Photogrammetry Software

Reviews of Photogrammetry / Photo Scanning Software that let you make 3D Scans from regular Photos.

RealityCapture Review
3 weeks ago

RealityCapture Review

Next up in my series of Photogrammetry Software Reviews — after Autodesk ReMake and Agisoft PhotoScan — is Capturing Reality RealityCapture (yes, that’s the company and product …
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Agisoft PhotoScan Review
1 month ago

Agisoft PhotoScan Review

Part of my plan for 2017 was covering more Photogrammetry software. After Autodesk ReCap (Review) and ReMake (Review) it’s now time for Agisoft PhotoScan. It’s developed by the Russian Agisoft LLC, founded in 2006.

The software very popular with photogrammetry professionals in all kinds of industries and is commonly used to 3D capture digital assets for Film VFX and Game Development. For example, it was the main photogrammetry software for capturing environmental assets for Star Wars: Battlefront which I wrote about a while ago. It’s s also used a lot in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage.

PhotoScan is also used a lot for drone-based aerial surveying, but that’s not a purpose I’ll be covering in this post.

This comprehensive review focuses on using PhotoScan for capturing objects of all sizes, using various single-camera setups.

Expert Tips
I realize that my reviews are being read by beginners and advanced users alike. That’s why I’m trying something new with this post: I’m covering the basic workflow in the regular text and go into more advanced featured of PhotoScan in panels like this. Hope you like!
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Autodesk ReMake Photogrammetry Review
4 months ago

Autodesk ReMake Photogrammetry Review

Update March 2017:
The Mac version of Autodesk ReMake will be discontinued on March 31, 2017. The Review has been edited to reflect this.

In 2016 I’ve mainly reviewed dedicated hardware that can be used for 3D Scanning — or Active Reality Capture, if you will — from entry-level infrared depth sensors like the Structure Sensor and Sense 2 to the professional white light scanners like the EinScan-Pro and Artec Eva. The price difference between those is huge (from less than $500 to way more than $5,000) but more expensive 3D scanners can capture a lot more detail.

Structure Sensor (itSeez3D) vs. Artec Eva (Sharp Fiusion)

The difference in geometric detail between an affordable depth sensor and a professional handheld 3D scanner is clear: Structure Sensor (itSeez3D, 48.5k faces) vs. Artec Eva (Sharp Fiusion, 800.0k faces) (Click for Sketchfab versions)

But 3D scanner are not the only way to capture reality anymore. Passive Reality Capture technologies, like Photogrammetry, don’t require any special hardware. A camera and a computer will do. Even a smartphone — which is basically a camera and computer in one — can do photogrammetry when combined with Free Apps. That link brings you to one of the most-read posts on this website, because why would you pay for 3D scanning if it can be free?

Those apps, however, have their downsides. That’s why I’m starting a new series of reviews that will cover Professional Photogrammetry Software. First in line is Autodesk ReMake — previously known as Memento — which is available for Windows and Mac. As you might now, I have reviewed Autodesk ReCap 360 in the past. Or at least, the web-interface (that also works on Android) of that software. As a whole ReCap 360 is actually meant for working with laser scans — from the new (and awesome) Leica BLK360 scanner or others — and mix those with photogrammetry if needed. ReMake is purely meant for photogrammetry and offers a complete set of tools to generate, edit and export 3D scans made from photos.

Autodesk’s goal with ReMake is to make professional Reality Capture simple and affordable. Let’s find out of they have succeeded!

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3 Free 3D Scanning Apps that don’t require extra Hardware
12 months ago

3 Free 3D Scanning Apps that don’t require extra Hardware

Photogrammetry Apps Comparison:
123D Catch vs. Trnio vs. Scann3D vs. Seene vs. ReCap 360

Show Post Update Details
On 16 December 2016 Autodesk announced that all 123D Catch will be discontinued. As of January 2017, 123D Catch is not available for download anymore. You can still read my 123D Catch review here.

As a new addition to this updated post, I added Autodesk Recap 360 which isn’t an app but does have a web interface that works on Android making it a good alternative for the discontinued 123D Catch.

This post originally also contained the Seene app. But this has been discontinued since it was acquired by Snapchat and that review has been removed from this post completely because it didn’t offer 360° 3D capture anyway.


Dedicated 3D scanning hardware is getting more mobile as we speak. While Structure Sensor (Review), iSense (Review) and RealSense R200 (Review) and SR300 (Review) are still more tablet devices, recent and upcoming solutions like Google Tango, Bevel (Review) and Scandy Pro are meant to be embedded or clipped onto smartphones.

Did you know you can get an iSense at a huge discount on eBay and Amazon?

And that the iSense App for iPad and iPhone (Review) let’s you make an unlimited amount of scans — for free?

View eBay iSense Discount Deals with Internationl Shipping

iSense +
iPad Air Bracket*

*also fits on 5th gen iPad (2017)

iSense +
iPad Air 2 bracket**

**also fits on iPad Pro 9.7″
iSense +
iPad mini 2 bracket

Be sure to read this post before purchasing an iSense.

But while depth sensors are indeed getting small enough to be pocketable soon, pure-software photogrammetry solutions that can generate 3D objects from regular 2D photos are getting smarter and faster, too. So I started asking myself: Do consumers actually need dedicated 3D capturing hardware for their phones if just software can do the trick?

To test the current state of software-only mobile 3D scanning, I tested different smartphone photogrammetry solutions on the same object under the same circumstances:

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Autodesk ReCap 360 Review
1 year ago

Autodesk ReCap 360 Review

In this Review I’m testing Autodesk’s cloud-based “Photo to 3D”—or Photogrammetry—offerings: ReCap 360. Whereas 123D Catch is targeted at consumers, ReCap 360 is targeted at professionals. It has a few extra bells and whistles. Read on to find out if that means better results.

Update January 2017
Since Autodesk’s mobile app 123D Catch has recently been discontinued, I wrote a step-by-step tutorial about how ReCap 360 can be used on an Android Smartphone — a completely mobile workflow.

Check the new ReCap360 Mobile Workflow Tutorial

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Autodesk 123D Catch (Discontinued)
1 year ago

Autodesk 123D Catch (Discontinued)

Update 28 January 2017

On 16 December 2016 Autodesk announced that all 123D apps, including Catch, will be discontinued in January 2017. This has indeed happened and 123D Catch is not available for download anymore.

However, the announcement states that they  “are consolidating these tools and features into key apps such as […] ReMake.” So hopefully we’ll see a mobile version of that great PC/Mac software — which I will review soon.

For now, if you want to use Autodesks excellent cloud-based photogrammetry engine for free from a smartphone, you can use the ReCap 360 web app I reviewed, which also works on mobile browsers.

Or, if you really want a native app for iOS or android for mobile photogrammetry, check out my List of Free Photogrammetry Apps!

If you have any interest in 3D, you know Autodesk. The company is probably best known of its industry standard software Maya and 3ds Max, but also makes many, many more applications for creative technologists. Autodesk Animator was actually the first animation program I used back in the 1990s on my very first MS DOS computer (its 8-bit goodness makes me realize that we’re currently making a lot of trendy animated GIFs for our client’s online marketing at the animation studio I co-founded—nothing changed!). They also make nice mobile apps: I use Autodesk’s Pixlr app on a daily base to edit my mobile snapshots.

In this series I’ll review three other Autodesk solutions as part of my new mission to explore Reality Capturing: 123D Catch, ReCap 360 and Memento ReMake.

All three solutions can be used for Photogrammetry, a technique that uses a series of regular digital photographs to generate textured 3D objects. They’re all different interfaces that presumably use the same cloud-based 3D solving engine (using the Smart3DCapture technology licensed from Acute3D which is now owned by Bentley Systems).

I’ll take a look at them one by one, starting with the one that’s easiest to use for this first post: 123D Catch.

If you’re new to Reality Capture & Photogrammetry, this Review is also a great Tutorial for 123D Catch. Autodesk agrees:



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