Chapter 4: Scanning the Reality

Before we start

Before we start scanning, let’s get to know some basic scanning terms in FLUX Studio.

QUALITY

Choose from draft to high quality, the time will also vary.

CALIBRATE

Click to follow the guide in FLUX Studio to calibrate.

 

 How Point Clouds Work

The computer will measure the relative position of an object's surface with the red scanning lines by subtracting the pictures of the object with laser and without. The clearer the red lines are, the better the point clouds will be.

With laser Without laser Subtract

If there are changes to the environment (someone walks by causing shadows, light changes), the scanning process will be interfered. We'd advise that you restart the scanning for better results.

 

Preparation

Pull out scanner laser poles and the camera as shown below.

 

Place the scanne calibration tool in the middle of the turntable. Follow the steps in FLUX Studio to calibrate. 

 

 

Steps

Step 1: Place the object in the middle of the turntable. Please note that you have to remove the metal base plate.

Step 2: Make sure that the lightning is ideal. Let's repeat: The clearer the red lines are, the better the point clouds will be. The red lines will not be ideal When the lighting is too much or not enough, please see the images below:

(1) Too dark:

(2) Too bright:

(3) Backlight

With the right lights and the clear point cloud, we can continue to the next step: scanning.

 

Step 3: Check the result, if there's too much noise, please arrange the lightning and see if there are shadows.

 

Step 4: You can share the point cloud file to your friends or convert it to a mesh model.We will apply Meshlab's algorithm to FLUX Studio in the future. For now, users can export the point clouds to ASC files with the 0.6.1 version.

Right click on the point cloud and "Export ASC", use Meshlab to covert the file to a mesh model. Download Meshlab

 

Steps in Meshlab: 

1. Open Meshlab,click "Layer Dialog"

 

2. Drag the ASC file in and uncheck Grid Triangulation (very important!)

3. Preview the point cloud file

Next, 4 converting steps! 

4. Converting Step 1: Sampling

Click Filters > Sampling > Cluster Vertex Subsampling, enter 0.8 at the "perc on" column and click Apply (You will see minor changes).

5. Converting Step 2:Calculate the surface normal vector

Click Filters > Point Set > Compute normals for point sets,enter 12 at "Neighbor num" and 1 at "Smooth Iteration", click Apply (You will still see only minor changes).

6. Converting Step 3:Surface reconstruction

Click Filters > Remeshing, Simplification and Reconstruction > Surface Reconstruction: Poisson, enter 13 at "Ochre Depth" and "Solver Divide", 1 at "Samples Per Node", 0.7 at "Surface Offset",click Apply.

Simple introduction to these parameters:

  • Ochre Depth and Solver Divide indicate the precision of the reconstructions. The bigger the number, the more likely the conversion will be to the original point cloud, and the time will take longer. In general, we recommend 12 - 13 for best results.
  • Samples Per Node: The minimum amout of nodes needed to reconstruct, enter 1 for rough objects and more details, 2 for smoother objects (recommended on files with more noise).
  • Surface offset: the shrinkage during conversion, when the results look strange with opened convex surface, try adding 0.1 to it.

 

7. Converting Step 4:Surface reversion

Click on Flat to view your 3D model.

Sometimes you may find the model to be black, because Meshlab calculated the center of the object to be outside of it. Click Normals, Curvatures and Orientation, Invert Face Orientation, check Force Flip and click Apply, you should see the correctly converted model.

 

 

If you're interested in this model, you can download it in the attachments. Download file

 

8. Done!

For better results, you can try a better quality scan, or do extra scans with different angles and merge them before conversion. 

Now, you can click on File > Export Mesh As... and export a stl file to edit in another software or print with your FLUX Delta.

 

 Results (middle: original model; left and right: print with FLUX Delta)

 

Extra information:

The result of high quality scan (~20 mins).

 

9. About editing

There's a sculpting tool called SculptGL (http://stephaneginier.com/sculptgl/ ), it's totally free and the interface is similar to Zbrush.

 

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