Turn 2D photos into 3D model for free
Mike McLeodCAD/CAM/CAE 3D Autodesk
Online Service, Autodesk 123D Catch, converts uploaded photos into textured mesh data.
Modeling from scratch is almost always the best approach but sometimes an object may be too irregular or intricate to reproduce accurately. Unfortunately, the online service previously featured here, Hypr3D, has gone into hiding since being acquired by Cubify (3D Systems).
However, Autodesk has its own cloud-based solution called 123D Catch which works in essentially the same way as other photogrammetry applications. 123D Catch can be run as a desktop application, through a web browser or as an iPhone/iPad app. After creating an account, the first step is to snap a series of pictures (approximately 40-70) around the object in 360 degrees. Once uploaded, Autodesk’s 123D servers create a mesh and apply the images as mapped textures.
Once created, the 3D data can be viewed online and downloaded as a low-, medium or high-resolution mesh file along with applied .jpg textures. The 3D data can then be opened, viewed and edited by most 3D applications including open source Mesh Lab or using one of the other 123D applications. In addition, the 123D web site offers the option of producing a 3D printed model.