The advanced features of portable devices make them excellent tools for scanning / presenting 3D data. The latest Apple devices can utilise their face recognition – TrueDepth – feature and the Lidar capability to achieve very useful results. Here are some Apps to try out if you have a suitable Apple device.
iOS Device 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.
Easy to use and free to export E57 point cloud files (not mesh models)
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
3D Scanner App
This app has two modes of operation; utilising the Lidar feature of the Apple Prop range, and also a photogrammetry function whereby photos taken with the phone around an object are uploaded and processed on their servers and downloading back as 3d models
- Not free but well worth paying for
- Updated and enhanced frequently
This is very useful – and free – 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
iOS – with TrueDepth (face recognition) Camera Technology
These apps are a little awkward in that they use the front facing camera to 3D scan – which means the phone needs to be held backwards making it tricky to see what is being captured. The scan resolution is good and works well for smaller objects.
- Free ( requires sign up)
- Number of scans that can be saved out is limited per month
- Cyborg Capture
- Not free
- Will also work with the LiDar sensor of the device has it
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
- Allows capture body motion capture as “skeleton” rig
- Creates FBX export that can be imported into Maya, Blender etc.
- Not free
- MobileCap on the App Store (apple.com)
Moves by Maxon
Free motion capture app – but will only export to Cinema4d (with quite a convoluted transfer procedure)