Photogrammetry and 3d scanning
Photogrammetry (or to be clear, "Stereophotogrammetry" is the process of determining the 3d coordinates of points from pairs of photos taken from different positions, and using those points to build point clouds, depth maps, meshes, and fully textured 3D models. That's right, you can take a bunch of photos of something, throw it into some software, and make an accurate 3d model of that object. It is like magic!
Photogrammetry was invented more than one hundred years ago but was limited to surveying, reconnaissance, and aerial imaging. It has evolved into full 3d modeling for as long as computers have been fast enough to do it.
Since the early 21st century, the evolution of photogrammetry software as well as the ever-increasing computing power (especially of GPUs in the past few years) has brought 3d reconstruction via photogrammetry to much wider adoption.
While my main job as CEO of Mosaic involves building large and complex camera systems for geospatial applications including photogrammetry, I also enjoy the art and craft of 3d scanning very much. You can see some examples here on this page, as well as on Sketchfab.
If you ever find yourself in Prague's Old Town Square, you should go here (right behind the cathedral), to my very favorite little shop in the city. It is so full of incredibly lovely old STUFF that you can literally spend hours here and not see anything (I did spend hours here, more than once!) Milos, the owner, is a lovely guy who will be happy to tell you about anything and everything in here. You can find their website here: www.prague-antique-shop.com
san francisco police car - 1999 ford crown victoria
coat of arms made of bones
kutna hora, czech republic
This is an interactive 3D model. Press the "play" button and then use your mouse / finger to rotate the image. You can right-click (or use two fingers) to pan the image. Be sure to click the FULLSCREEN button!
Videos of 3d scans
Here are some "fly through videos" of 3D scans that my team at Mosaic and I have made. These videos show models which might be hundreds of millions of triangles and many gigapixels of textures, so it is much easier to watch a pre-baked video of it, just to get an idea about it.
In general, these models have not been manually cleaned up or retouched. (Of course we can do that as well, but these are just demos)