Sharktooth Model Trials

A project log for Photogrammetry and Image Acquisition

An exploration into image acquisition techniques and its effects on the quality of 3D models using Pix4D Mapper Pro software.

travis-broadhurstTravis Broadhurst 07/11/2016 at 10:010 Comments

It was a lengthy process, but I have finally created a complete model of the Megaladon Sharktooth. This is difficult to create the main reason that all objects must be stationary in order for a model to be made of that object. Thus, if the object is stationary, it has to have an attachment point. In most cases, this attachment point is a pedestal for the object, or the ground if the object is on the ground. Because of this support, the model cannot be complete because the camera cannot see the surface of the object that is covered up by the support.

One solution is simply trying to work with and ignore the support. In this case, the surface has to either be interpolated using the 3D modeling software, or must be fabricated and merged with the existing, incomplete mesh using Blender or a similar software. Although this method works, it is not optimal nor is it always accurate.

Another possible solution to the support problem is to create a support that is as small as possible. For example, I could have drilled a hole through the sharktooth and tied a thin finshing line through that hole. This would be a very minimal support, and the fishing line would likely not even show up. However, since the sharktooth is a collector's item and is very valuable, it is not practical to drill a hole through it.

Instead, I was able to create the attached video by merging two meshes of the sharktooth. I used Pix4D Mapper and images taken of the top and bottom of the tooth to create both triangle meshes, and then used Blender to merge them together into one mesh that includes fine detail of all surfaces of the sharktooth.

Before being successful in this, I attempted many unsuccessful trials that included supporting the sharktooth on styrafoam tabs to reduce the coverage of the support. This covered a great deal of the tooth and was not successful. I also tried taking images of the top and the bottom, calibrating both, and then merging the projects into one using Pix4D Mapper. This was not successful because of the sharp angle of the tooth. The sharp angle creates a large difference in the camera angle between the top and the bottom, as compared to a much smaller difference in camera angle if modeling a basketball.

Please see the attached images for more examples and please view the files in the project with the tag "Sharktooth_" at the beginning.

Thank you.