The waiting game
You start by taking lots of pictures, I’ve found it works better to not drop the resolution but as everything has to be uploaded this is a balance between quality an patience. My 76 images filled 246MB of disk space so I went off and did something else while the upload did its stuff.
The initial stitch looks pretty good
You spend a lot of time waiting while using 123D Catch. If you change the model resolution it gets re-stitched and re-downloaded. Most functions need you to log in and there are no cookies, so you'd better not forget the password.
What a mesh: same image shown as a mesh in Netfabb Studio shows how poor the stitching is – click for a larger image
The image you get back looks quite good. There are holes where the stitching failed and odd bits of background but as the 3D model is mapped with the image files it quite convincing. It’s only when you load the mesh into modelling software that you see that some of the joins are really pretty dreadful.
You can help 123D Catch by matching points between images. Typically, you use the tip of the nose, corners of the eyes and mouth, but points in the hair can be quite hard to match. Even when I’ve been very sure of the matching of points the results have been very poor. I’ve lost whole models and they are rarely better after being helped.
There's the Catch: you spend a lot of time looking at this screen
When you’ve matched points and uploaded them it takes about 20 minutes for the new image to be stitched and downloaded. This is not an interactive process. It’s a bit like waiting for code to compile, the first time you are glad for the break but by the third time it’s getting tiresome and you might need several goes after that.
It is possible to get 3D models out of 123D Catch
I’ve no doubt that with the right rig to capture the images, and taking pictures of the right kind of static objects, it’s possible to get great results from 123D Catch and you can get a much higher resolution than with the other cheap alternative.
Next page: Scanning the area
Re: I have to ask
It might not be 123D scan, but I heard that that has happened, and has been surreptitiously uploaded after adding a "shell" (in the shape of something innocuous) to the model, where the shell is too thin for any printer to actually produce.
i.e. download what you think is a statuette (for example), get penis.
Re: I have to ask
I'm sure there's a joke about a Trojan in there.
Sometimes in shopping centres you will see people selling little glass-like cubes containing tiny bubbles forming an image. Those that offer to place your own image in the cubes have a laser scanner that resembles a passport photo booth. The cubes start at around £10, and you should be to persuade them to let you have a copy of the .XYZ file if you have a memory stick.
It doesn't do the back of the head- or under the chin!- but 'hair' would need massaging before 3D printing anyway.
In El Reg's last 3d printing article, they made a small 2D vulture... since there is a stuffed vulture in the office, why haven't you scanned that with the Kinnet?
I must admit
I had a different vision of what this article was about with that title.
Wouldn't it be easier
To grab a bit of plastic and just chip away the bits that you don't want?