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.
In April 2016, 3D Systems (quietly) released the Next Generation Sense 3D Scanner—also referred to as the 2nd Generation, 2nd Gen, Sense 2—which uses the new Intel RealSense SR300 3D Camera hardware and promises better color textures, among other things.
In this post I’ll guide you through my discoveries with the Sense 3D Scanner. It is sold by 3D Printing company 3D Systems. It used to be part of their consumer-focussed Cubify line of products that also included the Cube 3D Printer, but the complete Cubify brand has been discontinued in December 2015. I’m sure they won’t be producing new ones, nor update the software, so this review is probably the final state of the product.
The Sense retails for about €400-€450 here in the Netherlands. The question of course is: is it worth that money? And what are the advantages compared to capturing objects with a free mobile app—which I found out works really well.
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.
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:
This works well as a tutorial as well, thanks Nick! https://t.co/xoglguB4aX
— Autodesk 123D (@Autodesk123D) February 17, 2016