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  • Any tips on photographing vehicles please?

    Posted by Simon Worrall on October 20, 2020 at 11:49 am

    How does everyone here manage to take an undistorted photo of a vehicle from close up? When I measure up a vehicle, ideally I stand as far back as possible to take the photos, and use a long lens, to get the minimum distortion.
    Moreover you want to take a square on front, sides, and back. Avoid artistic angles, because it just make it hard to use the pics as a design template. This way the pictures can be as good or better than drawn vehicle profiles.

    Today I went over to measure up a coffee vending trailer for a new wrap design. It was parked in a driveway, and there was not enough room to photograph the back and one side, but it was impossible to move, so I could not get a good full on picture from these angles.

    Do you take a series of pics and stitch them together, or do as I did and just measure up everything and just draw it? Or is there a program available that will “Undistort” a picture, or even a special lens?
    Thanks.

    Steve Morgan replied 1 year, 9 months ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Richard Wills

    Member
    October 20, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Photoshop will allow you to stitch and remove lens distortions. Depending on the camera and lens you are using, you could probably dimension from the photos. If you have a magtape (obviosly useless on non-ferrous) then that would help for the scale, but a yard stick wouldn’t hurt. A huge swathe of the features in photoshop range beyond creating bitmap graphics and pixel pushing, and are aimed at 3D work, as well as scientific analysis.

    The new iphone monstrous expensive (and also the iPad Pro) comes with lidar, and I believe that the features have been designed with dimensioning in mind. https://www.geospatialworld.net/blogs/apples-lidar-scanner/. I’d be very surpised if the data available from the lidar isn’t available soon to accurately create measurable models.

    I’m not really a sign maker, but I’ve been in the photographic industry for the best part of 3 decades, and a lot of what I do day to day crosses over.

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    October 22, 2020 at 4:09 am

    Some good points there Richard.
    Hi tec 3d is too complicated. I prefer simple!
    I use two 600mm magnetic strips arranged into a cross on the door on the midpoint of the car.
    I place the camera perpendicular to that so I am standing in the middle.

    That way you can draw a 60mm square in illustrator, and scale the picture up or down to that, then work at 10%. Simple, and reasonably accurate.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  Simon Worrall.
  • Jamie Wood

    Member
    October 22, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Use the camera RAW filter in Photoshop, there is a lens correction tab. If there is a profile for your lens, you will be able to remove distortion automatically, otherwise, there are lots of manual tools to do the job. Then, as you say, scale it to a known size in Illustrator.

  • Simon Worrall

    Member
    October 22, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Thanks Jamie the lens correction tool is just what I was looking for.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    October 22, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for this!

    We have tried in the past to make templates, and failed miserably or ended up takimg hours to do.

    Waiting for a customer to collect their van today, had a go using the method above in photoshop.

    1st attempt was a bit small, but 2nd attempt was acceptable. We’re going to start building up a library of templates/sizes, even if not to cut from at least we know how big to print panel infills.

  • Steve Morgan

    Member
    October 22, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Not quite the answer you need but I used this technique when I sent pictures to a model maker who was building the car in the picture. The squares are all 25mm and I stood back what I thought was far enough to loose the distortion. Not brilliant for overall dimensions but quite accurate for scalling the smaller gaps and features.

    The guy subsiquently produced a very nice accurate 1/43 kit of the car.