how To scan some­one in less Than 5 min­utes

Don’t have ac­cess to a pho­togram­me­try cam­era ar­ray? No prob­lem, these tips and tricks will show you how to cap­ture an ac­tor quickly with great re­sults

3D World - - FEATURE -

Imag­ine you’re on lo­ca­tion with lit­tle equip­ment and only a few min­utes with your ac­tor. Get­ting an ac­cu­rate scan and gen­er­at­ing a use­able CG model is now pos­si­ble with just a smart­phone and a lap­top run­ning Agisoft Pho­to­scan soft­ware.

La-based Emmy and VES Award-win­ning vis­ual ef­fects artist, Johnathan R Banta, from Agrapha Pro­duc­tions (http://, breaks down his five-step ‘Rapid­cap­ture’ pho­togram­me­try process, tak­ing ad­van­tage of pro­fes­sional tools.

STEP 1. GET the ac­tor ready

Have your ac­tor sit or stand (ei­ther is fine as long as they re­main sta­ble) and fix their gaze on a point in the near dis­tance.

Try to avoid di­rect sun­light or hard shad­ows. Our ex­am­ple here was in a room with flu­o­res­cent tube lights, but any am­bi­ent il­lu­mi­na­tion is fine.

Cloth­ing does not mat­ter too much, but try to avoid solid colours, es­pe­cially white, as the pho­togram­me­try soft­ware finds this harder to solve (in our ex­am­ple, the sub­ject did in fact have a white shirt on).

STEP 2. cap­ture your ac­tor

Use any cam­era app on your smart­phone (or use any cam­era). Try an app that lets you fix ex­po­sure for bet­ter re­sults.

In this ex­am­ple, we cap­tured a ‘hockey mask’ por­tion of the ac­tor’s face with just 15 pho­to­graphs fol­low­ing a ge­o­desic cap­ture pat­tern at a con­sis­tent dis­tance from the ac­tor. Start­ing at a 45-de­gree an­gle to your sub­ject, take a to­tal of 15 pho­to­graphs in a ‘pluscross-plus’ con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Johnathan R Banta (right) cap­tures the sub­ject, R Brent Adams, us­ing quick-fire pho­togram­me­try.

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