Monday, June 28th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Get neat free photogrammetry app PhotoCatch

A 3D model of a BMW R80-7 recreated from source photos in PhotoCatch by Sketchfab CEO Alban Denoyel. The free Mac app, which integrates with Sketchfab, is based on Apple’s new Object Capture API.

EOS Innovations – aka developer Ethan Saadia – has released PhotoCatch, a free photogrammetry app based on Apple’s new Object Capture API, available in the current beta of macOS 12 Monterey.

Online portfolio site Sketchfab – with which PhotoCatch is already integrated – describes the software as “the first app to incorporate Object Capture and make it accessible to anyone”.

One of the first image-based modelling tools based on Apple’s Object Capture API
There are plenty of other photogrammetry tools on the market, several of them available free.

However, PhotoCatch is the first we’ve seen to make use of Apple’s new Object Capture API, available in the beta of the upcoming macOS 12 Moneterey.

The API is mainly intended for turning images captured with the iPhone or iPad camera into textured 3D models for use in augmented reality apps, but it works with photos from any source, as does PhotoCatch.

Export textured 3D models to Sketchfab, or as USDZ or OBJ files
PhotoCatch provides five preset quality options, plus a basic range of parameters to control its output.

As well publishing the models it creates directly to Sketchfab, the app can export 3D models in USDZ format and – as of last weekend’s update – as OBJ files.

Although most of the examples generated so far are of relatively small objects – the bike embedded at the top of this story is one of the largest – PhotoCatch can even scale to recreating entire buildings.

Being based on an Apple API, you will need to be a Mac user to make use of the desktop version.

However, if you’re running a different OS, you can still try out the underlying technology via online service PhotoCatch Cloud, although you have to pay per model generated.

System requirements
PhotoCatch is available free for macOS 12, and requires either an Apple Silcon Mac or an Intel Mac with 16GB of RAM and an AMD GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

The desktop version is licenced under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence, and is free for personal use. Commercial use is available on request.

PhotoCatch Cloud is priced at $1.99 per model, plus additional fees based on the quality of the model generated and the number of images uploaded.

Download PhotoCatch for free from the product website