Video: Creating 3D models from a single photo

An international team of scientists from Tel Aviv (TAU) and Tsinghua Universities has created a software-based platform that allows users to create a 3D model from a single photo. According to Ariel Shamir of Tel Aviv University, the platform, aptly dubbed 3-Sweep, neatly combines the cognitive abilities of humans with the computational accuracy of a machine.

“Our technique provides the user [with] the means to quickly create editable 3D parts – human assistance implicitly segments a complex object into its components, and positions them in space,” Shamir explained.

“In our interface, three strokes are used to generate a 3D component that snaps to the shape’s outline in the photograph, where each stroke defines one dimension of the component. The computer reshapes the component to fit the image of the object in the photograph as well as to satisfy various inferred geometric constraints imposed by its global 3D structure.”

With this intelligent interactive modeling tool, says Shamir, the daunting task of object extraction is made simple. Meaning, once the 3D object has been extracted, it can be quickly edited and placed back into photos or 3D scenes, permitting object-driven photo editing tasks which are impossible to perform in image-space.

3D printing technology – projected to be a $3 billion business by 2016 – is a rapidly evolving industry. Indeed, 3D tech recently entered a new and exciting stage in a number of spaces  including the medical spherearchitectural arenascience lab and even on the battlefield.

Want to learn more about what 3D printing can do for you? Be sure to check out Atmel-powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap, which have been favorites of the DIY Maker community for some time now.

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