Can I make a model from a picture? A friend of mine would like to be an NPC in my game ! :P I would like to add him, but I never did 3D modelling!

Is it possible to make 3d model from photo/picture?


1 Answer 1


Yes, but probably not the way you're thinking of.

You can certainly use a 2D photo or set of photos as reference while creating a 3D model yourself. Many people do. But fundamentally you're still building the model yourself and using the 2D images as reference, the same way a painter or sketch artist might use a photo for reference.

There are methods for performing 3D reconstruction from 2D data, it's a reasonably common topic of research and various academic papers. But this often requires multiple images or other forms of data (such as disorganized point clouds) to be useful, and is generally not something that exists in commodity modeling software. The software that does it is usually written one-off for these papers.

If you're hoping to be able to drop a basic photo into a 3D modeling program and have it pop out a high-quality, game-ready model... you're going to be disappointed, as the technology just isn't there yet.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's probably worth mentioning that there are games that (try to) create models based on photos (e.g.: EA sports FIFA and UFC). However those are specially created algorithms built into the game, closed source and also varying success. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2017 at 9:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was always under the impression those games were just figuring out where the face was and using it as a texture. It'd be interesting to know if they're really trying to do 3D reconstruction \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Jan 8, 2017 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ They were at least performing a bit of image analysis and morphing the face mesh a bit (jaw width, eye distance, nose length, ...) before applying the texture. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2017 at 16:00

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