt to design and print your dog (or other pet). Having a small version of Fido with you in college is a great way to keep your home close to your heart, and realistically is probably about as far as one should go with pet ownership when it comes to dorm life anyway.

 

 Courtesy of Chuck Whitehead

So when you’re low on funds, which after all is the identifying characteristic of college students worldwide, consult Autodesk 123D to find and create quick solutions to life’s little problems. Whether it’s an issue of function, entertainment, or making friends, 123D is here to help.  Find your school's 3D printer and start filling your dorm room with the coolest stuff you can think of!

 

3D Printing Dinosaurs: The Future of the Past

Every so often we encounter people who end up stunning us with their ingenuity in the use of Autodesk’s 123D products. Check out the video above, and you'll know right away what we're talking about. As you can imagine, once we saw what Barry Joseph was doing with 3D-technology at the American Museum of Natural History, we knew we had to go to the source to find out more.

Fortunately for everyone, Barry was willing to share his time with us so that we could dive deeper into the cool projects he’s been working on. If you think about it, Barry is the reason why we do what we do: his creativity and desire to bequeath his knowledge onto the next generation inspires us to continue making the highest-quality, most accessible tools for him and those he teaches.

You may remember our interview with another paleontologist, Matt Christopher from a few months ago. Once you read on to see what Barry has to say about 3D technology, paleontology, and Indiana Jones, it will be confirmed that working with dinosaurs bones is pretty much the coolest job ever.

 

Dino-Hunter

 The Legend himself

 

Which is your favorite dinosaur?

 Chicken.

 

How are you using 3D technology (capturing, modeling, printing) in your line of work?

 We bought our first 3D printer (a MakerBot 2) this past January and spent Winter learning how to print found-objects from Thingiverse and create our own (like a simian skull) with 123DCatch. Convinced we could test its educational affordances within a two-week long summer program, we tested the concept by entering our Big Bone room and working with an Allosaurus' femur. The test worked: it took 20 minutes for two of us to get three strong captures, and another 30 to combine then into one print-ready fossil. We felt that was quick enough to scale into an educational program, and the learning curve we had to climb was within reach for high school youth.

 

What problems does 3D technology help you address?

 Both capturing and modeling helps us to teach youth how to closely observe.  Printing allows youth to touch and manipulate the untouchable. No one would ever give teens glue guns and ask then to combine real dinosaur fossils into a scientific model to demonstrate how they might have pursued prey or walked. But with 3D printers, we could do the next best thing. 

 

Do students and younger people have a natural affinity towards learning 3D technologies?

 That's hard to say. Is the current generation somehow more pre-disposed to problem solving in virtual 3D spaces than my own? I don't know. What I can say is that they seem to come with more of an open-mind (adults seeing our six printers often nervously quip about whether I can now print guns). And many (not all) have tremendous experience navigating 3D environments in high-end video games. At the same time, the most common response I get from adults who learn of our programs is, "Where can I sign up?"

 

Do you think 3D technology is accessible to all skill levels and ages?

 Eventually, yes. Sure, I can point to the 8 year-old whose Kickstarter campaign for a Thanksgiving-themed Chanukah menorah (both holidays coincide this year) began with him developing the model in the web-based Tinkercad then printing it on a Makerbot. Or my son when he was 5 designing a clock in SketchUp for his little sister's dollhouse. Or my 13-year old twin cousins who learned in just a few minutes how to use 123Dcatch on their iPhones so they could bring home their own 3D photos of our Museum's dioramas. But that would be misleading. 

The physical tools are pricey and clunky and the digital tools are free and, while miraculous, you still get what you pay for. I am confident the costs will come down, reliability will go up, and learning curves will smooth out - but until then you have to be willing to geek-out now and again if you want to get involved with digital fabrication.   

 

Have any of the students ever discovered something about the fossils that your team missed?

 No, but that would be crazy if they did. I am almost tempted to say they did just to start a new meme. Can you picture it? "Hey, did you hear some kids using 3D printers learned something about dinosaurs missed by the experts?" But of course, that is not the point. While scientists at the Museum and elsewhere DO use 3D scanners and modeling programs to advance science, when we put these tools in the hands of youth we are not asking them to contribute to science but to simulate what scientists do and their scientific practices. Even though they are working with real fossils, they are still far removed from the sophisticated skills developed by paleontologists to properly view and bring meaning to them. 

 

How was your experience using 123D Catch?

 123D Catch is so awesome. It relies on so much existing knowledge - how to turn on an iPhone, how to take a photo, etc. - that the digital fabrication components are relatively easy to teach and master. Youth need to learn the direction to take the photos, how much of the screen to fill with the image, and how to embrace background noise. But that's fairly easy. It still takes about two tries from a beginner to get a decent capture, and about 10 - 20 or so attempts before you can consistently get what I'd considered an excellent capture. And that's pretty good. 

 

Do you have any tips or tricks for people just getting started with 3D technologies?

 Read everything you can online, try things out, then watch videos, then read some more, then try more things out, then find a listserv or community where you can ask questions. Make something new and give it to someone you love. 

 

What’s next for 3D printing in your lab?

There are so many options on the table. We'll see what pans out over the next six months. Capturing Mammals, perhaps? We're already taken Capturing Dinosaurs to our Night at the Museum sleepovers, and planning for the World Maker-Faire NYC next week. Digital fabrication in our youth research programs, perhaps, and for the public in our learning lab. And more... but that's all I can say for now. You can watch for more details on my blog: mooshme.org and on my Twitter feed @mmmooshme.

 

And finally…Pick one: Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park?

 Indie, of course, as the character of Jones is inspired (albeit indirectly) by American Museum of Natural History's former director, dinosaur bone hunter, and adventurer-extraordinaire Roy Chapman Andrews (look it up!).

 

 

 

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