I have been testing out a lot of 3d-scanning apps for my iPhone 12 Pro recently. The Lidar sensor on the phone was one of the major reasons why I decided to make at least a temporary switch from the Android ecosystem to the iOS world. I’m especially interested in creating 3d-versions (or digital twins) of different rooms and spaces. Here are some of the apps I have already tried:
DotProduct ios app
3D Scanner app
ItSeez3D (iPad only)
Most of the apps in the list use the freemium model, where you can do a basic scan for free, but in-app purchases are often required at the export stage. There were two exceptions that were free from start to finish:
3D Scanner App and RTAB-Map of which the latter is open source.
I did some scans of the same space with both apps and the process was quite enjoyable with both. The quality was however somewhat more limited with the 3D Scanner App and in the end I was able to to get best results with RTAB-Map. So out of these scanner apps that I tested I would recommend RTAB-Map. It has versions not only for iPhone, but turns out it’s a very versatile app used for many purposes and it has also desktop releases for the major operating systems, including Windows, Mac and Linux.
I did experience some problems when I tried to do a really detailed scan. RTAB-map probably ran out of memory on my iPhone and crashed quite frequently when post-processing the scans. Luckily it turns out that you can simply export the database from the iPhone in order to do the processing on the desktop version instead. It might not be obvious at first how the RTAB-Map database can be accessed or exported on the iPhone, but you simply need to long-press on a scan in the library and choose “share”.
After you haved shared your database and downloaded it to your desktop computer, you can simply import it to the desktop version of RTAB-Map. I must say I found the interface to be rather confusing. For example, when I was looking for the option to export a textured mesh, the way to do it was to choose the “export 3d clouds” option, although one might thing that a mesh is not exactly a “cloud”. And there wasn’t a typical option to just “export a textured mesh” but you have to check the “meshing” checkbox and then the “texturing” checkbox for the texture options. And after that I actually had to close and the re-open the export to be able to see the “save” button. So quite quirky, but it worked out well in the end.
One more piece of information I want to share about using the RTAB-map on the iPhone: one time I had it crash right after a scan and at first I thought the scan had disappeared completely but after some searches in the “issues” page of their Github, I found out that some kind of recovery might be possible in the latest version. The problem was that I just couldn’t find any recovery option in the app interface. Finally I gave up and decided to do a rescan and when I chose to do a new scan, that’s when the recovery dialogue for the previous scan finally appeared and I was able to recover my crashed scan.
I have been searching through the webs for a long time for a good, easy to use tool for recoloring pixel art to a specified color palette. The perfect tool should make it easy and fast to test out different palettes for a provided bitmap image or a sprite sheet, but it should also make it possible to fine tune the color mappings and add new colors to the palette if needed.
This has provided to be a rather challenging task. Photoshop and other similar graphics programs do have the possibility to switch to indexed color which lets you force the image to a new color palette, but I find that workflow to be rather tedious and time consuming. Illustrator has the recolor artwork tool, but it works only with vector images.
I have been searching for a good workflow for testing out different color palettes for existing video game designs.
I have finally found a relatively pain free method of testing different color palettes and applying them to entire games. I will be making a video tutorial about this in the future, but before I get to that, I thought I would already explain the basics of the workflow.
Thanks to 3DTudor for this quick tip that can greatly speed up your texturing workflow! It’s based on first activating the Node Wrangler addon (comes with Blender) and then hitting shift+ctrl+T. The principled shader should be selected when you hit the shortcut.
Did you create some texture maps in Quixel and wanted to use them in Blender’s new EEVEE render engine? You plugged them into the principled shader but the outcome looked very different from what you had in the 3DO preview of Quixel? Maybe especially the metals looked way too dark and almost black?
Here is a simple workflow that seems to work pretty well between Quixel and EEVEE:
1. When you create your project, make sure you choose the metallness workflow.
2. Add your materials.
3. Export with the exporter into PNG files using the Metalness PBR (Disney) -preset.
1. Give your object a material with the principled shader.
2. Plug in the following texture map files into the following inputs in the principled shader:
-Albedo to base color
-Metalness to metallic (set node to non-color data)
-Roughness to roughness (set node to non-color data)
-Normal to normal map node and that to the normal input (set node to non-color data)
Now your metals and other materials should look pretty close to how they looked in Quixel 3DO.