Check out promising free 3D scanning app Display.land
Originally posted on 3 February 2020. In August 2020, Ubiquity6 discontinued Display.land.
The app processes video footage and depth sensor data from high-end smartphones to generate 3D scans that can be exported to other DCC tools in a range of common 3D formats.
(Full disclosure: it actually came out late last year, but we didn’t manage to cover it at the time.)
A promising free tool for scanning entire 3D environments
Although there are a number of existing mobile photogrammetry apps, both free and commercial, most are geared towards scanning relatively small objects.
In contrast, Display.land is geared towards capturing entire environments: from spaces “as small as a courtyard to entire city blocks”.
The resulting scans look detailed enough to be used for quick virtual location scouting or for use in games or real-time applications, as in this Display.land sample environment, or the demo reel below.
Turn video footage and sensor data into 3D scans in OBJ, glTF or PLY format
Rather than capturing still images from a range of angles, users simply scan an environment in real time, with the app recording both video and sensor data, tracking position in space.
A tracking bar at the bottom of screen shows the user’s movement around the environment being captured, and therefore their progress towards generating a complete scan.
iOS users can also view a set of dots overlaid on the camera feed showing points that have been captured from multiple angles, with the density of the dots helping to show scan coverage.
Processing is done online via Display.land’s servers: Ubiquity6 says that “smaller captures will take anywhere between 5-10 minutes [while] larger captures may take up to a few hours”.
Once generated, users can make simple edits to the 3D mesh in-app, including cropping out unwanted parts of the environment, dragging and dropping in stock 3D models, or adding text notes.
The completed model can then be downloaded in OBJ, glTF or PLY format for use in other DCC apps.
Alternatively, users can share the scanned environment publicly via Display.land itself, with Variety describing the app as “an Instagram for photogrammetry”.
More advanced features coming in AR authoring tool Display.land Studio
Display.land looks to be designed with ease of use in mind, so there aren’t a lot of settings: users can adjust the brightness of the source footage, but not currently focus or exposure.
Ubiquity6 is also developing tools for using Display.land scans as the basis for AR and VR experiences: Display.land Studio, its cloud-based authoring tool, is currently in early access.
System requirements and availablity
Display.land is available free for iOS 12.0+ and Android 7.0+. Although sign-up requires users to create an online account, the personal data captured is minimal, according to Ubiquity6.
The app uses Google’s ARCore augmented reality framework, so it requires a compatible phone: a Samsung Galaxy S8 or above, Google Pixel 2XL or above, or an iPhone 6s or above.
Visit the Display.land product website
(Includes download links for the iOS and Android apps)
Updated 1 October 2020: Well, that was a brief ride. Ubiquity6 has now discontinued Display.land, removing the app from distribution on 11 August 2020, along with access to associated data.
The firm’s own website remains active, and the goodbye message on the Display.land site says that it is working on “new projects”, but there is currently no more information than that.