I want to walk around my rooms and streets with a smartphone (with camera on) and let the program create some textured 3D model (like a map in a video game). It does not need to be photo-perfect, but should give the "feeling" of being in that place if the resulting scene is rendered by Blender (for example).

Use case scenario:

I want to make a memory of the place I live in, but don't want to limit it to disjoint photos and panoramas. Instead I want to create big 3D scene consisting of both interiors and street views (and passages in between).

I start a Smart3DLevelCameraStitcher on my Android smartphone, it turns on camera, I point it to some wall and move the phone to make it see it from different directions. The program quickly sketched some 3D structure of the room, captures some textures and suggested where I should move the smartphone for better effect. As I stepped closer to some object in the room, it "promoted" the object from piece of texture to 3D object (that have its own texture). I walked around the room (and not only), and the program created 3D scene consising of places it have seen (leaving "too vague to calculate proper 3D" as just boxes with the texture based on some photo).

The output should be Blender scene or some 3D level in open source 3D game. It's OK if the output is to be processed on heavier computer before use.

Of course it would be nice if the program itself would be open source, as usual.

Is there such a program already?

2 Answers 2



123D Catch is a free app that lets you create 3D scans of virtually any object.

Autodesk has a corresponding commercial product called autodesk ImageModeler. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=11390028&siteID=123112

123D is free the site has youtube videos you can see if it fits your needs. I've only seen the free pc version on a co-workers laptop. The pc version will ask you upload your photos to the cloud and it is the cloud that makes the calculations to make the 3d model and apply the textures (freeing your pc to do other things). Then you receive an e-mail of where to download the 3d file which you can view also with the application.

These are two reviews that I found.



You can google 123d catch reviews to judge for yourself if this fits your needs.

The video tutorials on the main site wil show you the basics.

Also a youtube video 123d catch used with blender https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWGvJ5TwqKg

  • Offers in-app purchases -> Is it really free? Autodesk -> It's unlikely that it can be free.
    – Vi.
    Dec 17, 2014 at 11:51
  • The 123dapp.com domain now redirects to tinkercad.com. Did 123D Catch get renamed, bought by Autodesk/Tinkercad, or something else? Dec 30, 2020 at 4:31

There are already a number of programs to generate a 3D model from a set of photographs - one such that might suit is Insight3D which is free & open source - all you would need to add would be a simple time lapse photography application for your phone (there are 100s for android). You could then walk about with your phone and load the pictures in offline to produce the model.

  • Very nice! Are you familiar with any of the alternatives listed here?
    – Geremia
    Nov 16, 2017 at 17:06
  • Is Insight3D able to reconstruct 3D models from videos, like simultaneous localization and mapping? Oct 7, 2019 at 17:26
  • @AndersonGreen In general video files are captured at a minimum of 25 fps - unless the camera is moving at the speed of a bullet the amount of motion between frames is not normally enough for 3D model reconstruction. However you could use tools such as FFMPEG to split out frames at a much lower sampling rate and then process them. The reason that I suggested a timelapse application is that it would use much less storage. Oct 8, 2019 at 4:16

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