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Adjusting texture for 3D-printing

This article contains some recommendations for texture adjustments, they are helpful, if the final goal of your project is the colour 3D printing.


3D-scanning tips to keep in mind

1. Distance

Try to keep more or less the same distance, while scanning, so the scanner is not held too close (which might create over-light texture colours) or too far (which might create too dark texture colours) from a scanned object or a person.

2. External lighting

Make sure your object is properly lit. More recommendations on this topic and a couple of lighting setups examples are available in the dedicated article.

3. Improved colour correction

This feature, which was implemented in June 2016 for all Artec3D scanners, allows to capture the true vibrancy of object colours. For instance, check the textured 3D wall on the picture below: its colour is pure white, without any "greenish" shades in it:


So overall, the improved colour correction is indeed be helpful, when you're aiming to apply the texture and 3D print your model later on.


Texture adjustments in your processing workflow

In general, after you proceed with texture mapping process in Artec Studio, you should additionally apply several extra colour corrections for further 3D-printing. Our own experience shows, that usually these corrections should be more or less similar to the ones, shown on the picture below.

  • 3D model on the left: with only texture mapping algorithm applied
  • 3D model on the right: with modified texture colors for further 3D-printing


As the next step, let's check what exactly should be done and why the texture should be edited prior to 3D printing.



One of our customers, who performs a lot of 3D scanning and 3D printing, shared the following information with our team:

  • Every 3D printer has it own unique color settings: some of them 3D print in a little bit darker colour palette, some of them 3D print meshes with a little bit greenish and so on. Normally, such issues are solved after  the 3D printer calibration
  • The powder, which is used in 3D printing, doesn't have pure white or "spectrally white" colour, that's why the brightness of the output result is usually decreased by 0.5 tone
  • After a figurine is 3D-printed, it is usually covered with a special glue, which adds extra 0.5 tone to the overall brightness decrease

To sum it up, if you 3D scan a person and then 3D print his/her figurine "as is", without any extra colour adjustments, you will receive at least 0.5 + 0.5 = 1 tone darker colors on your 3D printed version, comparing to he digital one on your screen.


Tips & tricks for Artec Studio processing:

Make sure you've selected "Export" option for texture mapping. in this case, Artec Studio will create a single PNG/BMP/JPG file with the texture, which can be easily edited in any 3rd party software:


As soon as the texture mapping algorithm finishes its calculations in Artec Studio, increase the brightness of your result textured 3D mesh by 1.5.


Tips & tricks for further colour adjustments:

Usually, all corrections of such kind are applied on the JPG/PNG/BMP file of a texture atlas, which is exported from Artec Studio and imported into the software like Adobe Photoshop.

Based on our customers' feedback, they apply commands Image - Auto Tone and Image - Auto Color in Photoshop, that usually fixes most issues. For more fine corrections, you can additionally use  Image - Adjustments - Saturation or Image - Adjustments - Hue commands.

Alternatively, these corrections can be applied right on a textured 3D mesh in the software like Blender, ZBrush, Autodesk 3Ds Max, Mari, Mudbox, etc.


Example: a sample 3D model and its 3D printed version


This 3D model of Harley Quinn cosplayer is available for download in the Artec3D gallery. More photos and the video, illustrating the 3D-printing process, are here


We are here to help! If you have any questions or issues, please do not hesitate to contact our team by emailing or by clicking on "Ask Support" button on the upper part of the screen. We will always be happy to assist you and will get back to you as soon as we can.

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