Epic Games’ app that turns photos into 3D models now available on iOS

Epic Games released RealityScan for iOS today. The free app, previously available on a , allows anyone to scan real-world objects with their phone and turn them into high-fidelity 3D models.

The app is the brainchild of Epic’s of Capturing Reality, a company specializing in photogrammetry software. Like the company’s desktop software, RealityScan combines 2D images to create seamless 3D assets for games and other virtual environments. The idea is to enable game developers and other creatives to scan real-world objects anytime and anywhere for their projects. (If the metaverse goes away, you can imagine tools like this will become essential.)

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The scanning process begins with signing in to your Epic Games account and taking at least 20 photos of an object from all sides. As you move your phone, a real-time quality map shows how well you’ve covered it: green means well-covered areas, yellow could use more attention and red should the most additional photos. It describes the places where you took each picture similar to little Polaroids floating around your object.

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Tree stump scanning with Epic Games' RealityScan iPhone app

Epic Game

The app uploads and automatically aligns images to the cloud as you take the photos. You can preview the model by looking at the camera and switch between a quality map and an ongoing, full-color rendering. If you want to crop it, it will pop up 3D handles for you to drag around, making sure to only get the object, not the floor below it or objects in the background.

The process works best with simple objects captured in even, indirect light (reflective or wet surfaces are not captured well). It also appears to work best with larger objects, as my attempt to capture a small Mr. T action figure resulted in something that looked more like a pointillistic painting than a functional model.

If you are happy with the capture, you can export it to Sketchfab (a 3D asset platform Epic last year), where you can use it for 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality projects. Optionally, if you get something unique, you can try to sell your 3D model. Game developers who need something specific for a virtual environment are the most logical audience here.

RealityScan is now available for iOS and iPadOS in the App Store. Last year, Epic said an Android version would arrive later in the year, though the company was running short on time to meet the deadline.

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