Topic: Use to create 3d models to start Modeling in 3ds Max

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gpskater (Over 1 year ago)
If I took a series of pictures of one of a mountain bike to build a mountain bike can I somehow export that into a format that Auto Cad 3ds Max could import such as .max, fbx. obj or others. The idea is to get a very realistic base model to start modeling so it would have a very realistic look. And then from there I could use that model in a game I'm building using Microsoft's XNA gaming engine. It's basically a wrapper for Microsoft Direct X which is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, gpskater,

If your aim is 3D modeling, there are other applications which also use photogrammetry techniques which are more focused on modeling.

Photosynth uses minimal photogrammetry in order to present the input photos in a novel way.

This isn't to say that you can't use Photosynth to register a lot of photos together to harvest its point cloud and create a mesh from it.

Christoph Hausner's SynthExport
Henri Astre's PhotosynthToolkit
Kean Walmsley's BrowsePhotosynth
and Meshlab's are all capable of reading in a photosynth's point cloud(s) (which is what you'd want for 3D modeling) and some of them read in the camera positions and photos as well.

I use Meshlab to view the .ply files that SynthExport saves.


As I mentioned, though, you may want to look at other photogrammetry apps like Agisoft's PhotoScan or Autodesk's 123D Catch.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Something important to note for something like a mountain bike which will be composed of thin lines is that Photosynth is better at tracking speckled visual textures.

If your bike has one of those metallic flake paint jobs and you take loads of closeup shots orbiting around the body of the bike, then you'll likely get a beautiful clean point cloud if you use Photosynth's desktop application to synth the photos, however if you only use wide angle shots or if your bike is painted a flat color paint you may not get much of a point cloud, unfortunately.

In other words a mud splattered bike is probably more synthy than a clean one. 
Dusting it with a powder such as baking floud would probably also work.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
*baking flour*

I'm not aware of a user-friendly photogrammetry tool with a nice graphical user interface which allows you to do this, but if you had a tool that would allow you to outline the bike in each photo and subtract the background, then you could carve away all space that wasn't the bike and you would be left with a 3D silhouette of the bike (given that you had taken photos from enough angles) and you could project the photos back onto that silhouette.

Someone in the Photosynth community who has done some work in 3D Studio Max is Josh Harle.
Here are a few leads in that direction:
and here's his website:

Here's Josh showing how to use image masks to achieve something related to what I'm describing in the first part of this post:
gpskater (Over 1 year ago)
Thank you guys for all the great input I think I it sounds like it is at least worth a good effort. And maybe look elsewhere for  photogrammetry techniques.

Thank you

NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
You're totally welcome. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

Above, by the fourth link, I meant to mention Meshlab's 'Import Photosynth data' filter.
(Access via 'Filters' > 'Create New Mesh Layer' > 'Import Photosynth data')
(You'll also want to set 'Render Mode' to 'Points', set 'Color' to 'Per Vertex', and set 'Lighting' to 'Off')

Also note that this is only if you want to use Meshlab's built in Photosynth import option and this is not necessary if you are saving the point clouds with one of the other utilities that I listed and only want to view those with Meshlab.