This sort of tech used to cost thousands and take hours. Now it’s accessed via an app in an Xperia smartphone and executed in seconds.
To find out how it all works, we headed to Sweden and caught up with Lars Novak, who managed the development of 3D Creator.
What is 3D Creator?
It’s a completely new way to get creative using your smartphone. You can scan heads, faces, objects using the Xperia device to create 3D models you can share with friends or turn into physical objects.
Where did the idea for 3D Creator come from?
The initial concept came from the simple idea of wanting to help people to make better memories of the things and people they love. From this starting point, we have now through 3D Creator been able to give the power to our customers to create, and communicate in the most exciting way possible.
How long were you working on it?
Four years in different forms.
Wow. What can Xperia owners do with the 3D scans right now?
The beauty of 3D Creator is that it’s so simple – you can create beautiful 3D models in realtime in under a minute. Then what? Well these models can then be edited and shared on social media, or transformed into avatars and used in Augmented Reality.
Plus, your 3D scans can be created into physical objects using 3D printing. This is available to order directly from the device in the 3D Creator application using our online printing partners such as Shapeways, Sculpteo and DMM.com
…and how about in the future?
Gaming is probably the one I’m most excited about right now. Not only could you make a character look just like you really easily, there could even be games where you are required to scan real-world objects in to play. For example, need to open a door? Scan in a key. Or perhaps a game like The Sims where you could scan your own possessions and use them in the virtual world. This sort of thing. The possibilities are endless. Think about all the innovations that came from being able to capture a 2D image on a smartphone, the 3D revolution is going to be like this over the coming years.
What tips would you give us to create a great 3D scan?
To get the best possible scan my number one tip is to make sure you have the right environment before you start. Make sure you’ve got a good, even distribution of light, while avoiding anything too strong like direct spotlight or sunshine
Second tip is that the object you’re scanning has to have texture and remain still, so if you want to scan your pet it’s definitely possible but try it when they’re asleep! Finally – practice makes perfect as they say!
What is it about Xperia devices that means this is possible now, is it the Motion Eye™ camera?
Xperia has three major advantages. Firstly, yes, the Motion Eye™ camera sensor plays a big part as it has no ‘rolling shutter effect’. This means that the images we receive from the sensor are close to perfect. Second, the TOF (Time of Flight) sensor allows us to accurately measure distances and get a scale of the object. Finally, the powerful CPU/GPU platform, lets our algorithm run at 30FPS.
We’re seeing a resurgence of buzz around AR in the smartphone industry right now, where do you think AR is heading?
We think AR today is only the beginning of something much bigger and more useful in the future.
As the power of the devices increase, more and more advanced algorithms can be run on the devices, which means we can offer better services to Xperia owners.
Only our imagination can set limits to this. We can truly merge the real world and virtual worlds, with all the types of services we have today!
Thanks Lars. Before we head off we wanted to let you know that 3D Creator has just received a festive update adding Christmas costumes so you can now see what you’d look like in a Santa or reindeer outfit. Superb. Find out more about 3D Creator over at sonymobile.com.