The advanced features of portable devices make them excellent tools for scanning / presenting 3D data. The pro level Apple devices can utilise the Lidar capability to achieve very useful results but there are also Android apps that will process photos via photogrammetry.
Many of these apps have web versions too – so you can upload images just via a web page and process them online.
Don’t forget: rubbish in = rubbish out! If you run around quickly and grab a video it just will not work out as well as a slow, considered, pre-thought out session – extra time and effort really pays off.
iOS Device (the Plus range) with Lidar
The Lidar sensor has a range of about 2 metres so these apps are not suitable for scanning buildings where the height goes above this. The results are perhaps not precise enough for exact work but it is a quick way of capturing a room and contents.
This app has two modes of operation; utilising the Lidar feature of the Apple Pro range, and also a photogrammetry function whereby photos taken with the phone around an object are uploaded and processed on their servers and can be downloaded back as 3d models. It also has a room scanning feature where it will generate scale floor plans – including furniture – which can be exported as DWG files for Autocad (and put each elements into layers)
- Not free but well worth paying for
- Updated and enhanced frequently
Easy to use and lots of editing features within the app – will export as mesh or point cloud.
This app is now free, and highly recommended if you have an iPhone Pro
This is very useful – and free – if you want an animated point cloud. However the route to get scans out so they can be processed on the computer is a little involved.
- “Animated” point cloud capture
- Captures each frame of the lidar scan as a separate PLY point cloud file
- These frames can be chained together to create an animation in Blender
- Record3D — 3D Videos and Point Cloud (RGBD) Streaming for iOS
- Not free
- Will work with front face recognition camera or the LiDar sensor of the device.
Android devices do not have lidar scanner but you can still use photos taken on them for use in photogrammetry
KIRI Engine – Android and iOS (and via Web)
This is the best Android photogrammetry app out there at the moment. It also has a very good room scanning feature that will generate a scale floor plan (with walls, doors, windows, furniture)
- Free for up to 70 photos in a scan
- You can scan as many models as you like but the free version just lets you have 3 exports per month
- Does not include any editing tools
- Exports as a OBJ file + material
- KIRI engine
Note you can also upload images via their website (once you have an account) and process straight from there.
Luma Labs – iOS and via Web
This is still a beta app but works very well – it uses a newer technology called NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) to capture objects from photographs. It is currently free if you create an account. There is an app for iPhone but the web version is easier to use – just upload photos or video via the web interface and it will process them. If the scan works you will be able to download them as an OBJ file.
- There is a PolyCam for android – it does not include the Lidar option like in the iOS version but will process photos for photogrammetry
- Lots of editing and export options
- It does allow a limited amount of scanning for free if you sign up
- PolyCam Android
Where a 3d object is superimposed onto or into a real space so you have a live view via the device’s screen
Reality composer by Apple
- view and manipulate objects superimposed onto real surfaces
- Adobe’s own AR tool – as an App or (beta) desktop tool.
- Supports interactive behaviours too
- Available for Android as well
- an essential App for showing off your 3d work.
- free for uploads below 50mb
- features a VR mode to support the phone being loaded into a headset for an immersive view
This is a free, entry level product that first uploads and analyses your movie clip of an actor (ideally against a plain background) and generates the rig that can be edited and then exported as an FBX or BVH file for import to the 3d modelling software. Does not have to be an iPhone, it will take any movie as an input. Runs on Mac or PC.
Moves by Maxon
Free motion capture app – but will only export to Cinema4d (with quite a convoluted transfer procedure)