Tutorials ->3D Animation ->Getting started with 3D


Requires PhotoAnim installed on your computer.

Modeling principles

The following assumes that you have seen the video...
It is very important to understand the modeling principles used by PhotoAnim:
This will allow a correct selection of photos which can be successfully transformed to 3D.

Starting from basic shapes is an easy way to understand how it works.

Most of the work is done automatically when you select
Animation -> Initialize -> 3D from front view image.

This is when the funny animated fish is keeping you waiting...

Axis definitions  
One should always start from a front view image of the subject.

For each point X, Y of the image, PhotoAnim will attempt to determine the corresponding thickness Z. This technique is described as "depth mapping" in the litterature.

Note: Top views or side views can also be used, but no perspective views.

Modeling a cup: axis definitions
The first step performed by PhotoAnim is skeletonization. Think of your object as being a mountain: Ridges are detected and they are the skeleton or frame from the shape.

The end effect is that the rendered object thickness will be closely related to the skeleton shape.

Skeleton control:

Checking "Constant" forces the skeleton to a constant Z value, as defined by the slider. It is used mainly for creating 3D text.


Skeleton of a disc

Skeleton of a rectangle

Skeleton from a torus or donut

Skeleton of a cup
Building surface curves  

Next step performed by PhotoAnim is building 3d surface curves.
Curves shape in the Z direction depend from the shape control:

but also from the lips openings.

All curves are drawn from the skeleton to the 2d object contour


Surface curves for a rectangle. The skeleton is the blue line
Building the mesh  

The final step is defining vertices and building the mesh.
This divides the object 3d surface into small triangles.

If Symmetry is checked, a symmetrical shape corrected by the Back Factor is added in the -Z direction.

Mesh detail from the cup
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