This app is the work of Epic’s by Capture Reality, a company specializing in photography software. Like the company’s desktop software, RealityScan combines 2D images to create seamless 3D content for games and other virtual environments. The idea is to allow game developers and other creatives to scan real-world objects anytime and anywhere for their projects. (If the superuniverse takes off, you can imagine tools like these becoming essential.)
The scan begins with logging into your Epic Games account and taking at least 20 photos of an object from all sides. As you move your phone around, a real-time quality map shows how much you’ve covered your phone: green indicates well-covered areas, yellow can attract more more attention and red needs the most additional shots. It visualizes the places where you’ve taken each photo like something like little Polaroids floating around your item.
The app uploads and automatically aligns images in the cloud when you take a photo. You can preview the model through the camera view and switch between quality map and full color rendering in progress. When you want to crop it, it will pop up 3D handles for you to drag around, making sure it only captures the item and not the floor below it or background objects.
This process works best with simple items shot in uniform, indirect light (reflective or damp surfaces won’t do well). It also seems to work best with larger subjects, as my attempt to capture a small action figure by Mr. T results in what looks more like a brush painting than a usable model.
Once you’re satisfied with the capture, you can export it to Sketchfab (the 3D content platform that Epic last year), where you can use it for 3D, virtual and augmented reality projects. Optionally, if you’ve captured something unique, you can try selling your 3D model. Game developers who need a specific category for virtual environments are the most logical audience here.
RealityScan is now available as for iOS and iPadOS on the App Store. Earlier this year, Epic said an Android version would be available later this year, although the company was short on time to meet that deadline.
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