Taking the photos

Set up the tent, turntable, and lights, and experiment with finding the best settings for your camera (using the tips under Equipment > camera).

I take one photograph for every increment marked on the turntable and one extra photograph. The extra photograph is fundamental for this process and requires the object to be removed from the frame, but everything else, including the camera and the tripod remain the same. You need one of these photographs for each camera level.

I usually repeat this process for three different levels, which I'll refer to as High, Mid and Low. You may need to use more levels for tall objects, as each object presents its own unique set of challenges.

At the end of the process you should have 36 photographs for each height, plus one extra where the object is removed from the frame. So, for this example there are 144 photographs plus 3 (where the object has been removed). This number can probably be reduced, but as I am keen to maximise accuracy I haven't personally tried.

There is an illustration of this process below and sample photographs for each height.


Post-processing your photographs isn't always necessary but it is useful to consider. For this statuette I'm not going to post-process my photos. In other projects, where the models are awkwardly shaped, slightly shiny or just difficult to light, I've found post-processing to greatly improve the quality of a final model.

If you do want to use post-processing, I recommend shooing in RAW. These RAW files can then be opened in a programme for editing and then exported as JPEGS for use in PhotoScan.

I use Adobe Lightroom. Thing to try include:

  • Boosting the contrast
  • Increasing/decreasing exposure
  • Reducing shadows
  • Reducing highlights

Sorting the photos

Before opening PhotoScan, sort the photographs into three folders named 'high', 'mid' and 'low'. Each folder has 36 photographs plus one where the object has been removed. They should all be in jpeg format with the minimum possible optimisation. At this stage you can also create a folder named 'Additional_files' to which you will add project and export files.

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