Naturally, everyone wants figurines with the best possible quality. There is a common misconception in the industry that the quality is solely determined by the 3D scanning system. This section looks to dispel this myth and explain all factors that contribute to the final quality of a 3D print. The 4 factors that contribute to quality are:
- The subject
- The 3D scanning system
- The digital touchup
- 3D printing and post-processing
The digital touch-up
No 3D scanner is capable of producing high quality print ready 3D models without some manual intervention by a 3D artist. This process is called the “digital touch-up.”
If a high quality 3D artist spends enough time with a 3D model they can turn even the worst scans into the highest quality products. 3D artists are, however, expensive – so it is best to capture the highest quality data in the first place to minimize the time a 3D artist needs to spend with the 3D model.
Three areas are addressed during the digital touch-up: the overall colors, adding and emphasizing key details and fixing texture and geometry problems.
Overall color. Just like you would go into photoshop to fix a picture that was underexposed or had weird color tints, you do the same thing to 3D model textures to ensure they print vibrant, true to life colors.
Adding and emphasizing key details. It is very easy to spend too much time at this step. During the touch-up, a 3D artist can go into the model and add and emphasize key details. For example: emphasizing buttons on clothing; recreating stitching on pants; styling the subject’s hair; adding in individual eyelashes. While some of these things do add to the final quality of the product, not all of them are necessary for most customers.
Fixing texture and geometry problems. If the subject or the scanning system was not up to par for whatever reason, the 3D model will have incomplete geometries or mismatched or otherwise messy textures. Failure to fix texture and geometry problems will always stand out on the final 3D figurine.