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[non-Blender] How I create my 3D scans with Autodesk Recap360


For my work at Sketchfab, I've been playing with 3D scanners and photogrammetry software - tools that will reconstruct a 3D model from a series of photos. My favourite and free (as in beer) solution so far is Autodesk Recap360, and I've written a tutorial outlining all the steps to convert your photographs into a 3-dimensional model, clean them up to Blender and finally present them on Sketchfab. With a little practice, it shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes. (The model is downloadable, in case you're interested ;-)

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
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 also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Hauke Carstensen on

    This looks quite nice! Does it work diffently than 123D catch?
    I have tried visualsfm+cmpmvs and got quite good results, it is better with complex geometry, compared to 123d catch and there is no limitation in images. Have you compared different programs?

    • I think it's comparable to 123D Catch, I even believe they use the same engine. For some reason though, 123D Catch was no longer working for me after a recent update.

      I've tried Visualsfm a few times, but never got it to work properly on my Mac. The results I've seen from it so far weren't really convincing or good though. If you want to use a desktop app and are willing to pay for it, I suggest Agisoft Photoscan - they're the market leader.

  2. Stephen Norrington on

    I believe that the 123Catch EULA gives Autodesk some degree of ownership over the scans that are created - I checked it out a few years ago and balked because of this - however I may be mistaken and/or the EULA may have changed - please read the EULA carefully before using 123Catch or Recap360 - "free" applications often extract a price in hidden ways - I purchased AgiSoft Photoscan and never looked back - Photoscan is a fantastic piece of software with a very reasonable EULA for approx US$180, well worth the price.

    • Could you find that and quote it here? I'd be interested to hear it. Most sites will have something like that because they contain galleries and as a consequence, they have to have the right to post your wokr in their galleries.

      • Stephen Norrington on

        I don't have the exact EULA wording that worried me years ago because I got rid of all 123DCatch-related data on my systems - however, going to Autodesk's Terms Of Service today I found the following which disclaims any form of ownership and then goes on to assert de facto ownership by specifying a very broad swathe of granted rights - the point is that if you 123DCatch (and perhaps Recap360) a sculpture that needs to be kept free of encumbrances, the Terms Of Service encumber it:

        "3. Your Content.

        a. Ownership. These Terms don’t grant us (and we don’t claim) any ownership rights in Your Content.

        b. Our Use of Your Content. By posting, providing, uploading, submitting, sharing, publishing, distributing, making available and/or allowing others to access or use Your Content to or through the Service, you grant to us and our affiliates a world-wide, royalty-free, fully paid-up, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, and fully sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right and license (but not the obligation) to reproduce, distribute, redistribute, modify, translate, adapt, prepare derivative works of, display, perform (each publicly or otherwise) and otherwise use all or part of Your Content, by any and all means and through any media and formats now known or hereafter discovered, but solely in connection with the Service and/or our business activities (such as, without limitation, for promoting and marketing the Service) and/or to comply with legal or technical requirements. Additionally, to the extent permitted under applicable law, you hereby waive and agree not to assert any and all rights that you may have under laws worldwide that concern “moral rights" or “droit moral," or similar rights, in connection with Your Content.

        c. Posting Your Content. By posting, providing, uploading, submitting, sharing, publishing, distributing, making available or allowing others to access and/or use Your Content to or through the Service You are solely responsible and liable for the consequences of doing so and you acknowledge and agree that Your Content can and may be viewed worldwide. If you choose to make your personal information publicly available through the Service (for example, in a blog or forum), you do so at your own risk. You covenant, represent and warrant that you have obtained all necessary licenses, rights, consents, permissions and waivers to use and grant all of the rights granted in these Terms (including any Special Service Terms) in and to Your Content and that you will comply with any requirements or restrictions imposed by them; if any such requirements or restrictions for Your Content conflict with or are inconsistent with these Terms, then you must not post that Content or otherwise share it publicly on or through the Service. "

        • I never replied to this. But terms like this actually make a lot of sense:

          a. Well, I don't need to comment on this one ;-)

          b. This gives Autodesk the right to process and display your work (like for displaying in their public gallery or embeds - if they have those), and to use it to promote their service, but that's it - only in connection to Recap360. They don't give themselves the right to sell the model, for example.

          c. You are responsible for your content. Basically, if you're infringing on a copyright the consequences are for you, not for Autodesk.

          They make sense to me - which one specifically do you find troubling?

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