Project 01


The first project utilizes contemporary methods of documentation and representation to compose an architectural form. We’ll use photogrammetry techniques to 3D scan our bodies in various postures then texture map, render, and physically model the digital scans. Our bodies will be thought of as architectural parts that aggregate spatial relationships within and around them. Along the way, we’ll encounter terms such as form, scale, collaboration, ground, projection, and posture.


Over the course of this project, we’ll use the following techniques:

Photogrammetry (Autodesk Recap), 3D Printing, Rendering, Orthographic Projection, Digital Modeling (Rhino), Image Manipulation (Photoshop), Inkjet Printing, Mounting, Project Presentation.

1.0 FORM



July 11th 9am

Using a cardboard box that sits on the floor as a prop, each student should create a body posture that reflects an active pose. You will work in groups of three to document each posture. Consider how arms, legs, and torso should inflect around one another to convey a sense of weight/weightlessness, motion/stasis, and balance/lean.


Deliverables: 2 Elevations and 1 Plan Render of Individual Postures



Follow the steps laid out below for best practices in working with photogrammetry and software for post processing the digital model.


Recording the Pose: Photogrammetry w/ Autodesk ReCap Photo


There are several entry level 3D scanning softwares available on the consumer market, each with their own method of translating a physical object in space into information that could be used by a 3D editing software to reconstruct that object in a digital space.  The most common of these methods is photogrammetry. To be somewhat reductive, photogrammetry compares multiple photographs of a single object from slightly different angles to determine through parallax the location of a point in space on that lands on that object.  The collection of all these points, collected as a mesh forms the 3d scan. The fidelity of the scan is influenced by, among other things, the number and spacing of the original images, sharpness and resolution of source photographs, evenness of lighting, and contrast between object and background. 

This first step will use Autodesk ReCap Photo to process the images, please follow the instructions provided to download and install this software.  Also, it is highly recommended that a three button mouse (appropriately sized) is used when working with any 3d software. 


1. In each group, take turns posing and photographing each other.  Each photograph should be within a 10° difference from the previous photo (Approx ½ Step).  You will need a minimum of 36 images each full circle around the figure. Repeat this from a low, medium height and high point of view for a total of 118 photographs. The subject must hold their pose for the entire duration of the photo session and should be in the center of each photo.  Be sure to include the box for scale in the scan. Download the photos to your computer when done.


2. Open Autodesk Recap Photo, and select in the upper left corner Create 3D>Object.  Select in the window to Add Photos, then Create. This will take between 30-60 minutes to upload and process.  When complete you will see the model is available to download. Save, then open the file.


3. To navigate around the 3D mesh in Recap Photo, use the Middle Mouse scroll to zoom in and out, Right Mouse Button to Revolve around the 3D Mesh, and Click and hold the Middle Mouse scroll to pan parallel to the view of the 3D Mesh.  Explore the button on the Bottom of the software to change appearance of the Mesh and interface. In the next step, we’ll use the menu on the left to edit.


4. Using the command menu on the left of the Recap Photo software, remove excess background mesh faces, cut and cap the model, then export images as ‘png’ files.

  • Rotate the scene into top view (or use upper right view cube).

  • Use the drag and select tool (rectangle in lower menu) to select then delete the excess mesh.

  • Return to a perspectival view, then use the Cut & Slice tool to trim and fill the remaining mesh.

  • Rotate the scene to an elevation view (front, right, left, back) 

  • Export an image as a ‘png’, with a 8192 ppi resolution. 


Camera, Cardboard box, Autodesk ReCap Photo









July 12th 9am

In your group of three, revisit the previous assignment in order to create a cohesive arrangement that the three postures will combine to create. Although you will still scan each student individually, you should plan out how the postures react to one another once they’re assembled in Rhino. Plan ahead by photographing yourselves in the arrangement ahead of time, before scanning. Consider how one posture inflects towards another and whether the bodies are entangled or aligned, connected or separated, loose or compact. Additionally, consider how the bodies will react differently or similarly to the cardboard box. 


Deliverables: Elevations and Plan Renders of Group Arrangement (Part 1)


Deliverables: 3 Elevations and 3 Sections of Group Arrangement (Part 2)



First Pass should be with 1st scan. The digital scan models in Recap are scaled to the presumed size of the original photos rather than the actual dimensions of the physical space recorded. To combine the group models we will first import each model in the 3D editing software Rhino and scale the model, using the box prop as reference, to a 1:1 dimension.  Rhino offers an expanded set of tools to transform, compose, and represent the collaborative efforts of the assignment.


Scale the Digital Model to 1:1


  1. Using the methods from 1.0, scan and edit a new set of poses using ReCap.  Analyze/Fix Mesh to ensure the model is properly closed.  

  2. Export the 3D model. 

  • Under the Advanced tab, 

  • Export as: OBJ, 

  • Target face count: 50,000, 

  • Textures: Rebake As One Image, Size: 8192, 

  • Generate map: Diffuse Color.  

  • Save the file.

  1. Open Rhino, use an “Inches Small Objects” template, import the OBJ file exported from ReCap.

  2. Scale the model using a box edge as reference 

  • Toggle OSNAPS on, then toggle Vertex on in the OSNAP sub menu.  

  • Type Scale in the Command Line, 

  • Select one point on the corner of the reference box select another corner of the reference box along a shared edge, type the actual length of the box to scale the model to 1:1. (Box dimension: 19-1/2” x 37” x11-¼”)

  1. Move the model to the origin of the scene 

  • Select the model, type Bounding Box into the Command Line, Enter twice

  • Select the model and newly created bounding box, type Move into the Command Line.  Select a corner low corner on the Bounding Box, and type 0,0 in the Command Line.  Hit Enter.

  • Delete the Bounding Box.

6. Save the Model as a .3dm Rhino file


Composing with Multiple Models

  1. In one file, Import the models from the remainder of the group.

  2. Use the Rotate, Move, Orient, and/or Gumbal commands to compose the group.  Consider repetition, sidedness, and interiority of the group.

  3. Copy the composition and set aside.  Attempt another version.

  4. In the Front and Top views, make a few high resolution screen prints.

  • Find the orientation of the model relative to view of your liking.

  • Type in the command line “-ViewCaptureToFile”

  • Set Pixel dimension width: 3840 height: 2160

  • Browse: Save as .png file









July 12th 2pm



When you are ready to export your mesh you will need to do so as VRML file. Do not export your mesh as a STL since STLs files do not hold color and your print will come into Zprint as white. 


In order to export your object, first select the entire object. Under the file tab select export selected and remember to change your file type to VRML. Press save and the settings options for VRML files will pop up. 













Please follow these necessary settings for exporting a VRML mesh. Vertex colors will retain the mesh’s assigned color to its proper location on the object. Vertex coordinates will retain the location of your source image based on your map projection settings so the image is not wrongly mapped once it is brought into ZPrint. NOTE: You can find ZPrint software installed in the PC Lab machines or you can find installer \\sciarcshare\CNC Drop\SHOP TUTORIALS & SOFTWARE to install your own version.


Once you have exported your colored model as a VRML, open VRML in ZPrint to check that all texture map coordinates are set properly. When opening your texture mapped object in ZPrint please note that you might need to relocate your source image in order to relink it to your object. Always keep your VRML mesh file and your source image together in the same folder. Save As in Zprint. Your model will be saved as a .zbd file and texture map as .jpg or png. Note: Each ZBD file(s) is limited to 20MB in size.


Place the ready-to-print ZBD file into a folder with your name and telephone number – separated by dots ( Submit the folder to: \\sciarcshare\MM 2018\3D Print Files



Individual 3D print files with texture map are due Friday July 12th 2pm in \\sciarcshare\MM 2018\3D Print Files


Once submitted, files will be reviewed and sent for printing at the SCIArc Shop. Please make yourselves available in case files are wrongly formated and need fixing. You will be alerted by phone call or text.


Printed models will be returned to you next week.


Deliverables: Elevations and Plan Renders of Group Arrangement (Part 1)


Deliverables: 3 Elevations and 3 Sections of Group Arrangement (Part 2)




July 15th 9am

Construct a set of orthographic drawings that represent your digital model. As a group, render a series of elevations, plans and sections of your arrangement. Texture map a high contrast, black and white image into the model.


Print out a 1:1 (full size) rendered elevation and section. Mount these drawing the opposite sides of a sheet of cardboard and cut out the profile. Without gluing, devise a way to make the cut-out stand on its own.


Deliverables: 1:1 Cut-Out Elevation. Section, and Plan



Self-service printers, cardboard



Monday July 16th 9am


Deliverables: 1:1 Cut-Out Elevation. Section, and Plan


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