March 12, 2019

Using Blender to get Texture Maps from Scandy Pro

Hi there. We've gotten a lot of inquiries about how to export a texture with a scan. We don't have texture mapping in our app yet. We are working on making that functionality great, so we appreciate your patience. In the meantime, there IS a way to get texture from a Scandy Pro model from a free open source software called Blender. You can grab a copy here:

Jimmy Gunawan, the brains behind this process (no - it wasn't us) has a great tutorial here:

We've done our best to describe the keystrokes and process below, but please use the video as the ground truth for the way to do this. I've typed out the instructions below, but remember - if it seems confusing WATCH THE EXCELLENT VIDEO. I have dropped in the time stamps at certain points.

Capture a scan with Scandy Pro and export the file as PLY and save it to your computer.

Open Blender. You'll see a box in the center of the screen. Click the box and then type 'x' and confirm that you want to delete it.

Go to 'File -> Import -> Stanford (PLY) and select the Scandy Pro file you want to generate a texture map for.

Verify that model has vertex color information by clicking the 'Data' triangle icon in the right panel menu. If you drop down the 'Vertex Colors' option and you see 'Col' next to an color circle icon, you've got color! Go ahead and save your blender file at this point.

At the top of the screen, select 'Cycles Render' in the Engine selector. Create an additional screen by dragging down the triangular corner in the upper right of the scene view. You should now see two identical scenes split horizontally.

(3:54) Create a new material (to hold the texture we are creating) by clicking the 'Material' icon from the right panel and then clicking 'New'.

Now click the box at the lower left of the upper screen and then click 'Node Editor'

Now assign a shader through the text menu at the bottom of the upper screen:

Add -> Shader -> Emission

If you don't see a box show up immediately, move your mouse up - you'll see the mouse dragging the box. Drop the 'Emission' box to the left of the 'Diffuse BSDF' and 'Material Output' boxes by left clicking.

Shift-A to pull up the Add menu - then click 'Search' and select 'Attribute'

You will see an 'Attribute' node on the screen (follow steps similar to those above with the 'Emission' box placing the 'Attribute' box to the left of 'Emission'). If your file is like mine (it probably is), the name of the Vertex Color element is 'Col'. Type 'Col' (or whatever it is named) into the "Name" field in the 'Attribute' box.

Now drag the yellow dot on the 'Attribute' box to the yellow dot on the 'Emission' box to connect the 'Color' fields. Then drag the green dot on the 'Emission' box to the green dot next to 'Surface' on the 'Material Output' box.

In the bottom of the lower screen, select the 'Material' circle icon. You should see color in your model now!

Click your model in the lower screen and  then tap the space bar and search for 'Smart UV Project' and select that when it comes up. Tap 'OK'. This may take a while depending on the size of your scan and the speed of your computer. Patience, grasshopper.

(6:09) Duplicate the bottom panel by grabbing the upper right corner of said bottom panel and dragging it to the left. Now click the cube in the bottom left of the lower-right panel and select 'UV/Image Editor'. Now click New from that same menu bar and name your texture - we chose the name 'scan' like the cool kids do, but hey, live it up. You should see a black box in the window after you click 'OK'.

Now click the top panel (the one with the node boxes in it) and type 'Shift - A' and click 'Search' in the pop up menut. Type 'Image Texture' and select that. Click the leftmost icon on menu below the word 'Alpha' and select the texture you named ('scan' or whatever name you chose).

Now make sure that you have selected that 'Image Texture' box in the upper panel and your scan in the lower left pane. (6:35)

Now click the camera icon on the right hand panel (the Render panel) and look for a dropdown menu that says 'Bake'. Drop down the arrow if you need to, select 'Emit' as the 'Bake Type' and click on the 'Bake' button that has the camera icon. Wait one. You will see your texture map appear in the window that used to have the black box. Save that image by clicking the '*Image' label on the menu below the texture map image.

(6:55) Now you can connect the yellow 'Color' dot on the 'Image Texture' node to the yellow 'Color' dot on the 'Diffuse BSDF' node and the  green 'BSDF' circle from the'Diffuse BSDF' node to the green 'Surface' circle on the 'Material Output' node. Now play with lighting, etc. as you would for any other textured object. You can even export as an OBJ with the accompanying MTL file. From Vertex Color to Texture Map. Well done!

(With a HUGE shoutout to Jimmy Gunawan)

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