I decided to try an artistic use of my3dscanner. The goal is to make a sort of a relief for visualization and perhaps for physical creation. I will be using only free software for the whole process. This is my workflow:
1. Composition and scanning
My3dscanner works with textured objects only. Fruits have some texture from close viewpoint. Fruits are usually glossy, so the lighting must me strong but ambient. I put fruits on a piece of a dark cardboard (black is almost impossible to scan, but this is not important as almost no cardboard is seen. Actually it was a mistake to use a black background but I realized it too late). To increase texture I added some leaves and twigs of a lowan. Then I put my nature-mort on a sort of a table made from my office chair (this is ugly construction, I know!) to have a good access around the scene.
My office has good ambient light, so I didn’t do anything extra. I took 40 photos around the object with my 8 MP camera at a landscape mode to make sure there is a good depth of view. I took 30 photos at a sharp angle from the top and 10 shots from a little more blunt angle. My3dscanner is very sensitive to the angle. It doesn’t work well at opaque angles. I did not use a stand, but I tried every shot to be in sharp focus. This is also important that an object covers most of the view. This is one of my typical shots.
I got a point cloud of 900K points with 100% fusion rate (I always get 100% unlike most of the users. Maybe I need to improve my3dscanner scanning guide?).
2. Initial results
I downloaded both mesh and point cloud to my computer and quickly put them together in Meshlab (here are instructions how to do it). These are snapshots of my results:
I guess there are some good news and bad news about the project. The good news is that overall the scan is not bad.
There is a bit longer list of problems:
a) I need to cut off unwanted parts and decimate the model (it has 1.5 M polygons!)
b) The surface of the fruits needs to be smoothed, there is a lot of noise from scanning (because of glares, shadows, bad focus, blurring – anything bad in the model is just inherited from my not great photographing). On the other hand, some parts like leaves have been smoothed too much during Poisson reconstruction and need to be sharpened. So some sculpting will be needed.
c) The colors are missing on some parts so I will need 3D painting. Note my model has “vertex colors”, it’s not yet a texture, but it’s as good for painting as a texture.
I am not a big expert in mesh editing, 3D modeling and rendering. You probably know much better ways to edit the model. I personally like and use three great pieces of software: Meshlab, Meshmixer and Blender (this mesh is too big for Sketch Up). I will use all of them for this project just to have more fun. I think in reality Blender can do everything I need. The problem is I am not that handy with Blender yet…
3. Mesh editing
Since I merged point cloud colors with mesh in Meshlab, I stayed with it for a little longer. The problem with Meshlab is that it doesn’t have selection tools like lasso or brush, so I did only initial unwanted parts removal in it. I have also decimated the model in Meshlab. What Mehlab does very well, is format transformations. I saved my cut and decimated model as .ply. This will enable me to directly import it in Blender and Meshmixer (initial edit and export procedure in Meshlab is similar to the one described here).
Meshmixer is very intuitive. It’s smoothing and adaptive triangle reduction tools work great. I particularly like how Meshmixer repairs boundaries. Lasso and laser lasso tools make selection easy. Now I can really erase complex parts. So I spent some time with my model in Meshmixer until I got this:
Then I imported my model into Blender (still as .ply). It has extensive tools for mesh processing, sculpting and painting. I started with boundary extrusion. Now my model looks more like a shell. Unfortunately new extrusion wall appeared to be black, so I have to re-paint it.
I just wanted to change colors on some fruits. There was color noise from scanning which I wanted to get rid of as well. I started to blend some colors in Blender, but then I recalled there was a similar tool in Meshlab. I opened Meshlab again and it’s Z-Paining functionality worked great as well! Note I keep decimating the model, it is only 200K triangles now.
What have I ended up with? I guess this looks like a mold (I need to thicken the shell, of course).
I am not quite happy with my result. First, composition isn’t good. Secondly, black background was a mistake, it added some messy colors to the scene. And thirdly, I need to improve my skills in 3D software.