Use Photos With 3d Models

3-D models made from photos can be used in 3-D games.

Computer aided design, or “CAD” software, is a tool you can use to convert 2-D images like photos into 3-D virtual objects, which you can then orbit or walk around inside the CAD program. A key step involved in creating complex objects from photos is mentally breaking them down into simpler objects. You can then draw these simpler objects, which are called primitives, in the CAD program. Converting photos to 3-D models develops your ability to sense three dimensions when seeing only two. This ability is essential when creating blueprints, realistic drawings and paintings.


Make a 3-D Model from a Photo Using Sketchup

1. Get a printout of a photo, whether from your hard drive, the Web, or some other source.

2. Trace on the printout the following shapes you can discern in the subject depicted in the photo: box, cylinder, sphere, and cone. The influential Post Impressionist painter Paul C zanne said that all of nature can be depicted as the last three objects just mentioned. A box is another primitive found in many structures. Here are some examples of discerning the primitives of common structures: books and laptop computers are box primitives. Cone primitives compose doorknobs and tree canopies, and sphere primitives compose basketballs, light bulbs and apples and oranges.

3. Create box primitives as follows: click the toolbar’s square icon, then click and drag on the drawing canvas to define the square. Press “P” to run the “Push/Pull” tool, then click and drag upward on the square to turn it into a box.

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4. Create spheres by clicking the toolbar’s circle icon, then dragging to create the circle. Make another circle above the first, then click the “Tool” menu’s “Follow Me” command.

5. Create cylinders by pressing “P” for the “Push/Pull” command, then dragging upward on a ground circle. Create cones by making a cylinder, pressing “M” for the “Move” tool, then dragging on the cylinder’s top or bottom faces to shrink the face to a point.

6. Drag the primitives to assemble them into the configuration displayed in the reference photos.

Make a 3-D Model from a Photo with Art of Illusion

7. Complete the first two steps of the previous section to define the primitives in your photo.

8. Create box primitives as needed by clicking the box icon in the left toolbar, then dragging in any of the viewports.

9. Create sphere and cylinder primitives by clicking their icons in the left toolbar, then dragging as you did for the box.

10. Create cones by first creating a cylinder. Then right-click the cylinder and select “Convert to mesh.” Right-click the mesh and select “Edit.”

11. Drag a selection region around the cylinder’s top or bottom vertices, then click the left toolbar’s “Scale” tool. Drag in the “Top” viewport to shrink the face you selected.

12. Assemble the primitives as you did those in Sketchup.

Use Blender to Make a 3-D Model from a Photo

13. Complete the Sketchup section’s first two steps to determine the primitives you need to assemble.

14. Open Blender, then create a box primitive by pressing “Space,” clicking “Add,” clicking “Mesh,” then clicking “Cube.”

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15. Create cylinders, cones and spheres by performing the same steps as those used to make the cube. However, click “Cylinder,” “Cone” or “Sphere” under the “Mesh” menu, not “Cube.”

16. Click the toolbar’s triangle icon to run the “Move” tool.

17.Drag on the primitives’ colored arrows to move them to the place indicated by your reference photo.