How to Easily Master Textures With Artec 3D Scanners

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Aside from their ability to capture complex geometry without any targets, one of the greatest features of handheld Artec 3D scanners is their ability to simultaneously capture color.

 Sometimes refered to as texture, color is incredibly important to create lifelike renders and identify key locations on parts. Normally, texture has to be captured seperately and then projected onto a mesh – a time-consuming process and impossible if any part of the object moves between the two different captures. Since the handheld scanners capture both geometry and texture at the same time, there isn’t any issue matching the color to the exact position it should be. 

Below is an example of a tapestry captured using the Artec Leo and processed to one million triangles. The mesh, triangles, and raw texture data provides a high-quality mesh with matching full color spectrum.

Artec Leo 3D scanner tapestry processed to one million triangles

How to Add Texture Effectively

With our scan captured, we can process and apply the texture to the mesh via the texturing tool. With this tool, we have various options to adjust how the color is applied – such as which scans the color will be pulled from, normalizing the textures, and most importantly, the quality of the color being applied.

Artec Leo 3D scanner options for adding texture

The output texture size affects the overall quality of the texture – the lower setting generates higher pixilation but has the smallest file size. This texture doesn’t have any extra information beyond color, often referred to as the Albedo layer of a material. Once exported, you can use this color layer within a rendering program and adjust the lighting and overall material of the mesh while keeping true to object colors. This texturing process can also help with reverse engineering if the product has key locations marked and outlined with chalk or paint. 

Below is a list of the outputted textures based on the size used in the options:

512 pixel texture captured with Artec 3D scanner

1024 pixel texture using Artec 3D scanner

2048 pixel texture capture using Artec 3D scanner

4096 pixel texture capture using Artec 3D scanner

8196 pixel texture capture using Artec 3D scanner

16384 pixel texture capture using Artec 3D scanner

While there is a significant difference in quality between 512×512 and 8196×8196, there is almost no difference between the 8196×8196 and 16384×16384. Additionally, the file size is almost tripled between 8K and 16K, adding to processing and exporting times. 

When applying the texture, keep the end use of this mesh in mind. If it’s going to be a single object, rendering the 16K texture may be useful, but in a scene of multiple items, 4K may be enough if the object is in the background. 

Adjusting Texture Settings with Glare Reduction

Another option that can improve the quality of the color of the mesh is glare reduction. This will normalize the entire scan to reduce areas of high contrast from the scanners light. The higher this setting is, however, the more muted the color becomes. Keeping the setting at 3-4 is recommended because of this. With reduced glare enabled, we can also use the reduce background information, which helps with competing surfaces in scan data that may cause overlapping texture issues.

Adjusting texture settings with glare reduction for Artec 3D scanners

Once the texture is applied using the export option, which combines the color maps all into a single file, we can export the mesh as a .obj or .wrl so the color can be remapped to our mesh in another program. From here, we can adjust the material of the mesh or color map within photo editing software to create lifelike renders.

Adjusting material mesh for textures with Artec 3D scanners

For more information on 3D scanners or if you have any questions, contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. 

Picture of Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher is an application engineer who specializes in all things 3d scanning. Starting off as a SOLIDWORKS user he now uses a variety of 3d scanners to inspect, reverse engineer, and create renders of products. With an interest in digital preservation 3d scanning is also a hobby to capture unique finds around the city and parks
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