Getting started

I am providing a DIY option for those who do not have access to a professional studio setup. That said, there is a minimum amount of equipment necessary to complete the full process. To bypass the photography stage you can download some prepared photographs here and proceed to the chapter titled 'Agisoft PhotoScan'.

This software takes a collection of images and uses them to produce a 3D model. It can only work with what it is given - so ideally, evenly lit, high-quality images covering the complete surface of the object being photographed. In my experience, care taken at the photography stage ensures less work 'in post'.

Specular highlights can be problematic when photographing using the turntable process. Light reflecting off the object's surface can confuse the software, and needs to be minimised/eliminated. This means there are certain limitations as to which objects are suitable. I recommend avoiding objects with reflective and/or transparent surfaces where possible.

For this guide I will be photographing this soapstone statuette of Rodin's The Kiss. This is a suitable subject as it has a relatively non-reflective surface texture, fits within the light tent, is not too heavy for the turntable, and has enough detail to illustrate the capabilities of the PhotoScan software.

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