Thursday, July 24, 2014

3d models from displacement map

About 5hrs ago  showed me his project that does the model creation process in the browser itself! give it a try here -

It works in your phone browser itself, and is quite fast! 

Original post:
And heres my experiment with the extracted depth map from a lens blur picture taken with a nexus.. more info here -

basically its really low-fi 3d scanning..

heres a tutorial on how to do this yourself..
(a slower method using 3d tools.. if your the hands on kind of person)

and heres the model created in that tutorial

    Globe 3d #3DST8
    by Chaitanya Krishnan
    on Sketchfab

and these are some other models i created

My dog Rumi

    Rumi in 3d
    on Sketchfab

An old sword hanging on a wall..

    on Sketchfab

A pile of concrete blocks

    on Sketchfab

 My dog Mulan

    Mulan 3d
    on Sketchfab

So The Nexus Captures Depth Maps Now

So a few days back after my phone got all its updates.. i discovered the "Blur" mode in the camera. This mode basically creates faux depth of field.. or soft focus. I happily started using it without actually realizing what it has been doing all this time.

My brain melted when i realised that something that used to take advanced 3d software like 3dsMax and Blender minutes.. even hours to render (few years back anyway) .. google's camera app does it in seconds.

First a brief introduction to Depth Maps or as me and most of the 3d modelling community refers to as Z-depth maps

"In 3D computer graphics a depth map is an image or image channel that contains information relating to the distance of the surfaces of scene objects from a viewpoint. The term is related to and may be analogous to depth bufferZ-bufferZ-buffering and Z-depth. 

The "Z" in these latter terms relates to a convention that the central axis of view of a camera is in the direction of the camera's Z axis, and not to the absolute Z axis of a scene." - wikipedia

here are some examples of Z depth maps i rendered for different projects

and heres a detailed video of how to use them to add depth to an image

Now back to the Nexus' camera app.. in blur mode you Frame your photo, move the camera (phone) in an upward tilt or motion, and the software captures depth information.. 

The depth information is stored in the original still itself.. meaning that blur effects can be applied and altered in post-processing.. at any time!

So heres a pic of my dog Rumi(scroll down for my other dog Mulan).. and below it the original sharp image and the depth map

Using a clever website called Depthy(  by Rafal Lindemann) that can run on your phone, you can load up your nexus blur images and it lets you see the depth map.. edit it.. re-apply it.. and then it also lets you convert the image into a parallax photo.. which can be saved as a gif or video.. like so

for a detailed tutorial on how to use depthy, visit this page 

here are the basics:
1) Use the nexus camera to take a picture in Blur mode

2) Go to on your phone(chrome works.. other modern browsers will too) and upload your image .. once uploaded it lets you touch and drag to see the range of parallax available

3) Use the tools to make adjustments

4) Under the share option, theres actually a few other features like ..
exporting a stereoscopic 3d image(red and blue glasses required)

as well as animated gifs, video etc.. Download whichever you like.. various file sizes will be provided.

5) additionally if you like you can go to the "Image Properties" tab and download the extracted depth map.. coz.. well its pretty interesting looking.

here are some other gifs i created today..



As suggested by a friend i decided to try and use the Depth Map to generate a model/mesh

heres the result.. 

    Rumi in 3d
    by Chaitanya Krishnan
    on Sketchfab

as you can see the depth map and the subject do not work.. a more bass relief or flat object might work better.. here are some better ones -

UPDATE 2: This camera app is available to most kitkat devices now, here are its requirements

• Works on phones and tablets running Android 4.4+ KitKat
• Photo Sphere and Panorama require a gyro sensor (not available on Moto G)
• Photo Sphere, Panorama, and Lens Blur require at least 1 gigabyte of memory

the camera app can be installed from here

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nexus 5 first Impressions

Got my Nexus 5  yesterday.. I got the 32gb black one.

as you can see a sticker is already on there.. a custom one will come soon.

Here are my first impressions.
I won't go into all the features.. since there are plenty of detailed reviews(like this one) out there. this is just about my experience upgrading from a Moto Defy+ .. a fairly underpowered phone by todays standards.

The first thing i did was explore all the customizability available in the stock launcher.. 
and then promptly installed Go Launcher Ex. Not that i didnt like the stock launcher.. its lovely, compared to all the OEM launchers i have put up with in the past.. But I have been using Go Launcher, Apex and others on my old tablet.. so was pretty spoilt with all the customisability(grid count, etc.) and skins. I'm also pretty used to GoLocker's skinnable lockscreens.. so that had to be added as well.

so here are my screens now.
The wallpaper is a painting by Daniel Danger

 the lock screen is using the Dark Grunge theme.. get it here

I couldnt figure out how to add a "screen rotation" toggle to this..

so i quickly installed Power Toggle, get it in the play store.. 

just search for "toggle".. and you'll find a bunch of apps.. pick whatever suits you.

Alright so here are some games i tried out..
Haven't seen the movie yet, but love the trailer and exo suits.. 
So was happy to try the game.

That video is the first thing I posted to YouTube from the phone.. Infact it was captured in the game using its own capturing feature! Had heard that video capture was a new feature in android.. Hadn't realized that people had already started adding it to apps.. Anyway it was fun. The gameplay becomes monotonous.. Reminded me of the time warping mechanism in the PC game Time shift.

The next game I tried was Modern Combat 4.. Needless to say it's stunning on the nexus. Here are some screenshots(originally in full HD, compressed for this blog)

 The game's story has been interesting so far..good for a Gameloft production.. 
You get to play as a baddy.. Something I haven't seen on mobile before. The flipside is that it uses up a lot of power.. since the Nexus has a 2.3 GHz CPU.. and an Adreno 330 graphical chip .. the power consumption goes through the roof during games.

Apart from that power issue, i don't seem to have anything else to complain about yet..
So far am pretty happy with my investment. The voice features of Google Now are brilliant.. I know it's old news.. Am just glad I finally have a device that has it. 

This upgrade was a long time coming.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hydra Tank Buster

This is an old Junkers Ju 87 G-1, Tank Buster, model that i assembled years back.. refurbished with Hydra insignia.

heres what the original model looked like(my decals were not as detailed)
to know more about the original Ju 87 G-1 check out -

41 Facts About Dogs - mental_floss on YouTube (Ep.213)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Classic Menu in UBUNTU 14.04LTS

The classic menu indicator provides a classic, GNOME 2-style menu on your panel in Unity.

Install it with the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:diesch/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator
Launch ClassicMenu Indicator from the Dash after installing it. The last menu "ClassicMenu Indicator" lets you customise it a bit

for more great unity applets visit

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sketchfab hoody

Just got my prize from one of the #Sketchfasts

Read the interview -

Check out the other winners -