Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Zed, the 10,000-year-old, nearly intact mammoth skeleton dug out of a construction site in L.A., got me cogitating, Jethro. Imagine being a paleontologist with a thing for mammoths happily clutching photos of this thing. Now imagine your excitement if you could scan those photos then measure a rib or something, maybe apply textures. Finally, see yourself making a CAD model or hard-copy prototype of Zed's rib. Way cool. That's the kind of unlimited potential you get with PhotoModeler photogrammetry software from Eos Systems.
PhotoModeler is designed to make the image capture, measure, manipulation, and export process as easy as it can be. All you need to make PhotoModeler work is a computer and a digital camera or some way to scan in a photo or video image. And you don't need a lot of money. About $1,300 gets you the software and point-fiddling tools you need to get high-density 3D models of scenes or objects.
So, what do you get for your money? Well, you get an easy-to-use application that does hard-to-do things for you. You get the ability to acquire accurate 3D models of objects, even organic shapes, in visually busy environments and natural lighting conditions. You get tools to measure for point, distance, length, and area. You get tools to add surfaces and textures to features. You can create NURBS surfaces. You can interactively view photo-textured 3D models. You can export images to a CAD or analysis system. If you have a camera, you can digitize an image for reverse engineering, modeling a structure, and what have you.
PhotoModeler also automates a bunch of steps in the process. For example, when you set up a photo shoot, use PhotoModeler's new RAD Targets. These provide references that PhotoModeler uses to create a measured-to-your-specs 3D point dataset of your subject automatically. PhotoModeler also helps calibrate cameras for scanning and stores the settings for automatic recall the next time you use that camera.
If you have any need for high-quality digital 3D models of real-world objects, or if you have always imagined reverse engineering a Stanley Steamer but all you have are photos, PhotoModeler might be just be the toolset you've been looking for. Photos, a computer, and it. Pretty easy.
You can read all about the features of PhotoModeler 6.3 in today's Pick of the Week write-up. Use the links to check out the videos, sign-up for a demo version, and what have you. Make sure to hit the link to Mike Hudspeth's review of an earlier version of PhotoModeler.
Read today's Pick of the Week.
Thanks, pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine