What software for 3D-scanning?
The spectrum of 3D-scanning programs is really wide and growing every day. There is a lot of different features to consider: freebie or commercial, online cloud computing engine or traditional offline software, auto-retopology and mesh cleaning options, video importing, supporting various cameras RAW files, nod-based structure, advanced scripting and automation. Some programs are dedicated to specific hardware. We encourage you to test everything on your own. While working and trying different software you will surely find the one that fits your needs. For beginners, there are ways to process pictures into 3D-scan for free. You can check them out on your own.
Things we believe are important when choosing software:
- Check if the software works well with your camera. Professional programs have their own database of cameras (and lens) to support each in a slightly different way: correct lens distortion etc.
- Check the price and number of pictures it can process (sometimes one depends on the other)
- Check the speed and quality of final mesh
- If you have multiple sources for the same object (for ex. drone video footage + regular camera pictures) – check if the software can handle this
- Do you need retopology? Some programs have their own tools for that
- Do you need professional scripting to automate your workflow with many scans?
Here are some links:
PC desktop free/open-source software:
Some free workflows by Gleb Alexandrov and CG Geek:
Free Android apps:
3D Creator (free)
PC desktop commercial software:
Autodesk ReCap Pro
Other photogrammetry solutions:
We don’t know how many more different software and hardware (and dedicated combinations) solutions are there for 3D-scanning. For example, you can use Kinect device from your console. If you find something interesting, let us know 😉
After numerous software tests, for us, the answer is: Reality Capture. For us, no other algorithm delivers such quality at a comparable time. The software is really simple in use, lets you re-bake the textures on an imported model, can be scripted for automation, has tools to process and simplify the mesh, and internal simple animation workflow. Plus it lets you join different data sources (images, laser scans) and works very stably and fast. Have in mind that this is a very subjective choice; there may be some better solutions for you. RC has a free BETA version that doesn’t let you export any mesh. There are different commercial licenses with a variety of options unlocked.
So anytime we mention some software issues in this tutorial or give you screenshots, it’s going to be RC.
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