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I’ve decided to use all my equipment and build a full body 3D scanner without investing too much money. In fact I only had to pay 200€ extra for two kit lenses. As a photographer I have a few camera’s, tripods and flashes. But I calculated you can build a rig like this one for 3500€. (5000€ if you include a fast computer and a standard Photoscan licence)

After capturing and processing with Pscan, I cleaned the mesh and sculpted details for 3-4 hours in Zbrush.

How does the rig work? I’m using 3 different camera’s: a Nikon D80 with 18-55mm (still surprisingly good quality), a D7000 with 18-55mm and a D700 with 85mm lens. Mounted in a vertical row, separated evenly:

Photogrammetry-Nikon-Rig-Photoscan-Turntable-3D-Full-Body-Scanner (5)

I took pictures while my coffee was still full, strange because lately, I’m totally addicted. Ok. So lighting: You can see a single umbrella diffuse flash on the pictures, but I’ve discovered Pscan can’t align camera’s automatically with this setup. It works better if you use two flashes each on a side of the subject.

Photogrammetry-Nikon-Rig-Photoscan-Turntable-3D-Full-Body-Scanner (1)

The next ingrediënt is a large turntable, capable of turning a person of up to 100kg:
Turntable based Photogrammetry scanning requires a model to hold a steady position for 30 sec. If this cannot be achieved, artifacts will occur in the Pscan process.
Capturing simultaneously with  36 or more camera’s in a circle around a subject provides more accurate scans. See Lee’s rig from Infinite Realities for examples.

Photogrammetry-Nikon-Rig-Photoscan-Turntable-3D-Full-Body-Scanner (2)

Another important task before stitching/aligning photos is masking the background. And when you produce 60 photo’s per scan, you want to mask automatically.
…So I created a pure white background. How?

Photogrammetry-Nikon-Rig-Photoscan-Turntable-3D-Full-Body-Scanner (3)

With a flash head illuminating the space behind the backdrop!

Photogrammetry-Nikon-Rig-Photoscan-Turntable-3D-Full-Body-Scanner (4)

By now you will ask: How do you trigger the camera’s simultaneously and sync them with the flashes?

It’s a problem I’ve been dealing with for a long time. In the past I was forced to work with continous light but after some experiments I found a way: Long shutter times!

The camera’s are all triggered at once by a remote control (Pawn will do). But to compensate for the different timings the shutter speed is reduced to 1/15th of a second (or lower).

That way, the camera’s are all open when the flashes go off. Keep in mind, this only works when using strong flashes and high aperture / low ISO settings.

Next, more results! Rendered with Otoy’s powerfull Octane render:

Mark Florquin 3 Male Photorealistic Characters Turbosquid 4

Full Body Scan Photoscan Agisoft Photorealistic nikon Rig Photogrammetry

Mark Florquin 3 Male Photorealistic Characters Turbosquid 4

I hope you enjoyed this “how to”. Have a fun time building your own solutions! See you soon,


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • wouter braem says:

    Nice result. Did you ever try the mephisto scanners?

  • Thomas says:

    I really like your limited cost/good quality approach. Lee’s 115 cam setup is the high end of the industry, hardly affordable for most of us.
    I’m just wondering what the best speed of the turntable might be? I found a supplier for low cost 0.8 and 2.5 rpm turntables… Tx

Mark Florquin - The holographer