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'3D Portrait of my Niece'


By David Zaxis.

David writes:

I focused this animation test around realism. I still have a ways to go, but its close enough for me to consider done. :)

I photographed my niece (360 degrees) and used 123d Catch to create the model and texture. I did a lot of model and texture clean-up and modification in Blender. I rendered using Cycles. Most of the effect comes from the texture map, which is very flat and takes different light set-ups pretty well. All the compositing was done in Blender, which has a pretty sweet compositing system.


About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


    • I used it once about a year ago or so and as far as I can remember there was only direct model export available (e.g. .obj, .dxf) and no Camera positions have been exported.
      But it should be possible to write an importer for Blender, if they use an open file format.

  1. not bad... it's based on a 3d scan though... Of course it's still hard to make it look so good in the render I guess, but isn't most of the work just generated? I'd love to see a model like this one hand made.

    • It is not uncommon to use reference photos when going for photo-realism. Having them transferred into a textured 3D base mesh by software may be a time-saver, but doesn't take away any of the creative work that follows to create a high quality model.
      Once you start working with 3D seriously, you will appreciate any technology that helps you to get where you want to go, believe me. Try blender - it's free! ;-)

  2. Great work, thanks for posting this. I will definitely give 123d catch a try. Did you scan half of the face and mirror it over? Eyes and ears look remarkably symmetrical for a real face.

  3. AN-ima--ti-coide on

    Looks like a very nice model, however we would need to look at the real picture to really appreciate the semblance, like that is just another Human Model my friend.

  4. Well done work . I cannot do people ... but this ,is very inspiring indeed . It kinda did , take me back to the ,Final fantasy spirits within .

  5. Awesome work! Truly spectacular!

    I tried downloading 123D from Autodesk, but they require a log in. I thought OK, that's
    not too unreasonable so I signed in with my Windows Live account. The
    next window that popped up asked for permission for Autodesk to have
    access to basically everything in my email: my birthday, contact list,
    my contacts birthdays, the ability to post on my account etc! You can
    understand I kinda freaked out at that point and changed my password.
    Why in the world does a company need all that personal information just
    to download a program? They also use cloud processing. Which essentially
    means you give them access to everything you create with the program.

    123D is definitely not free. It comes at the cost of privacy!

    No thanks Autodesk! I'll stick with open source and proprietary software
    that their marketing strategy is developing good software, not ways to
    spy on and manipulate users. Autodesk has some good software (I work in
    the automotive industry and use several), but I
    don't trust them anymore. Not after this.

    Anyone know of an open source equivalent?

  6. Thank for all the wonderful
    feedback. :) The Blender community rocks!

    Here are some responses to questions
    and comments:

    -I did a lot of clone painting
    directly on the model. So I never unwrapped. Blender has amazing
    paint tools.

    -I did not mirror the model.
    My niece is very symmetrical. :)

    -You can export cameras out of Catch
    into Blender with FBX (you have to get the FBX import build). Although
    I've never tried it.

    -There are several other application
    like Catch, but I don't think any of them are open source.

    -I agree, it's important to use whatever
    tool is going to let you achieve your desired result as quickly as possible. That said, whenever I can, I use open source.

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