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  • Writer's pictureM Aerospace RTC

Bringing Photos from 2D into 3D

No longer must you become a Michelangelo to create incredible sculptural pieces that would bring even the David to a posture of admiration. You don't even have to be a sculptor at all, because 3D printers can do the work for you and take a 2D image to 3D model life more easily than you probably would imagine. Now it is possible to (relatively) easily create 3D models from photos, and so in this article we will endeavor to show you how to make a 3D model from a picture.

Image Converters for 3D Renders

There are a few popular image converters that are easily accessible and cheap or even free. Converter programs are designed to use an existing photo and model a 3D render. This is the easiest method, although it offers the least wiggle room when it comes to customization.

Smoothie-3D is a donation-based converter which is best used for symmetrical images. After uploading your image, use the tools to draw an outline around it. From that outline, a 3D render will be generated and can be exported to be printed. You can also play with the orientation to see the image from multiple angles, and change the shape of your render into preprogrammed shapes provided.

Selva3D utilizes automatic tracing settings for its image converter. Although lower quality files can be downloaded for free, if you need a high quality version, just purchase a few credits for a small fee.

3D Modeling

For more complex projects, Blender is an open-source 3D modeling program that's a great option if you're looking to create 3D models from photos. The Face Builder in Blender can be used to create something even as complex as a face or even an entire body. Final textures can even be added to create incredibly complex and life-like models. Although there is a free trial for the Face Builder portion of Blender, there is a fee of over $100 for use after that.

This is just the beginning of the possibilities that are continuously opening up in the world of 3D renders. As programs advance and improve, expect to see and perhaps be a part of the transformation of how we make and enjoy sculpture. And of course, the applications of this technology are limitless, so keep your eyes open for novel uses and innovations.

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