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Create 3D Model from Photos

  • 6 min read

The Complete Guide to Creating 3D Models from Photos

Can you make a 3D model from a photo? The answer lies in the fascinating process of photogrammetry, which revolutionizes digital design by creating 3D models from photos. By capturing multiple images of an object from various angles, specialized software reconstructs these images into intricate and accurate 3D models. This process enables artists, designers, and industries to effortlessly transform real-world subjects into detailed digital representations, fostering innovation and creativity across diverse fields. This article sets the stage for understanding the power and versatility of generating 3D models from photos, offering a gateway to a world of digital possibilities. Read on to learn how to make 3D models from photos with this complete guide.

Tools You Need Before Making 3D Models from Photos

Before diving into the creative process of converting photos into 3D models, it's essential to have the right tools at your disposal. Equipping yourself with the appropriate software and hardware not only simplifies the process but also enhances the quality of your final model. Here are some essential tools you need to prepare:
  1. High-Quality Camera:A DSLR or a camera with high resolution is crucial for capturing detailed photos from various angles. The better the photo quality, the more accurate your 3D model will be.
  2. Lighting Equipment: Consistent and good lighting is crucial for capturing clear photos. Natural light is preferable, but in its absence, use softbox lighting or similar setups.
  3. Stable Tripod:To avoid blurry images and ensure consistency in your photos, a stable tripod is a must.
  4. Image Editing Software: Programs like Adobe Photoshop may be useful for refining photos by adjusting brightness, contrast, or removing unwanted elements. To create 3D models from images online, you can also use Vectary, Sketchfab, and more.
  5. Turntable (Optional): For rotating the object to capture it from various angles, aiding in complete model reconstruction.
  6. Computer with Sufficient Resources: A powerful computer with ample RAM and storage for processing images and running resource-intensive software.
  7. Photogrammetry Software: Meshroom, RealityCapture, or 3DF Zephyr Free facilitates the conversion of photos into 3D models using image-based techniques.

How to Make 3D Models from Pictures?

Embarking on the journey to create 3D models from 2D images is an exciting process that combines technology with creativity. Having equipped yourself with the necessary tools, let’s delve into the detailed steps of how to create a 3D model from photos:
Step 1: Capturing High-Quality Images
The first and most crucial step in creating 3D models from 2D images is to capture a comprehensive set of high-quality photographs of your subject. To create a detailed and accurate 3D model, it's essential to cover every angle of the subject. This involves taking multiple photos around the object, ideally in a 360-degree manner. Consistency in lighting is key to avoiding shadows and reflections that can distort the 3D model. Using a tripod can aid in maintaining stability and consistency across all images. For scale and orientation accuracy, including reference points or markers in your shots can be incredibly helpful.
Step 2: Image Editing (Optional)
Once you've captured your images, the next step is to edit them, although this is optional. This stage is about refining your images to ensure they are as clear and consistent as possible. Using photo editing software, adjust the brightness, contrast, and color balance to ensure uniformity across all images. This uniformity is crucial when the software stitches the images together, as discrepancies in lighting or color can lead to inaccuracies in the 3D model.
Step 3: Importing Images into 3D Modeling Software
With your images prepared, you're now ready to import them into 3D modeling software specifically designed for photogrammetry. This software will analyze the images to identify common points and start the intricate process of stitching these images together to form a 3D model. This phase is where the software algorithm works to interpret the 2D images as a single 3D object, aligning and overlapping the photos based on similarities and reference points. The software effectively calculates the depth and dimensions, transforming your array of 2D images into a unified 3D model.

What Can You Do with the 3D File Made from 2D Images?

Once you've mastered how to make a 3D model from photos, you will find the possibilities for its use are vast and varied. Here's a look at some of the exciting applications:
  • 3D Printing:Perhaps the most direct application, you can use your 3D file to print a physical model of your subject. This is particularly popular in industries like manufacturing, prototyping, and even in hobbies and crafts.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): The 3D model can be integrated into VR and AR environments, enhancing immersive experiences in gaming, education, and interactive media.
  • Animation and Gaming: 3D models created from photographs can be rigged and animated, making them suitable for use in animation and video game development. This is a boon for creators who want to bring real-world accuracy to their digital creations.
  • Architectural and Engineering Visualization: In architecture and engineering, these models can be used to visualize buildings, landscapes, or product prototypes, providing a realistic representation of the final product.
  • Historical Preservation: 3D models of historical artifacts, buildings, or sites can be a tool for preservation and education, allowing for detailed study and public display without the risk of damage to the original.
  • Medical and Scientific Analysis:In medical fields, converting 2D medical images into 3D models can aid in diagnosis, surgical planning, and education. Similarly, in scientific research, 3D models can help visualize complex biological structures or geological formations.
  • Marketing and Product Presentation: In marketing, 3D models can be used for product demos, interactive advertisements, or online catalogs, providing customers with a detailed and interactive view of products.

How to 3D Print the 3D File Made from 2D Images?

If you are wondering how to bring your digital creation to life through 3D printing, you are at the right place. Here, we will use the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer as an example to walk through the process of 3D printing a file made from 2D images:

Preparing Your 3D Model

Begin by preparing your 3D model. You can either use computer-aided design (CAD) software to refine the model you created from photos or choose a ready-made design from the AnkerMake model library. This step ensures that your model is print-ready and tailored to your specific requirements.

Slicing the 3D Model

Use the AnkerMake slicer software on your PC to slice the 3D model into layers. Slicing is a crucial step in 3D printing, as it converts your 3D model into a format that the printer can understand and execute. Adjust the print settings during this stage, such as layer thickness, infill density, and print speed. These settings should be chosen based on the complexity of the object and your desired print quality.

Loading the Filament

Next, load the filament material into the printer's extruder. Ensure that the filament is properly inserted and secured. The choice of filament can vary based on the model's requirements and the desired properties of the final print, such as flexibility, strength, or color.

Calibrating Printer Settings

Calibrate crucial printer settings, including nozzle temperature and bed temperature, based on the filament material. Different materials require different temperatures for optimal printing.

Initiating the Print

Start the printing process. With the AnkerMake M5, you have the convenience of initiating the print either through the AnkerMake app on your mobile device or by sending the G-code/A-code from your phone or PC directly to the printer.

Monitoring the Printing Process

It's advisable to monitor the initial stages of the printing process, especially to ensure proper adhesion of the first few layers to the build plate. This step is crucial for the overall success of the print.
By following these steps, you can effectively transform your 3D model, initially crafted from 2D images, into a tangible, physical object using the AnkerMake M5 3D printer. This process not only brings your creations to life but also opens up a world of possibilities for prototyping, manufacturing, and personal projects.


Making a 3D model from photos is a transformative process that merges art, technology, and innovation. Through photogrammetry, a collection of images evolves into detailed, digital replicas of real-world objects or scenes. This method unlocks endless possibilities for industries, artists, and designers, facilitating prototyping, artistic expression, education, and more. With the right tools, techniques, software, and 3D printers, this approach democratizes 3D modeling, offering accessibility and versatility for anyone seeking to bring physical objects into the digital realm. As technology evolves, this method continues to push boundaries, enabling a seamless bridge between the tangible and digital worlds, and fostering creativity, problem-solving and advancements across numerous disciplines.


Which Free Software Is Ideal for Creating 3D Models from Photos?

Meshroom and 3DF Zephyr Free are popular free software options for creating a 3D model from photos. Meshroom, an open-source photogrammetry software, and 3DF Zephyr Free, a user-friendly option, both reconstruct 3D models using image-based techniques.

Does Adobe Have a 3D Modeling Program?

Adobe offers Adobe Dimension, software for creating 3D scenes and product mockups. While not a full-fledged 3D modeling tool, it simplifies the creation of 3D designs by integrating with Adobe's Creative Cloud, enabling users to combine 2D images and 3D assets effortlessly for visualizations.

What Is the Simplest Method for Crafting 3D Models?

Photogrammetry, using apps like Qlone or 3D scanning with smartphone cameras, offers a straightforward method. By capturing an object from multiple angles, these apps convert photos into 3D models, making it one of the simplest ways to create basic 3D models from 2D images.