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How To Add Color onto Your 3D Scan Data


Have you ever wanted to visualize color on your ATOS 3D mesh? With the GOM Software feature known as image mapping, you can image map a 2D photo onto your 3D mesh. Adding color to your mesh feature is helpful if you're involved in the design through manufacturing product cycle, including maintenance and overhaul. By utilizing the image mapping function, you can take a photo and import it into GOM Software, where it can then be mapped onto the 3D mesh.


How to Use Image Mapping in GOM Software

The first example will use a small art sculpture. First, ensure you have the required files to achieve color on your mesh. You'll need GOM Software, photos of your part of interest, and a 3D data set of your part. For this example, the files are JPEG. Next, open GOM Software to begin adding the 3D mesh to the project. Drag and drop the files into the project and select a new part. The software will then ask how you want to import the 3D mesh, including what type of units will be used and what type of element is being imported. For this example, use the default parameters and select OK.



Now that the mesh is in the software, you must add the desired photos to the project. To do this, drag and drop the file of interest into the 3D workspace and select Other Image. The software will then prompt you to add a custom name and input a focal length for the photo. If you're unsure of the focal length, right-click on the original file, click Properties, go to the Details tab, and then scroll down to where it says Camera. Under the Camera section, there is specific information about the image, including the camera used to capture it, the different settings used, and the focal length, which is 35-millimeter in this example. Input this number in the software and click OK.


At this point, the image has no direction or relation to the mesh, as shown in the image mapping view inside the software, so go to Operations, Mesh, Color Mesh from Images, and Orient Other Images. The 2D image inside a dialog box will appear along with the 3D mesh in the background. From here, select five points that are in common for both the mesh and the image. These five points must be distinct enough and well spread throughout the part, so it's easily repeatable on both the 2D image and the 3D mesh, providing the best result. After selecting the fifth point, the image will snap into place and have relation and direction to the mesh.


How to Add Color to a Mesh in GOM Software

Add color to a mesh by navigating to Operations, then Mesh, then Color Mesh from Images, then Camera Image Contents on the Mesh. The software will prompt you to add a custom name, then select the mesh you want color added to, and give the option to lighten the camera image or blend the reference points if the photos were taken with reference points on the part. The software will provide a preview of the mesh and then select OK. The mesh now has color from the direction of the image, and the areas the picture did not have line of sight will be left colorless. If you need full-color coverage on the mesh, you'll need to add photos from more than one angle. To do this, import the desired images into the project, drag and drop them into the workspace, and select Other Image. Follow the previous steps by selecting the five common points. Repeat these steps for each image.


Five additional photos have now been added, and the image mapping view now shows a good distribution of pictures surrounding the part. Next, CTRL and click on each photo. Once each photo is selected, go back into Operations, Mesh, Color Mesh from Images, and Project the Camera Images onto the Mesh. Once complete, hit Create and Close to turn off the image mapping view. You'll now be able to visualize your 3D ATOS mesh with color. There's no size limitation of what you can add color to; if the 3D mesh and 2D images are in the GOM Software, the function will work.


How to Add Color to a Mesh in GOM Software to a Large-Sized Object

GOM Software can also add color to the mesh from a large-sized object, such as a full-size vehicle. The process is the same, despite the larger size of the object. To begin, make sure the software contains the 3D mesh of the subject, which is a 1976 Ford Bronco for this example, and our 2D image of the truck. Begin by going to Operations, Mesh, Color Mesh from Images, and Orient Other Image. Then move through the process of selecting five common points between the 2D image and the 3D mesh. Once you've selected the fifth and final point, the software previews the image overlapping the mesh for you to review and then hit OK.


Now that the image is overlapping the mesh projecting the image onto the mesh is the next step. Begin by going to Operations, Mesh Color, Mesh from Images, and Camera Image Contents on Mesh. The software provides the option to input a custom name and then select your mesh of interest. Once complete, you will have your mesh with color. Next, hit Create and Close. From here, you can drag and drop the color mesh to show that element exclusively. Now you can visualize the 3D ATOS mesh with color. 


How to Change Mesh Color in GOM Software

Another way color can be visualized in GOM Software is by changing your mesh color. This example will use a digital representation of an Xbox controller. The Explorer tab shows all the various meshes that make up this data set. In its current state, it's challenging to differentiate between the multiple components that make up this part, but changing the mesh color makes it easier.


Begin by selecting the mesh of interest, then open the Properties tab. There are two ways you can open the Properties tab. One way is by clicking the double arrows on the right-hand side of your screen, and the other is by simply clicking the hotkey Tab. Once inside the Properties tab, navigate to the display bar and find Surface. This section houses a dialog box for the front side and a dialog box with various color selections. From here, select the color you wish to add, and you'll see that only the mesh you selected will be changed.


Learn More Digital Engineering Tips

GOM Software's image mapping function is a unique tool that enhances your ability to visualize and map real-life photos onto the scan data. After just a few simple steps of importing an image and selecting points, you're able to see color details mapped onto your mesh. GOM Software contains many more simple but powerful functions designed to enhance your digital engineering abilities. To learn more about the advance digital engineering strategies GOM offers, or to hear about the latest in ATOS 3D scanning technology, contact a Capture 3D team member today!