Sketchfab - 3D modelling - Share in Success

(Chris Harvey) #1

Hi there all,

Well it has been an exciting few days. So this post is about sharing in success and promoting sketchfab and also 3D modelling as a tool.

On Thursday 24/3/16 I had processed a series of images I had been doing to try out a new system of environment scanning. While in a very difficult location I found an object. I went and took a closer look and obviously a few photos.

Originally I thought it was a rock, but it soon turned out to be something heavy, metal and round with a hole in. Being on the beach in an inlet and knowing that various things like this were placed just offshore in WWI and WWII, I took the steps to get home and model the object. I took 30 images in bracketed form, so I didn’t have to hand around. Processed the images in Photomatix Pro and created a 3D model. Which you can view here:

I subsequently called Police Scotland and had a brief chat about the object and sent them the link to the model (as above). About 15 minutes later, the police were at the house to find out more and to ask if I could show them to the site (of which I had GPS fixes). Then basically, it was classed as a UXO, area cordoned off, Royal Navy bomb squad mobilised etc.

Now, what happened next is very important which I believe is of huge value to the whole 3D community and sketchfab. When you have a photograph of something a lot of the time you just wish you could poke your head around it to see a little more, get that one last view etc. But cannot as its 2D. Now with a 3D model you can. Forget quality etc, the principle that anyone can choose their views and get information from any view is hugely beneficial. This example proves it: the bomb squad could look around the whole model remotely while the police on the ground were feeding back live information to them. Therefore allowing accurate decisions to be made. And as it turned out, it was classed as some redundant trawl gear. Great, an end to a situation by use of remote analysis by specialists and live feedback on the ground. That is the important part. If models can be generated quickly by images, it means it is therefore rapidly deployable, cost effective & a risk reduction tool.

Furthermore the press (Press and Journal) picked up the story and have subsequently published a short story with an image taken from my model. See here: also it made it into print edition.

So to summarise:

Sketchfab as a platform hosting and allowing anyone to easily view 3D models over the internet, has successfully tested a real life situation. Sketchfab worked flawlessly. What a great tool to have in association with 3D data (pint clouds/models/meshes/animations etc).

Photogrammetry as a technique. Cheap, readily available and as accurate as you want to get it.

Modelling from images. Well I have always said 3D is better than 2D in some circumstances; now, this has proved the validity of the usefulness of 3D models not just in current areas of work but a far wider field of use. And provides a useful case to show to people how it is a benefit and not just a gimmick.

Many thanks Sketchfab, its users and the 3D community. Please share in our and your success.

Kind regards,

Director – Leak Heat
Thermal Inspection & 3D Modelling Services