Week 46 - Mince pies and selfie scans

My first week “back at work” has been filled with consuming excess Christmas pastries and improving Evryway Scanner.


My first Selfie Scan:

And a new kitchen for a new year:

What’s cooking?

I’ve had a decent amount of interest from folks wanting to help test out Scanner, which is cool. I think the most interesting thing so far is how few models people are sharing up to this point - which means that Scanner isn’t yet ready for general release just yet. (If it was, I’d be seeing the testers use it much more regularly than they are). I’ve still got a long list of improvements to make, so I’m going to have to hold off my urge to just ship the damn thing and try and improve it to the point where it’s actually useable enough for folks to take a scan just as though they were taking a photo or a video.

The scans that are coming through are all highlighting the big issues and challenges - the main two being device drift and colour calibration. There’s not much I can do about the first, especially given that Google appear to have removed the ADF creation tool (Tango Explorer Tool) from the Play store - which means I’ll need to put some work into ADF creation in the app.

Colour calibration is definitely fixable, but I’m looking at at least a few weeks worth of work to do it, so to be honest I’m a bit scared to start. It will be valuable to understand the domain, and it will make a massive difference to the quality of the scans, but I’m not sure I want to spend the next month with my head in white papers.

Alternative apps

There’s a few apps playing in the same space now.

Open Constructor

Lubos Vonasek’s Open Constructor is great for quick scans. Motivated by Google’s removal of one of the best things about the initial Tango drop, he’s creating a Constructor app replacement.

Simple Scanner

Andy Nakas’ Simple Scanner is another easy to use tool that creates good results. No Texture mapping yet, but super-easy to use.


One of the original cool tools, RTAB-Map can give great results, and is doing a lot of the cool things I need to do (colour correction, and mesh fixups). I think this produces the best results I’ve seen so far (much nicer than mine!) but it’s not so easy to get them off the device. Mesh density is really high too, so the models get big pretty fast.


Voxxlr has released a version that works on Phab 2 Pro, and I’ve seen some nice results, although having to sign up to a service to share scans isn’t really my cup of tea.

Matterport Scenes

Matterport Scenes really isn’t what I was expecting from the biggest player in the space - it’s a great pointcloud scanner, but I was hoping for so much more. (Hoping so much that I made my own).

Next week …

I think it’s time to focus on scan quality a bit more - so I’m going to look at changing scan resolution, dust removal (the cruddy bits of TSDF that are noise) and a few other things to make the output a bit more bearable.

Written on January 6, 2017