Creating and animating a 3d model by scanning a real world object with a smartphone

At Droidcon a couple years back I had a go sitting in a chair while a camera was rotated around me to create a 3d model of myself. The company said they would give everyone a link to download the 3d models following the event, but disappointingly they never did, and they just ignored my attempts to contact them. This left me wanting a way to create a 3d model of myself… myself.

I found an app called ‘123D Catch’. It’s avaliable for Android, iOS and a windows application via Autodesk’s website

The most interesting object I could find in the house to scan was a Unicorn candle I made for my partner.

Unicorn Candle

Unicorn candle that I made for my partner

It’s pretty simple to use, you take photos from several angles around the object (the app keeps track using the gyro) and then you select all the good images (delete blurred photos etc) and upload them. Note that the upload process can take a while as you are uploading 30-50 photos, and on top of that the server takes quite a while to create a 3d model out of all your images.

Downloading the object and importing

You can download the 3d model from Autodesk’s website. Choose .obj and download the object mesh. I then followed this quick youtube tutorial on how to tidy up the model by deleting all the surroundings. The model had a very large number of vertexes (which can take up a lot of memory)

Vertexes before tidying up: ~700,000
Vertexes after tidying up: ~120,000

Screenshot of object in blender

Screenshot of object in blender

If there is any interest I will make the .obj and .blend available for download.

Blender wiki was invaluable, as it’s seemingly impossible to remember the keyboard shortcuts.

Animating and Exporting

I wanted to use blender to make a simple video rotating the camera around the object. Following this stackoverflow post it was quite simple.

Finished Result

Next step
Creating a model of myself!!!

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PortDroid – Portscanner networking tool for android relased

I’ve always enjoyed playing about with network security tools, so I decided to write an android application that merges a few of the most useful network security tools.

PortDroid on Google Play


  • Local Network – Find devices on the same network
  • Port Scanner – Search for open ports on a device
  • Ping – Check the response time from a device local or remote
  • Traceroute – Trace a route between your device and a given host
  • Settings – tonnes of settings for all the tools
  • Advanced browsing of /proc and /proc/net for device network information








PortDroid on Google Play

PortDroid on Amazon

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Getting bitcoins in the UK

So getting bitcoins in the UK has been quite difficult ever since blockchain.info stopped allowing Barclays ping-it transfers. This was a really convenient method of obtaining bitcoins and the alternatives are going through multiple websites and or countries and therefore losing additional money in the transfer.

Blockchain.info stops all UK Deposits

Blockchain.info stops all UK Deposits

However I’ve found a website that hooks up local people looking to buy with those looking to sell for a small transaction free localbitcoins.com. You can meetup face-to-face or do bank transfers etc online and use their escrow system to avoid getting conned.

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HTC Desire HD stand and battery charger

Just a quick post to mention how much I am enjoying using a dock for my phone. It only cost ~$19 avaliable on dealextreme, it comes with a EU plug (US version avaliable too) but I’m just using it via usb.

HTC Desire HD stand and battery charger

HTC Desire HD stand and battery charger

What’s that awesome live wallpaper? It’s the latest beta of nexus revamped! This dock has been really useful for development of this livewallpaper, so handy/convenient.

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