MakerBot 3D Scanner Usage

I recommend scanning a still object for your first scan instead of a person or face (faces are a little trickier to master!)

1. Dark Room:

-Try to find a somewhat dark room where there is no or very little ambient light. I had a lot of success in the botcave’s garage with most of the lights turned off.
-No background is best! I was in a huge garage with nothing behind the image for 20 feet. However, if you’re in a messy congested room, try to find a very black/unreflective sheet or object as the background; a black sweater seemed to work great for me.
-if you can't scan in a situation where you have a dark/no background. Bring the captured images into photoshop or some image editing program and black out the background on each scan, if you use layers you only have to do it for one image then copy and paste the blacked out portion into the other 2 files. you will end up with a point cloud that has virtually no background noise.

-ThreePhase can get a good 3D scan in ambient light conditions; however, there will be a lot of excess "noise" that may be difficult to clean later. In a darker environment, threephase should only pick up the object being scanned.

Here is one scan that I took in ambient conditions:
Everything outside of the face is excess noise

2. Setup your object on the floor or on a stand:

Anywhere so long as it DOES NOT MOVE. Start the slideshow on your device so that it projects from the pico projector. Connect your webcam to your computer. Below is an attempt to 3D scan Peter Griffin from Family Guy at my apartment.

Peter in the light


Peter in the dark


3. Adjust:

Here you need to be aware of a few things:
a. try to fit the entire object you want scanned within the striped lines (here is where portrait vs. landscape gets involved).
b. Depending on your webcam and your driver, you will need to TURN OFF auto focus, auto brightness, and whatever other auto features there are! (if possible), if not it is okay. Try to manually focus if possible to get a clear image of the object.
c. focus the pico projector so that the stripes are [somewhat] sharp. (the stripes should not be a perfectly black-white transition, however should not be super blurry/fuzzy). Try to make sinusoidal light-dark transitions instead of square ones. Here is a good example of the "focus" of the projector:

Below is Peter viewed on my computer via the webcam, as the striped patterns are projected on him:


4. Capture:

While slideshow is still running (or replay it), take three consecutive pictures of the object, each picture coming from each of the different striped phases.
-On macam, there is a flash button near the top left corner to take each picture
-On lifecam, there is a picture button near the bottom. (for lifecam, note that you can still take a picture even though the program seems to be frozen from taking the previous one)

Here are three pictures I took of Peter phase1, phase2, phase3 (note, I switched to portrait view)


-NOTE: IF SCANNING A PERSON, PLEASE do not look directly at the projector! The projector is very bright and may cause permanent eye damage! Close your eyes if your are being scanned

Get Your 3D Image:

1. Use the three pictures you just took and replace them with the three images within ThreePhase (the example 3 pictures in the img folder). Label them consecutively “phase1.jpg” “phase2.jpg” “phase3.jpg” (extension has to be lower case or it will not process)

2. Run ThreePhase.pde

3. ThreePhase should give you a crazy point cloud. Don’t be alarmed!

-From here adjust the decoding parameters.
a. zscew is usually the first thing I adjust. Try to find the point to where the object looks most like the object. You may have to rotate the image using your mouse to get a good angle
b. Noisethreshold changes the “light noise” So most of the time, this only adjusts the amount of background light, etc… HOWEVER, sometimes noisethreshold can completely scew your object, putting it in a crazy dimension. If your object does not resemble a 3D image even through varying the zscew, then try setting noisethreshold to zero.
c. Zscale simply changes the depth of the object (so you can make it realistic or unrealistic as you want in terms of depth)
d. Renderdetail gives you more or less points in your point cloud. Level 1 is the most detailed, level 4 is the least.

More viewing controls are shown at the bottom of this page below PeasyCam Controls

Here is what mine looked like before adjusting details


Here is what it looked like after adjusting to the following settings;

Noise: .10 ZScale:130 ZSkew: -11.0 Render: 1


3D Peter Griffin!

Spin it around, zoom in and out and admire your 3D image:

PeasyCam Controls

-A mouse left-drag will rotate the camera around the subject
-a right drag will zoom in and out
-and a middle-drag (command-left-drag on mac) will pan.
-A double-click restores the camera to its original position.
-The shift key constrains rotation and panning to one axis or the other.

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