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123D Catch - Convert Photos into 3D Models

123D Catch is a photometric reconstruction program, completely free, from Autodesk. That is, it converts our images into 3D models. To do this, it is only necessary to take several photos of the object from different angles.

The use of the program is really simple. We create a free account, registering with our email address, and download the program. Inside it, we choose the photos we want to use, and these are computed on Autodesk’s servers. In this way, our computer does not perform any calculations, which allows the program to work even if our computer is not powerful. The program does the work automatically, and the user only has to worry about providing the images of the object.


For the process to be carried out properly, it is important to take a suitable series of images around the object. It is necessary for the images to be ordered, that is, each image should show part of the previous one, without forgetting the top of the object. About 15 photos should be enough. It’s best to take a couple of turns around the object, taking photos every 20 - 25 degrees approximately, and then finish with a round of about 6 images from the top.

Any modern camera will give good results. The precision obtained will depend mainly on the images we have taken, the lighting of the scene, and the material of the object (better if it doesn’t have shiny surfaces). In general, impressive results are achieved with very little effort. Here is a video presentation of the program, showing models of figures, people, and buildings, obtained with this program.

Update: Autodesk has retired its line of 123D applications and replaced them with the functions of TinkerCad, Fusion 360, and ReMake, so 123D Catch is no longer available.