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Cris

3D Fossil Scanning W/ Photogrammetry

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Foozil

OMG so cool! Thanks for sharing Cris!

Izak

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Troodon

This is awesome Chris. I've got to try it out myself. How many photos are needed to get an good 3D image? Is the software user friendly for a dummy like me?

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snolly50

An outstanding effort. Please post links to software and a tutorial from your experience. I see this as a very worthwhile tool with great relevance to ID efforts on the Forum (fun too). Thanks.

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ZiggieCie

Now that is great Cris, That will be fun to learn to do. You are the leader on this. :wub::wub::popcorn::rain dance:

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edd

Nice!!!! Definitely gonna try this eventually

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squali

that is amazing for free software. Are measurements possible with the point cloud data?

With an image like yours we won't be hearing ' please post photos of better angles'

Very interesting thanks for posting.

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Auspex

This old Luddite is gasping for air! You make it seem so simple; there may be hope for me yet...

I would love to see more :)

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Cris

This is awesome Chris. I've got to try it out myself. How many photos are needed to get an good 3D image? Is the software user friendly for a dummy like me?

I think these programs make it pretty simple. The biggest limitation for people might be that some folks computers might not be able to handle it

An outstanding effort. Please post links to software and a tutorial from your experience. I see this as a very worthwhile tool with great relevance to ID efforts on the Forum (fun too). Thanks.

I'm working on a tutorial now for you guys who want to give it a shot. There are tutorials out there already, but they're all missing very simple bits of information that stumped me for a while.

that is amazing for free software. Are measurements possible with the point cloud data?

With an image like yours we won't be hearing ' please post photos of better angles'

Very interesting thanks for posting.

I'm not sure on the measurement thing. I mean, the whole creating point clouds from images is actually all about the software making automatic measurements, but as far as figuring out the size of the object...I'm not sure how that would work....of course, I'm only a day into this stuff, so :P You could always put a coin on the fossil or right beside it if you wanted a sense of scale within the model itself.

It was pretty fun to learn about and do. I honestly expected some sort of vert shaped blob if I was lucky, so the results were way beyond my expectations. I can't imagine how nice it would look if somebody with experience and great photos was doing it.

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Troodon

Thanks Cris, looking forward to seeing what you have.

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Triceratops

Wow great work! Approximately how long did it take you?

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Cris

Wow great work! Approximately how long did it take you?

It took me half a day of messing around to get it, but I wasn't sure what programs to go with first so I spent a few hours messing around with programs that I didn't wind up using and I made some silly mistakes that were pretty time consuming. Now that I know how to do everything, I think the whole process could be done in under an hour, including the photographing...The majority of that time would be waiting on the programs to complete. Generating these point clouds from photos takes a little while.

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ZiggieCie

I'm 63 and love new stuff. Looking forward to your manual. B):popcorn:

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jpc

That is pretty amazing for an iphone and mediocre lighting. One of the volunteers wher i work has been messing with this using 123D Capture, i thinrk it is called. The next step is to take this data and make scale models (or life size) rapid prototypes ( =3D printing). I am pretty ludditic too, but this stuff us amazing. We are hoping to make scale models of our t rex skeleton.

Edited by jpc

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Cris

I downloaded and tried 123D Catch too. It's incredibly easy to use, but you don't have a lot of control over the options and I didn't like the fact that they limit the amount of photos you can use. They may improve the software in the future to the point where you get a lot power and control over the options, but right now it doesn't seem great to me. I browsed through models people took with that software and everything looked pretty flat and fuzzy. With that said, it's server based....so if your computer can't handle these programs, you can use 123D Catch instead.

I updated the original post above with the tutorial. It seems very long, but that's because I explained pretty much every single tiny step. If something is confusing, let me know and I'll clarify or take more screen shots.

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ZiggieCie

THX Cris :) I see your tutorial you added above, I will be reading it. :popcorn::goodjob:

Just finished reading your tutorial and you did a great job on this project. Your instructions will be easy to use, since this is not an intuitive process. I can see that a tripod and a lazy Susan, with a good light will help, but your is great with your phone. Now to figure out which fossil to use. :faint:

Edited by ZiggieCie

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Cris

Thanks Ziggie. Hopefully somebody can get some use out this thread in the future. I plan on posting any models I make here and updating the tutorial if I learn something new.

  A tripod would definitely help. My biggest problem is getting every single pic to be in focus. The software automatically stitches the pics together, but when one photo is slightly out of focus, you can see the edges where it stitched into a clear photo.

I'm still messing around with this stuff. I wanted to see what would happen with an actual camera and although I made some photography mistakes, I think it's an improvement. I chose a fossil that has lots of bumps and valleys on it to see how much detail  could be captured with this technique. There's a couple places with missing texture for some reason, but oh well. It's a learning process.

 

Mammoth or Mastodon Phalanx
Pleistocene
Gilchrist County, FL

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ZiggieCie

That is so NEAT! :thumbsu:

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ynot

Almost as good as holding it in Your hand!!! :drool::o

Thanks Cris! :D:1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76:

Tony

PS I will have to give it a try.

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TNCollector

I use 123D catch to 3D model my specimens and send the file to my 3D printer. I also use my printer to make special display stands for oddly shaped fossils.

I love that whale vert! If you don't mind maybe I could print one? :)

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squali

Cris that is an excellent tutorial. Thank you for taking the time. I use a very powerful surveying software to make 3D models of topography. Your technique is perfect for photo capturing objects.

I made a model of an oyster internal mold in an hour, including pictures. I used a tripod and a lazy susan, which just makes the point cloud look different but the results are the same.

I made a lot of mistakes that I can address the next time.

The only questions I have are, how do you open the saved file to view without the mesh software? How to upload to TFF? The saved file size is larger than the 2mb allowable.

Thanks again, I'm looking to try a few other fossils now that I can see what this software is capable of.

Edited cast for internal mold

Edited by squali

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squali

Forgot the snipping tool right after I used it to capture your directions from TFF duhh

This is a screen capture (snip) of the model. I only used 21 photos.

I deleted the blurry ones. I can see that additional photos would fill in some of my blanks in the

model. The program does a really nice job with matching surface texture and color contrast.

It also enables a still photo of the best angle to be captured.

post-4721-0-46308200-1440527968_thumb.jpg

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LordTrilobite

This is great! I wasn't aware this is possible with free software and some photos. I'm definitely gonna try this sometime.

I wonder how doable this would be when taking photos of a skeleton in a museum. Provided there are enough angles to photograph from of course.

Edit:

Also, this would be a great way to show people the shapes of different teeth.

Edited by LordTrilobite

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Herb

That is SO cool!

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Opisthotriton

Photogrammetry is a relatively new tool, and paleontologists are busy exploring its possibilities. Thank you for all the tips and suggested programs. There are several free programs mentioned in this thread that I would like to explore, and there are super high-quality programs like Agisoft that can be very expensive.

This thread contains excellent advice for getting started with photogrammetry. After you've practiced the basics, see this paper for extremely detailed advanced tips on photogrammetry:

http://www.jpaleontologicaltechniques.org/pasta3/JPT%20N12/Pdf/JPT_n012_Jul.pdf

H Mallison, H. and Wings, O., 2014. Photogrammetry in paleontology – a practical guide. Journal of Paleontological Techniques, 12: 1-31.

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