July 2013
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123D Catch – the future of 3D Modelling?

My neighbor is a director/producer of movies, and one night we got to talking about some of the cool things that are available in that sphere.  He turned me onto a really cool application called 123D Catch (http://www.123dapp.com/catch) which is a free app for the iOS that creates 3D models out of pictures!

Apparently Autodesk, which many of us know from the CAD world, bought Maya (http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-maya/overview) – a 3D modelling company used by Hollywood studios to  do 3D models for movies.  Along with that acquisition came this little application which allows you to take a number of pictures, upload them to the cloud, and have a 3D model rendered for you.

It reminds me of a very cool application developed a while ago by Microsoft called Photosynth (http://photosynth.net/) – which is a really powerful way to create immersive scenes.

Here’s my idea for combination:

What if we were able to push our Oblique aerial imagery from Pictometry (which is georeferenced) into the 123D catch capabilities, and create georeferenced 3D models of our cities?  We have the imagery, they have the computing power (maybe), and it could be really cool!

ESRI makes something called CityEngine, which allows planners to build city models pretty quickly (http://www.esri.com/software/cityengine) – this could be a way to generate real models very quickly!


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