Crab Character

This is an overview of some of the techniques I’ve been playing around with this week. As well as an look at how I went from a sketch, to maquette, to a 3d proxy model. One of my goals with all of this experimentation was to find a more automated approach to reconstructing a model from photos or video. The last time I had experimented with this process was years ago with Autodesk’s Image Modeler(not fun), things have come a long way since then.

This maquette was constructed from newspaper, tape and paper-mâché. After I painted it with acrylic gouache, and glued bits of sand on for texture.

This character is based on the Japanese Spider Crab. In reality they can grow to be over 2 meters long, but this crab character will be much bigger, the size of a house! In “Sayonara” (tentative title) he represents, change, chaos, and things we can’t control in life. In the animation he will be a mix of an actual puppet (this maquette) and cg augmentations such as legs, a mouth and other creepy things that wiggle out.

For the 3d reconstruction I tried several applications, only 3 really worked for this purpose;

(pretty amazing $20 program)

-cool factor
-pretty accurate
-poor concave surface reconstruction
-registration matte is limiting
-only able to scan one side at a time

Autodesk Photofly

-completely automated registration
-need only to upload your photos
-wasn’t able to reconstruct some parts
-point cloud detail was low

Microsoft Photosynth
(the clear winner, oh and free)

-upload photos/completely automated
-accurate/dense point cloud
-even reconstructed convex areas quite well
-no export/”hacky” to get data

In the end I decided to use the data from Photosynth. Although exporting the point cloud was a bit technical. There are a couple of ways to hack the data out of the Microsoft servers(hopefully an export feature will be added soon); used this process.)

Lastly there’s a handy free tool called meshlab, that does a great job of rebuilding a surface from the point cloud. I was able to export an obj and send it right to Maya. Here’s a guide for meshing your point cloud in meshlab;

Here’s a look at the crab model with a mouth and limbs blocked in.

Ok, time to get back to work. Comments and questions are much obliged!

Sidebar not configured yet. You can place widgets by navigating to WordPress Appearance > Widgets.

scroll to top