Turn pictures into 3D model

Know more about creating 3D models from photos using software, mobile apps, and online tools

converting 2d to 3d

How to convert images to 3D model?

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1. Using Software

Context Capture, Faceworx, PhotoScan, ...

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2. Using Mobile Apps

3DSizeMe, 3D Creator, Canvas, ...

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3. Using Online Tools

OmniVirt, Selva3D, Smoothie3D, ...

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4. 3D Designers

3D Designing Services

3D modeling is amazing and you've thought about making a 3D model of something like your cat or dear grandpa at least once. If you’re a beginner, you may ask these questions: How can I get a 3D model of objects? What is the best tool? In the following, we have some information about 3D modeling tools, applications, and software that we think can be helpful.

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1. Using Software

A 3D model that is made by multiple images has more details and is very close to reality. If you are interested in making a more accurate 3D model of objects, use the following tools. Take note of the fact that for getting an excellent render of your 3D model you should have some high-quality photos taken from different angles.

If you want to print your 3D model, some services like i.materialise can do that for you! In the following, We listed some of the most common software developed to generate photos to 3D models.

1. Looxis Faceworx

faceworx software

An easy and amazing application capable of obtaining a tree dimensional figure of a face. It needs 2 photos to create a real representation. This tool supports photos with BMP, JPEG, GIF, EMF, WMF, TIFF, PNG or ICO format. It has a good response time, uses low CPU and RAM, and works well on newer operating systems. No error dialogs were shown in our tests, and the app did not hang or crash.

Cost: Nothing! It's totally free.
The main problem is about the angles that photos have been taken: one front and one side. If the position of photos isn’t exact, the result is not desirable. When exporting in OBJ format, the texture may be fully black. This is due to OpenGL issues. To solve this, update your graphic card. The application does not include image processing tools, such as rotation, color adjustment and brightness.

2. ContextCapture


The principle of ContextCapture is to analyze several photographs of a static subject taken from different viewpoints, and to automatically detect pixels corresponding to a same physical point. Its application is most for architecture and manufacturing modeling, but you can use it to make a 3D model objects. It requires a simple camera for acquisition instead of an expensive special device. ContextCapture is the only 3D photogrammetry solution on the market automatically generate 3D meshes with level-of-detail (LOD).

Cost: Use this link: ContextCapture price
Limitations: It's usaually used for big size projects.

4. ReCap Photo

ReCap software

Use ReCap photot software to convert reality into a 3D model or 2D drawing that’s ready for further design. Recap Photo has a paid version, But it has a free version can also generate 3D model and upload it to STYLY.

Cost: This software costs $40 a month or $350 a year.
There is a limitation of 250 photos which can be processed in ReCap 360 Pro Photo. Also with free version of ReCap you can only process 50 photos. For the counts of projects there is no limitation but you should be aware that your A360 drive storage is used for ReCap 360 web projects. So that might be limiting, depending on how you use your storage. ReCap Photo “Object” mode allows you to upload maximum 300 photos and requires 12 cloud credits per project.

3. Agisoft Photoscan

Photoscan software

After Autodesk ReCap and ReMake it’s now time for Agisoft PhotoScan. It’s a professional photogrammetry software includes comprehensive tools for editing the point cloud before generating a 3D mesh. Agisoft Photoscan appears to be a complete software, useful for various applications. You will have the choice between the professional version and the standard version. The standard edition is still quite complete, you will get all the basic software tools that you need!

Cost: The Professional Edition which costs $3,499 and the Standard Edition at $179. Both versions can tested during a 30 days free trial.
There are some technical requirements on your computer to work it properly (ex. RAM more than 256GB)

5. 123D Catch

123D Catch software

AutoDesk 123D Catch is just one of a range of free software from the CAD and modeling powerhouse Autodesk and it's free software for processing a group of photos taken from objects, converting to 3D model and then exporting the result in DWX, FBX, RGI, OBJ, IPM and LASS formats. This tool is available for IOS, android, and windows.

Cost: Nothing! It's totally free.
123D Catch works on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 operating systems.

6. Memento (ReMake)

Memento software

Memento is a software solution for “converting any reality capture input (photos, scans) into high resolution 3D digital mesh replicas.” Todays, Memento solution is available as a commercial release with a new name: ReMake. Notably, ReMake is also the latest Autodesk software to receive cloud treatment. Since Autodesk’s cloud-computing resources handle the heavy computing load, this means the software will run on a wide variety of internet-connected devices. It’s not just for spec’d-out computers anymore.

Cost: It is available for $300, although it is free for college and university students.
The free version of ReMake imposes a processing limit of 50 photos per 3D scan. The PRO version is able to process up to 250 photos per 3D scan.


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2. Using Mobile Apps

3D scanning with a smartphone is a great alternative to high-priced scanning equipments. With a little bit of clean up, you can recreate some of 3D model of your favorite physical objects.

Limitation of using mobile tools
  • Time: you may spend a lot of time trying to get many of these apps to work, and it can be frustrating for people who just want a good scan.
  • Effort: In order to extract the best possible quality out of 3D scans, retouching in software is needed.
  • Results: Poor quality images are a common problem with the current generation of 3D scanner apps, as many smartphones don't have the necessary hardware of a good scan.

Here, We have listed some FREE smartphone scanner apps used for generating the 3D models of objects. All of them work with the art of photogrammetry and extract 3D models out of 2D images. All you need is taking photos from different angles and stitching them together with 3D scanning technology that you've installed on your phone with these tools.

Icon App Operating system Extra hardware
3dsizeme app 3DSizeME IOS Yes ($379)
3dcreator app 3D Creator Android No
canvas app Canvas IOS (iPads only) Yes ($379)
capture app Capture: 3D Scan Anything IOS (iPhone X) No
itseez3d app ItSeez3D IOS (iPads only) Yes ($379)
Qlone app Qlone IOS/Android No
scandy app Scandy Pro IOS (iPhone X) No
scann3d app Scann3D Android No

The object is not available? No matter! You still have a chance to get your 3d model. Converter mobile apps have been designed to solve this problem. there is no need for the object, use the existing photos.

Icon App Description
poppic app PopPic PopPic is a free, popular 3D camera app that makes capturing 3D Photos quick and easy. There is no need for user to move their camera around the object. This 3D Photo app have filters that users can apply to their photos directly within the app.
2D to 3D converter app 2D to 3D Image Converter 2D to 3D Image Converter offers you an easy way to convert 2D images in your phone gallery to 3D SBS images, which you can watch in 3D TV or Virtual Reality devices (i.e. Google Cardboard, VR headsets).

3. Using Online Tools

In the following, there are some of the best online tools for converting a single image to a 3D model. With these tools, You can get your 3D model just with uploading your photos on the online tool. THAT'S ALL!

Online Tool Brief Description
OmniVirt’s free 3D photo creator mobile application allows users to easily transform 2D photos into 3D.
The user can either upload 3D photo depth map or use OmniVirt’s AI which will generate one based on the appearance of the 2D photo. After the 3D Photo is generated the user can save and upload it on Facebook.
Smoothie 3D
Online Smoothie 3D platform uses one image to create an online smooth digital model.
It’s something like what you use a scan or photogrammetry. If you need an asymmetrical model with high level of details, this platform can’t create it for you!
Convert images, drawings, logos or anything you can imagine into 3D STL files for 3D printing or CNCing.
Selva3D just gives you an extruded model of photo that you yourself can set up the height and threshold of final result.
Use this free online tool to convert images into 3D .STL files suitable for 3D printing or loading into your favourite 3D editing package.
The results can be printed with a 3D printer or if you would like to process the model further, it can be loaded into most 3D editing packages such as Blender etc.
With Insight3D, you can create a 3D model from a series of images of a real scene. The tool measures the positions in space as well as the camera’s optical parameters along with 3D point-cloud of the scene. Note that this tool only work on windows and Linux platforms.
3D Face Reconstruction
In 2017, British researchers revealed an interesting AI-powered tool that turns your face into a 3D model.
The AI tool extrapolates a face from one image by feeding it multiple pictures and corresponding 3D models. To develop this, researchers used a simple convolutional neural network that performs direct regression of a volumetric representation of the 3D facial geometry from a single 2D image.
Embossify is an online design utility service to transform .JPEG images into 3D STL files suitable for 3D printing or CNC routing.
It tessellates the image file pixel- by-pixel until generating a complete topographic model of the image brightness. The tool offers low-resolution renderings (108,000 facets) for free, and if you have multiple images to process, they would charge you less for high-resolution rendering.

4. 3D designers

All of the above applications and software can convert photos to the 3D model you're looking for!

Sometimes, you may need more and more details, applying corrective changes, or an accurate and professional model. Also, You may have no time (or not on mood) to learn how these tools work! don't despair! In these cases, getting help from a good 3D scanner and designer is a good option (Of course, apart from the cost 😁).

3D scanning gives you a very similar model of the original photo. Great! But it has some disadvantages, too! 3D scanning is suitable for color models and making full-color sculptures with 3D printing. 3D mesh is something that determines the detail level of a model and as you see in the below picture, 3D scan can’t give you a high-quality 3D mesh. The texture is the most important factor of similarity in 3d scan and if you remove it from the 3D model, 50% of similarity disappears.

So, if you want to make a full-color sculpture and you absolutely need the texture, 3D scan is so helpful, count on it! But for getting a more customized and accurate 3d model, it's better to think about getting help from 3D designer services. They can create your 3D model any way you like!

3D scanned model without texture

We are Selfix. A professional group of 3D-designers that can help you to get the 3D model you’re looking for! All you need to do is:

1. send your selected photos (Preferably with high quality and at least three different angles) for us,
 2. Approve the renders we'll send you,
 3. Get your sculpture or 3D model that is ready for 3D printing.

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We are Selfix, a professional group of 3D portrait designers. No matter what is your purpose of a 3D model, We create it!

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1. What is 3D modeling?
2. Four best 3D photo apps 2019
3. Best 3D scanning apps
4. Convert 2D image to 3D