Structured Light Scanner ( Sol 3D scanner ) Review . .

jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated
edited March 25 in General Chat

I'm super-excited, Holy Flip . . I ordered a Sol 3D scanner, that uses structured light and, laser triangulation for getting 0.1 mm accuracy, and can scan small objects 20x20 cm high-resolution, 70x70 cm at lower resolution objects . . . I won't offer to make any scans, as the mods say it's a bad idea, I will make a review, do some scans, see how it does things with details, and let you know how it works . . . . So, if you contact me for scans, it won't happen, it's not the forum for it . . I will try and scan various things, see if I can get a turf of grass, and scan the normal map for grass, other common surfaces, and try and scan some common plants, or objects, to see how well it captures sharp edges . . .

There's basically this one, and the Einscan SE ( not same as the SP, which costs 2500 dollars ), that are in the consumer, the Sol 3D costs I think 700 - 800 dollars, and the Einscan SE costs 1250 dollars, or so . . They're pretty expensive, but getting a depth camera for 3D scans is a waste of money, they mostly work in robotic vision, if a car needs to sense in-coming objects, at low resolution . . They look nice on the pages, but it's mostly because there's a texture on, with shadows, so on, so it looks detailed, for game purposes depth camera scanners are NOT the best, in fact I recommend not getting them . . The only way to get this kind of detail, is with a structured light scanner . .

The SOL 3D scanner is slower, scans take 17 - 18 minutes, the Einscan takes 2 - 3 minutes, both must be in complete darkness, and one of them can't scan dark objects, because it uses a red laser, for positioning, and it gets absorbed in black surfaces . . . Here's a scan from the SOL 3D scanner, note also that the Einscan SP ( which cost 2500 dollars ) make less ' precise ' scans than the Einscan SE ( cost 1250 ), so if you want the BEST 3D scanner, for getting game assets that will ' convince ' people, the Einscan SE is THE best right now, and the Sol 3D is definitely good enough for scanning things, and making a retopo, or getting decent scans, that can be baked into normal maps, notice how the SOL 3D doesn't capture sharp edges so well . . .

This 3D dragon, from SOL 3D is a ' good ' example of how the companies often cheat, the scan looks nice, and impressive, but the statue itself is rather ' rounded ', with no sharp edges . . The SOL 3D captures those, with 90 %, or more accuracy, but for those super-nice lines, and details, the Einscan SE is better, and also better than the Einscan SP, which cost twice as much . . For getting 3D models for retopo, and early work noone will notice, and with a bit of sculpting, the SOL 3D is basically as nice as the Einscan-SE . . It's worth knowing these things, so you don't spend 500 - 800 dollars on cheap depth camera scanners, that end up looking worse, than a quick, dirty sculpt, no effort . .

There may be other companies that make structured light scanners, I know one from Creality called CR-T, but it MAY be only available in China, and I think it requires a dedicated, custom android tablet, so it is pricy, as well . . . I haven't found a place to get one, so far the best I've found are the Einscan SE, second is the SOL 3D scanner . . . I will post some scans of detailed objects, so you can see what it does, how works . . .

Video review in spoiler below:

Video review

Point is, don't waste money on depth camera sensors, except if you want them for mo-cap, they are good at capturing motion, not detail . . . :(



  • TwistedTwiglegTwistedTwigleg Posts: 2,127Admin

    (Removed "Update" from the title, since this is a new post, and censored swearing, as it is against forum rules. I also placed the video review in a spoiler, just to be on the safe side)

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Okay, I won't swear again, I was VERY excited <3

    Here are first two images, it JUST arrived . .

    I have a cheap 3 dollar plastic flower, from a nearby super-market with a lot details, fine lines, leaves, will scan it, see if it works . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Here are some more images, from un-packing . .

    Two minutes to ' assemble ', Very easy . . . 3D Heaven awaits . . . <3 :) :) I'll find some nice objects, share some stuff, when I get it working . . . :D

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Downloading drivers, software . . . :D :D <3 . .

    Will post . . . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    First scan running, first it did calibration, then it started, it took 3 minutes, then scanning . .

    The laser moves, while it's doing it, sort of, like a retinal scanner, in a real movie . . . :D

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Second part of the scan, I bought some dirt-cheap mannequin heads on Amazon, that look almost like my character, I will use them as references, for later sculpting, mesh - work . .

    It's fast, 10 - 15 minutes for a scan, maybe a little longer for reconstruction, works well . . . It's a bit small, I'd say max scan size is about 2 - 3 half - liter cola bottles, as the laser is to one side . . But, suppose one needs a horse, one could get an old, antique second-hand statue, perhaps, or some anatomy references, some stuff sold in an antique store, like a 100 year old bust, or so . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Okay, after first scan, took about 10 - 15 minutes, it asks if I want to scan again, from a different angle, or use only scan, from one side . . According to on-line, it automatically combines scan, from different angles, very fast, to get un-seeable sides, of objects . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Scanning a cheap mannequin head, they cost nothing . . . .

    It saves the cost of a female top model, and looks about the same, added ONE of them looks EXACTLY like my character, so I will use that, after changing it, to be ' my ' character . . I don't think the mannequin will mind, that much . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Here's the first scan, it said it failed to ' align ' meshes, from two scans, possibly because the model is hollow, or so, the large empty cavity ' skewed ' the model . . .

    Notice how it captured the shape of the eye-lids, on the mannequin, real accurate, good enough for games . . .

  • MegalomaniakMegalomaniak Posts: 2,028Admin

    Yeah, I wouldn't change the position of the scanable object on the turntable, just do one scanning process of the front/back, and then another of left side and right side.

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Ah, it has enough details . . <3

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    The problem might be, I'm scanning something too big, it also looks like it has problems aligning it, because it can't ' see ' where the parts are, or so . . I will experiment, some more . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Some scans, in complete darkness, and model, original, it didn't capture the under-side of the nose because the scan was from the front . . .

    It's important to know, if you want this kind of detail you need a structured light scanner, the depth sensor / camera ones simple don't capture detail, very well . . . The SOL 3D is the cheapest one I know, there's also Creality CR-T, but it's only sold in China, not sure, and even though it looks simple, it's a special android tablet it's connected to, so it also costs rather a bit, sadly . . They require COMPLETE dark to work, NO light, but then a scan takes 15 - 18 minutes per side, and the computations afterwards take 2 - 3 minutes, on my nVidia GTX 1050ti laptop, i5 2.3 gHz processor . .

    Don't waste money on cheap scanners, they give horrible results, even with a camera depth resolution of 1280x960, they capture many pixels, but the depth precision is low, they're used for robotic vision, not scanning details . . So, if this is good enough, and it gets better with scanning from several angles, you could start here, it's sometimes on sale, 15 % off . . But, it needs to be in complete darkness, with no reflective surfaces in the ' scan space ' . . . Good luck, I will try and scan a horse statue, also a dog, see how good it gets . . . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Okay, there was a little light under the box, was scanning in, so because that didn't move, the calibration got weird, sort of . . The dots on turn-table moved, the light under the box didn't move, so it mis-aligned the mesh . . . Here's a scan in full darkness, pretty good . .

    So, now I have a nose, eyes, and ears I can retopo, and bake . . . just need cut them out, and place them over the mannequin empty head . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    So, now my bad 3D model has a face, finally <3

    I will get some male mannequins next month, also some full body ones, to get hands, feet, other details . . .

    So, getting a 3D mesh based on almost a true super - model is actually pretty easy, if can retopo . . .

    Price : 700 - 800 dollars, for the scanner, 50 dollars for a mannequin, I got two that looks like my character, any-way . . :) :)

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Here's a scan, with the head placed better . .

    Price of a world-class beauty in a game, 40 dollars . . . . <3 :)

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Time for scan : 20 minutes, with post-processing ( mesh - building . . <3

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    After fiddling around one more time, ready to retopo my heroine . . .

    Cost : 25 pounds, on amazon . . . . No model fee, no work . .

  • MegalomaniakMegalomaniak Posts: 2,028Admin
    edited March 25

    Well, it's a start. You'll probably want to get a good scan of one of the ears too, those can be a pain to model as well.

    edit: ah the previous post shows that there is an intact ear, I wonder if the back of it is also good though.

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    I know, I can also get a hand from a mannequin, and a foot, maybe a small mannequin for an entire body, then can be assembled, or invidual parts can be modelled, retopo separately, merged later, as simple as snapping polygons . . Let me know if you want to see a test of something, maybe an object with sharp edges, if you were thinking of buying a scanner, these were done in far-distance mode, it can also move down, to scan really small stuff, but with more detail . . But, no free scans, the mods decide what happens . . . :( <3 <3 ( thx ..) :) <3

    Anyway, it's important to know if you're thinking about it, this kind of detail only happens with the structured light scanners, you can model a better cartoon ear, or lips than you get with a depth camera one . . :( have bought two already, a cheap, and medium priced one, waste of money, also this one sort of minds itself, just put it away, get an extension cable, and you can surf, make art, do other stuff, while it scans . . Only problem is size, the Einscan goes up to 70x70x70 cm, I made a mistake, this goes up to 17x17x17 cm, things outside that gets cut away, when mesh-building . . Only the Einscan SE or SP can scan that big, and it requires the scanner to be on a mounted foot, though it should be easy . . It's important to know what you get, but this is good enough for scanning game models, at least from mannequins, old, forgotten toys, anatomical references, though I'm NOT sure about patents, I've made mistakes there before, don't want to get in trouble . . So, don't ask me to do scans, I'm doing a review for you, and if you want to see how well it scans small objects, other stuff, let me know . . . I will use it to get quick 3D models, since I can't model, not an artist, more like a gamer, 3D fan-enthusiast-modeller . . Polygons, vertices, pixels, that's the good stuff . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Wanted to show the detail level, let me know if there are any questions, it needed to be in complete dark to work, I let a little light in, it messed up the calibration, like made it use-less . . . Easy fix, use the included tent, and cover it up, with a towel or, two . . If you want the best, get the Einscan SE, this is probably the second best, but the scan volume is no bigger than 17x17xcm, beyond that, it just gets removed, when the mesh is constructed, nice toy, will get a 3D printer next month, that prints 30 cm parts, then make my character in different parts, to make 60 - 70 cm statue . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    So, to be clear, no free scans, it's a test of concept, and if you want this detail, you really do need the structured light ones . . This one has two small disadvantages, small scan volume, and the scans take about 18 minutes, for each side, if you need a side that's not visible, it auto-combines them . . The Einscan SE takes 2 minutes, per scan, but since it takes like 40 minutes to retopo a head, for instance, you won't need it . . The Einscan is the BEST, but it costs 1250 dollars, this one costs 700 dollars . . It's a nice toy, I love it, will scan some stuff, maybe some small statues, or things I don't want to model, for the game . . And, getting body references is easy, buy a super-cheap mannequin, and take it apart, foot, hands, ears, nose . . And, you can get like 30 - 40 different ones, on online stores, there are a ton, of them, all are semi-top models, at least most . . . At least it's cheaper than hiring a model, for ones games, as a beginner <3

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Here's the original, you can't see it, but the veins are actually super-sharp, almost a knife-edge, and the scanner doesn't catch that . . It looks like the Einscan SE does that ( the Einscan SP does not, it uses a smoothing effect while building the mesh ), so if you want razor sharp lines on scans, the only one that does that is Einscan SE, to get the same or better quality, scanners cost 6000 dollars, and up, ending at 25.000 dollars, for industrial grade 3D scanners, that are hand-held, used for CAD, reverse engineering, design engineering . .

    So, be aware of that, the level of quality in these scans only come from structured light scanners, and they cost 800 dollars, or so . . Some cheap ones say they use structured light, but it's really a depth sensors, with more noise in the depth sensor, you will basically get a flat skull, with no details, poor markings with cheaper scanners, I already have two, waste of money ..

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Scan, in close mode, not much improvement, but for small parts it's pretty nice . . .

    Anyway, now you can make a decision, and not waste 1000 dollars on other stuff . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Last, it doesn't slow your computer while scanning, but the cables are short, one needs a USB 3.0 hub, or it doesn't work, then one can put it under the table, while it scans . . . . Scanning a muffin, with a bumpy, weird surface in close mode, will retopo it, and post it, with a normal map, for fun . . That's all the scans I'm sharing, fi you write me for free scans, I will send it to the mods, they will explain how it works, since it's a forum . . . . :) <3 <3 Let me know if there's anything you want me to scan, if there's something you want to see in practice, it takes a little time, no worries, and the mods might say no, then that's that . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Muffin, scan . . Perspective, and orthographic . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Here are the real objects, notice it loses some of the super-fine detail, like razor sharp edges, really small cracks . . .

    In terms of money, it might be easier to get Quixel, as the models you buy there can be re-textured, and you can shape them in sculpt mode, at least some, without breaking the textures, so you can get anything, with a little work . . In terms of money, and time spent, also on retopo, it's probably better to get Quixel, or find a good, free 3D models resource, the limit in maximum size is really a down-side . . Cost : 700 dollars US, 870 Euros, with taxes . . A Quixel resource costs 4 dollars, and you can get cheap 3D models online, even free, and you can make a perfect prototype character in two hours, without face details, use a tutorial I made, and get really nice topology, no work . . .

    In the end, my review is, if you want to scan game assets yourself, or sculpt things in clay, work that way, and need them scanned, this will be really good, no one will see this stuff on game models, and a little work, sculpt mode, they'll have sharp edges, as well . . The price for the Einscan is not worth it, unless you want bigger scan sizes, or this detail level right away . .

    If there are any other options, I'd like to hear them . . I'm getting a 3D printer for fun, that prints 30 cm models, I'll cut my character into sort of arms, legs, torso, and glue them together, to get a 60 - 70 cm statue, for the desk . . The one I'm getting uses PLA plastic, which are re-cyclable, which I'm looking for, some new plastics are made 70 from starch material, 30 from wood fiber, to give a nice, hand-made feel, or ' craft ', or so . . . I can't wait to see my model, or character on my desk, if I never finish the game, I still made a toy, I can show to others <3 ;)

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    Conclusion : The quality is good enough for games, with a little work they're game ready, but there are cheaper ways, even free texture resources, where you can get 1k textures, with normal maps, so on, for free . . The new Quixel mixer is also free, and I think you can even mix your own textures in there, so there is basically free software, for almost everything . . It's also worth knowing that making an AAA game is a LOT of work, and ones first games will probably be relatively low-poly, for a single person anyway, so a 3D scanner might not be needed, but is nice to have, a cool toy, good stuff . . . . <3 ;)

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    IF you need a human scanned, or some mannequin, or sculpture you made, there are companies that do that, as well . . I think the cost for a professional photogrammetry scan, with 32 - 64 cameras is like 200 dollars, for a person . . Photogrammetry can also be used to make 3D scans, but a good DSLR, with a nice lens costs 450 - 550 dollars, for entry-level, so a 3D scanner might be nicer, and photogrammetry will never capture these details . . As I see, this provides more detail than you for a game, since one won't be able to see it, due to the resolution, unless one goes to 4K, also baking an AO map might make the scans look even nicer, for free . . . .

    Plus side is, it's plug-and-play, and once you remove all light, it works right away, didn't get any problems from my graphics card, or my low-range gaming laptop, computations after the scans take 2 - 3 minutes, and slow down the computer there . .

    Is it worth the money, I don't know, can't say . . But it's probably cheaper to do other stuff, don't know, the models from Quixel can be modified in sculpt mode, without going into Dyntopo, so they can be infinitely modified, with a little work, retaining the nice textures . . <3 Be smart, money, is money . . .

  • jbrooks79jbrooks79 Posts: 1,308Premoderated

    That said, I'm pretty excited about it, now I can scan anything, if I can find a small model, and all the custom little knick-knacks I want, to make my game personal, I can buy used stuff, toy furniture, model trains, other stuff, and get going with some nice results, it's a trade-off, for enthusiasts . . If you want me to scan something, like a model train, you can write it here, I'll buy it used for my own money, just to try it, can't post the scans as they're 25 megabyte, but if it's something I want myself, I'll try and get it used, plus it HAS to be legal, just remember . . If this is not a good idea, the mods can perhaps delete this post, so it doesn't get posted <3

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