Autodesk Reality Capture Technology Rapidly Evolving, No Longer Science Fiction

Categories: People & Culture

Impact of High-Definition 3D Reality Capture Extends Far Beyond Design and Engineering Community

Since its introduction to the world this year, Autodesk ReCap technology has not only captured the imagination of design, engineering and entertainment industry professionals but has also spread across the globe among artists, scientists and historic preservationists, finding many fascinating new uses. From a 3D reconstruction of a downed World War II plane in Palau to a museum in Sweden creating 3D models of ancient Egyptian mummies to Louise Leakey’s profound anthropological studies in Kenya, Autodesk ReCap technology has caught on like wild fire in just a few months.

At the same time, the company’s high-definition 3D reality capture technology is rapidly evolving as well. This week, Autodesk made some exciting updates to its Autodesk ReCap Photo service.


Available since April 2013, ReCap Photo allows professionals to create high-resolution, detailed textured 3D models from photos using the power of cloud computing.

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Autodesk ReCap Photo is the professional equivalent to Autodesk’s popular 123D Catch app; it provides more detailed meshes and textures, better  lens distortion handling and calibration, a higher count of processed images and unlimited resolution. The updated ReCap Photo has an even more powerful mesh and calibration engine than the previous version to achieve the best ever photo-to-3D results. The updated service also has a new Web front-end that contains a wizard-like guided user experience, relevant training, sample projects and other useful links, providing more holistic experience.



The potential of capturing reality using photographs and laser scans is exhilarating. However, users of prior generation solutions are often confronted with a “last mile” problem. In order for them to use the 3D models in their web catalogs or design and manufacturing processes, they are often challenged to clean them up. It has historically been a tedious process to go from the scanned or captured model to a usable 3D model for digital publishing, production or for fabrication into a physical object using digital manufacturing methods like 3D printing. Limitations of existing tools on the market force users to jump between numerous applications and devise manual workarounds or to divide the projects in multiple parts to finish.

Project Memento breaks that barrier. Interactive, responsive, powerful, fast and fun, Project Memento analyzes the results of digital models generated from Autodesk ReCap, laser scans or modeling tools such as Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Mudbox for errors. Its smart mesh diagnostic tools visualize errors and guide the user to easily fix any problems, automatically or manually, and then prepare the models for digital publication or 3D printing. Project Memento is able to handle both the complexity and fidelity of the models, easily managing the hundreds of millions of polygons generated by the process of capturing and converting 3D models.

Project Memento is available as a free Technology Preview on Autodesk Labs.

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While Project Memento is currently available as a technology preview, users will find it far faster than existing alternatives on the market.

We’re sure we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the imaginative applications that our customers will  devise for high-definition 3D reality capture, and the technology just got better. Check out the latest at and Autodesk Labs, and share your story with us!