Photogrammetry is the process of converting photos of a real-world object into a digital 3D model. It’s an amazing tool for modders, engineers, artists, and more. There are many solid photogrammetry software packages out there, and I will be reviewing one of them: Autodesk ReMake. This product license can only be leased, starting at $30 a month. It’s also free for students who have a .edu email.
By examining the many photos, software like Autodesk Remake is able to ‘understand’ the object, and stitch the data into one coherent 3D model. This model then can be modified and utilized in digital media, video games, and even 3D printed. As one might guess, this technology is immensely useful. Sculptors can ‘clone’ their work with 3D printers, 3D modelers can ‘cheat’ and borrow from the real world, doctors can capture the exact form of a patient’s limb, and much more.
However for its strengths, photogrammetry also carries multiple weaknesses. Dozens of photos must be taken from every angle, and the subject must be well lit and remain perfectly still. Reflective and transparent surfaces prevent the software from properly tracking the geometry of the object. Simple, solid color objects (like a barrel), objects with deep pits and thin, and spindly objects (like whiskers and wires) pose further challenges.
Fortunately, there’s a few techniques that can be used to help mitigate these issues, and make objects easier to scan.