Smartphone cameras have become advanced over the last decade. With each additional technology added comes new features, one of the more function-oriented ones being 3D scanning. New smartphone technology stacks on features of previous version releases.
Android and Apple ios users are treated to multifaceted futuristic-like devices that a decade ago would have been unimaginable to scale down to a device that could be held in the palm of the hand.
This article will teach us about 3D scan with Android phone. We will also learn the features available with 3D Scan apps for Android. Finally, we will look at why certain 3D scanners for Android devices are better than others.
3D scanning creates a virtual or digital representation of a real-world object or person. When something is 3D scanned, every surface point of the target from all sides is captured. Image sensors see and analyze every contour, shape, curve, and plane of the original to more or less perfectly recapture its shape and form as a three-dimensional digital asset.
After scanning, the generated graphics are saved as a 3D digital file in an obj or ply format, which can be used on several graphical applications supporting its saved format. Thus, you can add the new digital asset to any project you may be working on, use it on a virtual reality (VR) application, print the image using a 3D printer, or even edit the asset itself if you want a touch-up or change a few of its properties.
While 3D scanning was previously exclusive to specialty hardware, nowadays, the quality of mobile cameras is enough that smartphones can recreate the same capabilities using an appropriate application.
3D Scanning Objects with an Android Phone
3D scanners for Android require the android device to capture views on all sides of the target object. This is unlike professional 3D scanners, where multiple cameras are set up, or the cameras do the round work of moving around the target to scan all its sides.
The positive side is that using the 3D scanner app is generally very intuitive, with some apps even providing step-by-step procedures at each angle shift.
Aside from these main differences, there are also several other things of note when you 3D scan with an Android phone:
- Make sure that there is more than sufficient lighting in the area. For indoor 3D scanning, use lights that diffuse as evenly as possible around the object.
- For objects that have very complex surfaces, always keep every angle well-lit. Do not scan a side that could potentially create shadows (darkened areas), which will affect the quality of the final 3D image.
- Keep the phone at a more or less even distance from the subject at each angle. This is to help better recreate the original proportions of the object as much as possible.
- Beware of 3D scanning objects with few defining surface features, such as flat objects. These may not be represented properly as digital assets, as the scanner doesn’t have much lighting data to infer.
- We also don’t recommend 3D scanning moving objects, no matter how slow or fast it moves. How light interacts with an object in motion can vary wildly, resulting in inconsistencies with the final 3D object.
As for 3D scanning people or human subjects, one simple way to get consistent results is to start scanning from one ear and then finish at the other. Of course, this tip includes observing the rest of the other previous pointers as well.
How Accurate Are 3D Android Phone Scans
First, professional-grade 3D scanning technology will always be much better and more consistent at scanning real-world objects than any 3D scanner smartphone app. That being said, the level of quality for the mobile versions is more than acceptable for general use.
First, this is due to the advanced development of photogrammetry for mobile applications. And second, cameras on smartphones have gone a long way to the point that they now exceed the quality of dedicated entry-level digital cameras.
This means 3D scanners for Android will generally be efficient enough at using high-quality 2D photos, analyzing them, and then using AI to convert any depth information as accurately as the app can.
Of course, your mileage may still vary depending on the specific model being used. Android phones, after all, don’t have the same specs, and each camera configuration might differ vastly.
As a pointer at least, so long your Android phone is made in the last five years or so, the phone and its supported 3D scanning apps should be advanced enough for the job.
What Are the Benefits of 3D Scanning with Android Phones?
There are many benefits of 3D scanning with Android mobile phone. One benefit is that it can be used for scanning large objects to create a model of an object. This model can be used for 3D printing or for other purposes.
Another benefit is that it can be used to create a 3D model of a person. This can be used for making a statue or for other purposes. Finally, Android phones can scan objects in 3D to be viewed from all angles. This is useful for viewing objects that are hard to see from one angle, such as sculptures.
Android phones can also be used to make 3D models of objects. These models can be used for 3D printing or viewing on a computer.
3D scanning of an object is similar to a regular photograph but with a few key differences. First, you’ll need to download a 3D scanning app to your Android phone. Once the app is open, you’ll need to position your phone so that the camera is pointing directly at the object you want to scan.
The app will then instruct you to move your phone around the object, keeping the camera pointed at it the entire time. As you move your phone, the app will take multiple photos of the object from different angles.
Once the app has finished taking photos, it will stitch them together to create a 3D model of the object. This model can be rotated and viewed from all angles like a real object. You can also export the model to a computer or 3D printer.
3D scanning has many potential benefits. It can be used to view objects that are hard to see from one angle, such as sculptures. It can also be used to create 3D models of objects, which can be used for 3D printing or for viewing on a computer.
Best 3D Scanning Apps for Android
Qlone is an all-in-one app that 3D scans objects and edits them with good customization. It is currently one of the best image-scaling scanning apps, as it can max out object details at 4K resolution.
Unlike most other 3D scanners for Android, however, it requires specially printed paper, which can be downloaded at the app’s official website. This enhances the positional tracking of the app by providing specific dimensions and by isolating the target object so that no unintended region is scanned accidentally.
At its editor, users can merge scanned sections or resize a particular region to suit their 3D modeling needs. The finalized digital asset can then be saved with the appropriate format to be exported to other 3D programs.
2. KIRI Engine
KIRI Engine is another all-in-one 3D scanner app for Android that can produce highly detailed digital models, enriched by vibrant color reproduction with little to no artifacts, even in somewhat trickier-to-scan environments.
Most of the app’s image processing capabilities are relegated to its dedicated cloud server, so the only hardware spec the user needs to worry about is the camera sensors. Given good enough snapshot quality, with different depth-sensing features, you can 3D scan complete details of an object’s surface in no time.
There is a premium version of KIRI Engine, but thankfully no feature is excluded from the free version. You simply get a bigger photo gallery limit, higher server prioritization, and unlimited coupons for scan exports (as opposed to three per week).
Polycam spices up traditional photogrammetry methods of 3D scanning by adding a LiDAR mode to its list of features. Using this mode, you effectively use the camera in “video recording mode”. This results in faster scanning and processing of anything that hits light in front of the camera, at the cost of considerable quality reduction to the image.
As for its regular Photo Mode, its performance is as expected. Take as many pictures as you can from all angles, before sending them to the app’s dedicated servers for processing. The exportable 3D image asset should be more than enough for any CGI project of standard scale.
Other features include Room Mode, which creates interior design structures like other environment-scanning features on other 3D scanners. A dedicated Polycam community portal could even share these assets directly to be downloaded instantly by other users.
This 3D scanning app is perfect for Android phones with many depth-related sensors as it will effectively utilize all of them to recreate the 3D digital image. There are also several capture options and data filtering features that fully customize the 3D scanning experience. It even has a pointcloud feature, perfect for directly transferring the completed assets for any 3D modeling project.
Basic editing is provided with the app. While rudimentary, you can at least play around with color settings and other standard image correction options.
Apart from scanning objects, 3D Live Scanner can scan entire spaces, such as the walls of a room or the contours of an entire table space. These digital assets may also be saved into different appropriate formats to upload and use on other related 3D modeling programs.
This app is specifically for scanning shoes only. Yet, even with such a very niche use case, this one gets a special mention for being one of the best apps for reproducing its intended 3D models. The keyword is “photo-realistic”. It’s not just the contours and shapes; color reproduction is perfectly on point.
All of its features combined create a 3D model that feels as if it was the original asset used to design the shoe in the first place. You can view and zoom the scanned image, as well as rotate the image to whatever angle that the user needs or wants. Importing the 3D model will require a subscription, however.
The company, Nextech AR Solutions, doesn’t specifically indicate limitations for the app, so ARitize360 may also be used for other marketing purposes. Remember that it is still optimized for product entry creation, so any random idea may not apply.
Professional-grade 3D scanners, while producing significantly better digital assets, are significantly more expensive and have physical limitations that prevent them from being universally usable. As such, 3D scanner apps for Android become the more affordable option and the base default, especially when you want mobility with your 3D scanning process.
The app is available in the palm of your hand with just a flick on the touchscreen. Regardless of the Android phone’s specification, it only needs to use its mobile camera sensors as effectively as possible. There’s the tedious chore of moving around yourself to gather image data, but it is a worthwhile trade-off.
Aside from the hardware being convenient, sharing scanned 3D data is also very efficient. Most of these apps already have default importing features, allowing files to be saved with universal 3D model formats and reaccessed on other 3D modeling software.
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If you have a modern (preferably mid-range) phone within at least five years or so, chances are that you already have decent phone camera sensors to use good 3D scanner apps for Android. Most of these are free to use, so you can simply test things out to see how good they can be before setting out on more ambitious phone-based 3D modeling projects.
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