Epic Games releases free 3D scanning app RealityScan
Originally posted on 4 April 2022 for the initial beta, and updated for the final release.
Epic Games has released RealityScan, a free photogrammetry app that turns smartphone photos of real-world objects into textured 3D models for use in augmented reality, game development or general 3D work.
The app, which “takes what people love” about Epic’s RealityCapture photogrammetry software and “puts it in the hands of anyone with a smartphone”, is currently available for iPhone and iPad.
An Android version will follow in 2023.
Free iOS app makes high-quality photogrammetry available to anyone with a smartphone
Developed in collaboration with Epic Games subsididary Quixel, responsible for the Megascans library of scanned 3D assets, RealityScan promises “fast and easy scanning” from standard consumer smartphones.
The app is intended to make the 3D scanning capabilities of tools like RealityCapture, the photogrammetry software that Epic acquired last year, accessible to hobbyists as well as DCC professionals.
A free smartphone photogrammetry app with nice AR-based usability features
Although there are a number of other free 3D scanning and photogrammetry apps, RealityScan has several appealing augmented-reality-based usability features.
As soon as the user takes a photo of an object, the position from which the photo was taken appears in AR.
Once enough photos have been taken to generate a 3D point cloud, RealityScan overlays it on the object, with red points indicating parts of the object where more photos are needed.
As soon as enough photos have been taken to generate a good-quality 3D model, the points turn green.
Upload 3D models to Sketchfab for export to DCC applications and game engines
The data is then processed in the cloud, with RealityScan displaying a preview of the resulting 3D model.
The model itself can be exported to Sketchfab, the Epic-owned online model-sharing platform, from where it can be downloaded in FBX format for use in other DCC applications and game engines.
Files uploaded to Sketchfab are automatically transcoded into glTF and USDZ formats, supported in applications including 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, Unity and Unreal Engine.
At the time of RealityScan’s beta release, Epic told us that it would “explore additional options” for export, but – at least in the initial stable version – it doesn’t seem to be possible to export models directly.
However, Basic Sketchfab accounts are free, and on uploading their first model, users are automatically upgraded to a Sketchfab Pro account – normally priced at $180/year – for a year.
We’ve contacted Epic Games to ask about the resolution of the scans that RealityScan generates, and will update if we hear back.
System requirements and availability
RealityScan is available free for iPhones and iPads running iOS 16.0+ and iPadOS 16.0+. The Android version is arriving “in 2023”.