No one can doubt the hardware quality of the camera in most iOS devices, especially the newer ones, but many have complained that the accompanying software is not up to the mark. Even something as simple as panorama mode is missing in the stock iOS Camera app. However, all these shortcomings don’t count for much, thanks to the large number of photography-related apps available in the App Store. 123D Catch is an iPad app that aims to turn panoramic images into a thing of the past. Using this app, you can convert simple images into 3D models, and view them from any angle using the 123D Catch viewer (available within the app). All you have to do is snap a bunch of photos, submit them to the Autodesk cloud, and within a few minutes, you will have a three-dimensional adaptation of the images. Read on for details.
A short introductory video is played when you launch 123D Catch for the first time on your iPad. Once you have seen (or skipped) it, an example image shows up. You can play around with this photo to learn what 123D Catch really means by 3D. The app makes use of the gyroscope in your tablet, and by moving the iPad around, you can change the photo’s orientation. Another method for watching the image from a different angle is to swipe across it using one finger. A two-fingered swipe changes the overall position of the photo while keeping the angle steady. If you get too lost in the image’s angles, just press the first button on the right of the bottom bar, and the photo will come back to its original state. The button next to the first one can be used to toggle gyro controls. It is possible to export a capture of the image (from any angle) to your device’s camera roll, or share it with anyone via email.
Other than the one example image displayed by the app on its initial launch, there are a few more available in the gallery as well. From the gallery, you can go to the Autodesk community pages and view the 3D images shared by fellow 123D Catch users. If you are looking for a particular image, tag or user, the search button is located in the bottom right corner of the page. It is also advisable to sign up for an account of your own at this stage, as without doing so, you won’t be able to create new 3D images. Creating a new Autodesk account requires nothing more than your email address and a few other details.
Now that you have got a 123D Catch account, you can create new projects with ease. Just hit the camera button from the gallery page, ready the object in front of you and start shooting. For best results, make sure that the background is non-uniform and unreflective, and doesn’t have too many extra objects. The subject of your photo shouldn’t be reflective as well, and must be rich in detail. The user just has to snap the target’s photo from every angle possible (a maximum of 40 photos can be shot for a single project), and then hit the Finish Capture button. After that, make sure you are connected to the internet and hit the project’s thumbnail to render it in 3D. A few minutes will elapse, and you can navigate out of the app in that duration if you want to. 123D Catch alerts its users with a push notification as soon as their project is ready to be viewed.
The results of user projects might not be as awe-inspiring as the example ones, but they are still pretty good. The app is free, and if you own an iPad, do give 123D Catch a try by heading to the link given below.