Make3D Creates 3D Models from Photos

Posted by Martin Vilcans on 28 February 2008

I tried out Fotowoosh a while ago and came to the result that it was a cool technology, but not good enough to do anything useful with. Now a competing product called Make3D has appeared. They both basically do the same thing, which is to take a photograph as input and calculate a textured 3D model from it. Make3D has a different kind of algorithm which sounds impressive. Unfortunately as far as I can tell, the results aren't much better than those of Fotowoosh. Take a look at my test images. The results are still cool, but not good enough to be very useful.

The big difference between Fotowoosh and Make3D is the web site. Fotowoosh is implemented as a Facebook application (!) that renders a movie where the camera moves in a preset path around the 3D model. Make3D instead lets you move the camera around freely, and also allows you download the 3D model in VRML format so you can import it into a 3D application and actually do something with it. It is also possible to "fix" an image by drawing the planes by hand, helping the Make3D algorithm do its job. I wasn't able to improve the results with this functionality.

It will be interesting to follow the future development of these applications. Currently they are still a curiosity with limited use, but hopefully the algorithms will be improved and we'll get useful results.

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