By Marc Fredrickson
To state my bias first. I’ve never much been a fan of photo stitch programs. With Autodesk’s release of 123D Catch I thought I’d check in to see the current state of the software. I downloaded and installed the software easily and smoothly. I used my Autodesk ID to sign in—which was nice that I didn’t have to have yet another login. I watched an intro video. It was interesting. I then jumped in thinking I’ll try to capture one of my son’s toy tractors.
I thought, hey, I’ll use a solid color background, a blue bedspread, and move the object. After uploading the pictures using 123D Catch and waiting not to long I got a model.
Oops. All I got was the blue bedspread. I guess I’d better watch more tutorials. It turns out I wasn’t supposed to move anything. The software uses reference points in all of the pictures to figure out the model. So after learning more I decided to set the toy on my camera tripod so that I can get more views of it. This way I won’t have to do as much clean up after the model is captured. Oops, the model I got looked like the Star Trek teleporter got messed up. But hey, the ottoman looks pretty good.
I thought I’d try it a third time. The video said that lighting is important. I thought I’d try taking the photos in a different room with less contrasted light. I as well tried the keep the camera shots at the same height and distance away from the model as I circle around. The third try didn’t work out so well either. The resultant model didn’t include the toy tractor.
Many of the photos weren’t used—I think it could be that there wasn’t enough ambient light.
Here are photos of the three setups:
In the end I’m not sure what to try next. The toy surfaces aren’t glossy or reflective—that’s a no-no. Maybe it’s too small and all too yellow. But I’m not so excited about trying again. It’s not the kind of thing that makes me want to try again. Most of the examples of models captured tend to be convex blobbish sculptures. I don’t have an interest it that. I am interesting in capturing a room, but why. I think I’ll just model it from scratch so that I can control the polygon densities.