Last year, I had the opportunity to demo a new 3D scanning technology called Fit3D at a local boutique gym. The gist of it was simple — as opposed to looking at yourself in the mirror, a machine would capture high-quality 3D scans of your body so that you can more accurately and more objectively identify areas of your body that you would like to target in terms of physical fitness.
As a fitness junkie, this technology seemed like it had a lot of promise. In reality, the whole process turned out to be very expensive, anxiety-inducing and overall just awkward. If you've seen the Friends' episode "The One with Ross's Tan", you'll know what I mean...
That being said, the scan and results from Fit3D were eye-opening, and I wanted to continue tracking my physical progress through 3D scanning. So, I thought I'd take matters into my own hands -- using Scandy Pro!
Using just my iPhone, Scandy Pro, a thin jump rope and a dish towel, I was able to replicate my professional body scan in the comfort of my own home. In addition, I had the freedom to choose which parts of my body I did and did not measure. It took some experimenting to get the ideal scan, so I’m sharing my process here to save you some trouble...
When taking your body scan, you only need about a 4x4 open space in your home. The trickiest part is finding a spot to prop up your phone (assuming you don’t have a tripod). If the phone is on the floor, it can be hard to get your shoulders and head in the frame, and if the phone is too high, your legs will get cut off. I placed my phone on a coffee table, just above knee height to get my shot.
For the most accurate scan, wear something form-fitting but not so tight that it's manipulating your body shape in any way. I wore spandex shorts and a spandex tank top. The great thing about doing this at home is that you can strip down to as few layers as you want. If you have long hair, tie it up in a bun so it’s not covering your back or shoulders.
When you use a 3D body scanner, you stand on a rotating platform while holding two handles so that your body stays in the same position for the entire scan. I mimicked this at home using a thin jump rope and a dish towel. With my arms down by my sides, I held a jump rope taut a few feet apart, forcing each arm to be a few inches from my body. I then put a dish towel under one of my feet so I could rotate with minimal movement.
Now that you have your location, outfit and equipment, this is the easiest part. First, we need to configure a few settings to ensure the best possible scan.
- Open up your Scandy Pro app, click the hamburger menu on the top right and then click “Advanced Preferences”. Make sure that Scan Mode v2 is turned on to enable unbounded scanning.
- Next, go back to the home page and click “Create Scan”. Once in the scanning preview screen, click the Resolution button (the 3D box) in the bottom left corner, and drag the slider until you see Resolution: 2MM.
- Next, click the Noise Filter icon to the right of Resolution. Set the noise filter to 0.
- Finally, set Texture mode (3 colorful rings icon) to Monochrome. This will make it much easier to see your scan in realtime.
When you're ready to begin your scan, prop up your phone, step back to where you plan to do your scan and click record.
A few tips from my experience:
- The less you have to move after clicking record, the better, so if you can try to just lean forward to click record instead of taking several steps forward/back.
- After clicking record, quickly move into your starting position, and hold it for several seconds.
- If you watch your scan preview, you will see your body’s shape slowly coming into view as the mesh is being built (if you don't, you may be too far away). When it seems like the mesh is fully calibrated, start slowly spinning.
- You may be tempted to look at the phone screen, but keep your head forward as much as possible!
When your scan is done, it will likely look like a mess of static or have some floating objects. Have no fear, Scandy Pro editing suite is here! Simply click the saved mesh, click ‘Tap to Preview’, scroll through the bottom menu to the last option (looks like a wrench) and tap Auto Clean. This is a miracle worker!
After you’ve cleaned and saved your mesh, tap “AR View”. This will open up your front facing camera. Point towards a flat surface and you will see a pulsing blue ring that says “Loading…”. When your mesh is loaded, you can pinch your fingers to zoom out or use one finger to rotate the model.
Tap the ruler icon on the right to open the measurement tool. To measure the circumference of a body part simply add points around the perimeter. Try to make the points as close as possible for an accurate measurement. You can also look inside the model to see a bird’s eye view.
Once you’ve made all your points, click ‘New Line” and select all the points you just made (in order!). This will draw a line connecting all your points and display the measurement. You can choose m, in, mm or cm for the unit.
Doing a full body scan with Scandy Pro was remarkably easy and much more comfortable and affordable than going to a professional 3D scanner. Most importantly, you can do it from the privacy of your own home. The process to measure is admittedly a bit clunky and time-consuming, but with practice it gets easier. If wanted to take it to the next level, you could incorporate some 3D software to your workflow, which would streamline the measuring process. You could even load multiple meshes over time within the same scene to observe the progress visually.
The possibilities are endless in 3D. I really enjoyed testing this idea out and I look forward to seeing how Scandy can continue to provide new, unique and fun solutions to problems not only within the health and fitness industry, but in all industries!
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