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Friday, January 7, 2011

Trimensional: a 3D scanner for iPhone using just an app

By: Matthew Humphries

You may find it hard to believe, but it’s possible to capture 3D scans with your iPhone using just the screen and the camera. The solution comes in the form of an app called Trimensional.
The way in which it works is very simple, but the results are quite effective as the video above and images below show.

In order to work you need to turn the brightness right up on your iPhone display, then stand in complete darkness. Hold the phone screen up to your face (around 20cm away) with the Trimensional app loaded, and tell it to starts scanning.

The end result is a 3D scan of your face with the quality depending on how dark you managed to get the environment you are standing in.
Here’s the full feature list of the first version of the app:
  • Capture your own 3D scans
  • Browse your 3D scan library
  • Rotate and zoom your 3D models
  • Pick from 6 different 3D rendering modes
  • View a 3D slideshow
  • Email images directly to friends
  • Save images to camera roll for posting to the web
For $0.99 on the App Store it gives you a new way to capture images of yourself, friends, or random objects which you can then share with others over e-mail, or manipulate them directly on your phone.
The Trimensional website states it works best with iPhone 4 or the latest generation (4th) iPod touch. So if you have a previous generation phone or iPod check the iTunes comments first to see if anyone got it working.

One update we’d like to see to the app is the ability to export the 3D model in a standard format 3D art packages can handle.
Read more at the Trimensional website