Photogrammetry for Old Machines

When I am tasked with modeling old equipment, I like to do a photo scan (photogrammetry) first. This allows me to go back when I’m done with the design and compare important features. If you have ever made a part and then discovered it was off by 1″ when you went to install it, you’ll understand the value of this.

I once designed a bracket for a generator. I used a tape measure to draw the as received part. Normally, when I use a tape measure, I don’t use the end of the tape. I just don’t trust that the end isn’t bent or the slot in the tape that allows the end to move 1/16″ isn’t damaged. I line up one edge with 10″ and then take the measurement subtracting 10″ from what I read on the other end.

Well…I use 10″ now. I used to measure by lining up the first edge with 1″ and this created the problem with the generator bracket because I forgot to subtract the 1″. The bracket was about 20″ tall and I forgot to subtract the 1″ from the measurement. If I had started with 10″, my error would have been obvious when I was drawing the new bracket.

The lesson learned was that initial measurements are sometimes wrong. If you are modifying a design, that initial photo scan can tell you alot.

So…today I scanned a fluid drive. This is an old American Standard Size 315 Gyrol fluid drive. The size “315” refers to the diameter of the oil circuit inside the fluid drive where 315 = 31.5″.

Even though 99.999% of artist don’t know what a fluid drive is or how it works, they may find the old authentically dirty look an interesting addition to an industrial scene. I didn’t do much work after scanning it. So if you want to use it in a large scene, you may want to decimate it a bit.

https://www.cgtrader.com/3d-models/industrial/industrial-machine/size-315-fluid-drive

Blender Quick Tip – Photogrammetry Lighting

Photogrammetry scans already come with their own lighting. When using these scans in Blender, you can get a natural look and speeds up Blender with a few clicks.

shading-blender-photogrammetry

  1. Put the 3D viewport into the solid mode. You can click the solid circle in the upper right corner or hit the “Z” key and then slide your mouse to the right.
  2. Click the shading option arrow next to the shading modes in the upper right corner
  3. The lighting default is “Studio”. Change it to “Flat”
  4. The color default is “Material”. Change it to “Texture”