By Michael Burns | on February 24, 2009
Price When Reviewed: 875 . 440
Pros: Perspective-driven calibration for single images and panoramas; improved UV mapping workflow; enhanced texture blending; modelling and constraints improvements.
Cons: Unforgiving of poorly shot images; relatively expensive; multi-image calibration workflow can be complex; Windows-only until March.
If all goes well, ImageModeler can retrieve the spatial coordinates of any 3D element from its projections and use the 3D points to build a polygonal mesh. This can then be manipulated – for example, you can use the new Bevel tool to add more details by subdividing an edge. Polygon primitives and imported 3D objects can also be added to scene and edited.
You then use a choice of planar, cubical, cylindrical or spherical mapping projection to build a UV map of parts of the object mesh, and ImageModeler will provide a selection of shots from which to extract textures.
This is simple with a single image or panorama, but with multiple images you can define the resolution of the texture and base the extraction on the best image for each part of the model. You can also use a Smart Blend mode to automatically smooth out the texture. You’re then ready to use the textures as materials, mapped accurately onto the models.
ImageModeler isn’t cheap and calibration can be tricky, but it has real value for working with photoreal textures. Models can be exported to post-production software or CAD workflows, with two-way support for 3DS Max, Maya and AutoCAD files. Presently the software is just for Windows, but a Mac OS X version will be available in March.