View Full Version : DAVID - Free 3D Scanner Sorftware

11-10-2006, 10:56 AM
I just got the email, and here you are:


Didn't had time to test it, please everyone who tries this out, give feedback here!

Some info on Spinquad:

btw. it writes .obj


11-10-2006, 11:06 AM
sounds awesome! gotta try it out later

11-10-2006, 04:27 PM
Thankyou Stereo, been following your posts over on spinquad. Question is, can I keep a cat still long enough to scan it? :D


11-10-2006, 05:11 PM
Use the fridge, Luke!

11-11-2006, 07:36 AM
This is fairly awesome. I only briefly played with it but it looks like it could work quite well given the right circumstances. I think I'm going to play with a different laser rig this weekend and see if I can find a better model to try and scan.

Now if only I had a better webcam than a sony iToy....

11-12-2006, 03:44 AM
I found out, that you have to make sure your reference plates are aligned well. At first i just loosely attached them with adhesive tape to the wall but the scan gets pretty deformed.

Also, dark and light absorbing (or scattering) material won't work, cause the webcam can't see the laser line anymore.

I'm looking forward to the first post of an accurate scan :)


Thomas M.
11-12-2006, 05:35 AM
Are the big differences when it comes up to line lasers? Although are there any 1024px web cams available yet for an affordable price? If this stuff works nicely, I guess there are a lot of possibilities to intergrate it in ones workflow.


11-12-2006, 05:51 AM
StereoMike -

Use the fridge, Luke!
Can't, it's packed for xmas...Roll on boxing day :devil:

11-12-2006, 07:03 AM
I think the laser isn't an issue, in the manual there's a picture of one, and I know it costs only 10 Euro and is rather lousy. I once bought it for use in the house and gave it back, cause the line was kinda dotted on the far ends and under certain angles. So if they can use this piece, i think you can use _any_ line laser. I then bought a cheap laser level and this also seems to work fine with DAVID.

Regarding the cam, DAVID gives one triangle per pixel, so maybe you won't need that high resolutions, the dev said to me, 640x480 should work pretty good. You should lay focus on the quality of the image, so he recommended ccd cams (but these cost more, if anybody finds a cheap one, pls post).
You won't even need color.


@T-Light: Oh, big parcel... poor postman.

11-12-2006, 07:15 AM
Could you use a Digtial Camera hooked thru usb?

They usually give a live preview that way.

Or a DV camera thru Firewire?

11-12-2006, 10:56 AM
It needs a WDM driver and DV Cams do not work (don't know if ever)


11-12-2006, 01:07 PM
Any clues as to where to get the webcam [one that works with David] and the line pointer in the US? Wal-mart? I'd love to ty this but don't have any idea where begin to look. Sugestions?

Thanks in advance.

11-12-2006, 01:21 PM
That shouldn't be a problem.
A wdm driver (for a definition look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Driver_Model) is a "windows driver model" driver, the devolper can use various functions of the wdm which he won't need to develop anew. It's kinda standard driver platform (it followed vxd). Chances are that any cheapo webcam you buy has wdm drivers. But don't nail me on that.
For the laser it's even more easy: Go into one of the bigger home improvement stores and lookout for laser levels. Here you even get a device which casts a line without a level (for 10 Euro).
I bought a laser level with line prism for 29 Euro.
It's important it emitts a line, not a point.


11-12-2006, 08:03 PM
I was playing with it today with a DVcam and it's very nice, much smoother and more accureate than using a webcam (or at least my webcam) I found a program called WebcamMax that creates a virtual WDM device and can either play avi files to it or switch to other video devices on your system. It let David use the DVcam no problem, though I can't recomend buying it because it only seems to output in 320x240. Maybe someone knows of other similar programs?

11-12-2006, 09:43 PM
What are the sizes of objects that you can scan with this software and methods.

11-12-2006, 11:28 PM
You're really only limited by the size that you can make the calibration image, though the resolution of a large object is still the same as the camera used to capture it. The other limiting factor would be how narrow you can get the laser. The laser level I have is pretty wide so it's not so good at doing smaller details, doing larger objects means the laser line is smaller when captured on camera, thinner line = finer resolution.

Thomas M.
11-13-2006, 05:42 AM
Wo gab es denn den Laser? Bei Conrad muß man mal wieder alles bestellen und weiß nicht was man bekommt.

11-13-2006, 06:05 AM
This paragraph is about where you could get a laser level in Germany.

Bei Obi gibts einen Laser-only für 9,90 Euro. Hieß Laserlevel (und ist unten im Bild zu sehen).
Ich hab inzwischen eine Laserwasserwaage von Praktiker. Gabs als Set mit Stativ und Linienprisma für 30,- .Kostet inzwischen um die 40,-, der Linienprisma ist aber wichtig.


11-13-2006, 06:23 AM
Did anyone try this yet? If so...could someone post a screengrab from a model?
I'm very curious about the quality (even if it's only for a 3d background template).

Thomas M.
11-13-2006, 07:26 AM
O.k., I'll try to get that one. The line laser at "Bauhaus" was unfortunately not the kind of laser which would have worked.

Anybody any experience with a Philips SPC900NC webcam? It's supposed to be equiped with a CCD ship and guys use it in astro photography.


Thomas M.
11-13-2006, 09:18 AM
Bei Praktiker Laser gekauft.

Original Preis: 38,99€
Falsch ausgezeichnet: 29,99€
20% Alles muß raus Tage: 23,99€

Linie ist fast 4mm dick und mußte erst noch "scharf" geklebt werden. Dann paßt es, wenn es auch etwas dunkel ist.

Nächster Stop: Web-cam

11-13-2006, 10:36 AM
WDM Driver.... Hmmm, I am going to see what happens when I hook up a Video Camera to my video in card on my PC. The system uses WDM drivers. Also, for more info on WDM one might want to check out IULabs. The have a section on enhance WDM drivers.

11-13-2006, 11:33 AM
My lousy Philips spc200nc works with it too. I think the 900 should work fine. (don't nail me on that ;) )

Nice buy Thomas, hehe you bought it at the same price as me, got 20% rebate aswell. Limiting the thickness of the line with tape is a good idea, will try that out.

Right now i can say, the software can use my webcam and the laser does it's job too. I wasn't able to get a clean scan yet, but I think that's because of my deformed reference papers. I know someone with an A2 printer and he is willing to print the ref charts for me. That will take half a week (see him not that often), so if anyone gets some experiences inbetween, feel free to post.


Thomas M.
11-14-2006, 04:39 PM
Hatten dir denn die Herren gesagt, wann das vollständige Programm erhältlich sein wird?

11-19-2006, 06:32 PM
Has any one made any progress in getting a 3D scan with this software to work yet.? I have been playing with it for a week now. It is quite interesting in how it works. I have tried all three backgrounds. I found the biggest background worked the best.

I scanned in the object that my avatar is based on. I have found that flat white objects work the best. I did a multiple sided scan and stitched them together the best that I could in LW.

Interested in seeing what others have scanned in with this software.


11-20-2006, 06:06 PM
I just bought a Black & Decker laser level /w the line laser (not the dot) for 9.99 at TJ Max. Don't know if it would be at all TJ Max's, but might be worth a look.


11-20-2006, 06:20 PM
Nice to know.

Will check a store near here.

Thanks for the tip.

Thomas M.
11-20-2006, 11:39 PM
Monovich, be careful with "Line"-Lasers. They sell you two different things using this product name. I guess you bought the "wrong" one.

You need a line laser which works like a slide projector, not one which can be placed on a table or wall and then projects a line on the same plane. If there's no prism included I guess it might be the version which doesn't go together with the program.

Line lasers (the ones you need) at this price range are simple dot-lasers with a prism changing the dot into a line.


11-21-2006, 02:59 PM
Now i'm going to have to try this.

Martin Adams
11-21-2006, 04:33 PM
I've been briefly looking into where I would be able to get a laser in the UK, but really don't know what I need or where to get it. Anyone got any ideas?

It kind of reminds me of a barcode scanner, but for what I remember, they flash opposed to have a constant line.

I was hoping to play about with this to try and scan an object. Then take that object into a 3D app and model over it. I know a rather popular (but not LightWave) 3D app has a feature where you can draw polygons over a mesh to reduce complexity.

11-21-2006, 04:39 PM
this looks very interesting, Im going to give it a try.

11-21-2006, 06:12 PM
Well, Im not getting great results. You can tell that it scanned something, but it looks very messy. I think I need a better camera, preferably something thats not super cheap and plasticy. None the less, this is a really cool piece of software. What I find interesting is how the scan shows the interaction of light on different surfaces.

11-21-2006, 07:51 PM
The three major things I found about getting a cleaner scan are camera quality (DV cam gave much more accureate scans) object size (larger object and thinner laser give better results) and the angle you scan the laser at (if you hold the laser 2 inches above the camera you get really noisy scans, if you hold the laser 3 feet above the camera the noise is reduced to almost nothing)

11-21-2006, 08:09 PM
what's the frame rate on the cameras you are using?

11-21-2006, 08:25 PM
Can you tell us a little more about how you scanned your objects. I spent over a week trying it, every night after getting home from work.

I found that the background calibration pattern matters. I started with the small one. Then I moved up to the middle one. But what worked best was the biggest one

The type of objects matter too. I tried a glue bottle, a light bulb, a chrome and black camera, a role of bathroom tissue and the object that my avatar is based on. Only the flat white objects worked. I thought that the light bulb would have worked, but I don't think it works with glass. If I was to spray paint everything flat white, then I think that all of the objects that I tried would have worked.

Also the angle of the laser matters too. And how you use it. I found the best angle that worked for me was about 25 degrees up from the center and 25 degrees to the left of the object worked best for me.

The travel speed and length of scanning matters too. I started buy scanning for a long time. Trying to get the most scan lines as possible. But soon I realized that it was better to do a quick scan and use the smooth average and interpolate buttons, worked better then trying to scan lots of scan lines. All you need to do is scan only as many lines as needed for the software to work. Only 1 or 2 passes worked best for me. Any more then 2 passes with the laser seemed to throw the scanning software off. Also, with two passes, it seemed to work better if I started to scan from the top to bottom twice, rather then going from top to bottom, then bottom to top.

11-21-2006, 08:49 PM
The three major things I found about getting a cleaner scan are camera quality (DV cam gave much more accureate scans)

How did you get your DV camera to work with this software.? I am using a Panasonic MiniDV camera with 3 CCD’s that also has a webcam function. I tried connecting it with my VT system. It shows up in DAVID as a valid input device. But I can’t get it to work with the software. I have to set the camera to webcam mode to get it to work. But webcam mode has only half the resolution and half the frame rate then using it with my normal video settings on my computer. How can I use the better settings that I am capable of.?

11-22-2006, 12:19 AM
I used an application called WebcamMax (I think it was) to feed the DV stream to David, I can't recomend it though because it only works in half resolution. Someone mentioned something on the David forum about a program called DVDriver that looks like it might be better.

11-22-2006, 02:05 AM
This is my results with a DV sony camera.The DVDRIVER works pretty well.You can get it here http://www.trackercam.com/TCamWeb/index.htm on downloads section .Its free trial.

11-22-2006, 03:40 AM
Cool, so it does work pretty weel with a decent DV camera...

btw...did you censor the Coca Cola logo :p

11-29-2006, 04:00 AM
This is a mini tutorial on how to use DAVID with pre_recorded video.You will need :
-divxpro 5.2.0 codecs or above.
-splitcam from http://www.splitcamera.com
-the files from the zip file.
Lets start:

1)Open splitcam and from the file menu choose video source> image file and load the photo 640_480.jpg.
2)Run DAVID and from update list choose SplitCam Capture and change format to 640x480 with fps30.The scaling of calibration points is 35mm.Calibrate the camera and press next.
3)Open splitcam and from the file menu choose video source>video file and load the scan.avi
4)Press Start for scanning process and leave the avi to play as long as you like.

As a result you will get a head.I hope that this was helpfull.