Dabarti Capture Pro released

Dabarti 2017-05-17 10:42 article  > Software

Tool for non-reflective surface normal capturing from multiple photographs.

Backstory: I've been working on internal Photometric Stereo workflow to push my shading and texturing a little bit further. Results: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/JzPkv and https://www.artstation.com/artwork/13JL8

After receiving many workflow questions I decided to release command-line tool that makes this workflow accessible to anyone. With correctly captured photos and this tool you can get very detailed surface normal, albedo and height maps. I decided to go with 2 versions:

  • Pro Version - Price set to affordable $39 (test Lite version first unless you want to support this project). No resolution limitation. ( https://gum.co/Dabart_Capture )
  • Lite Version - Free for commercial use, but with resolution limited to 1024px ( http://eepurl.com/cO5K3L )
  1. Capture minimum 3 photos (around 7-9 works best) from single point of view using any digital camera. Capture each shot with different light direction. Flash light works great for quick angle changing. Try to limit self-shadowing.
  1. Make sure to have reflective spherical object in the shots for light direction calibration. Create mask for the this spherical object (called probe_mask.jpg).
  2. Process this set of photos with Dabarti Capture tool to get Normal, Albedo and Depth map (displacement) as outputs.
  3. Use those maps wisely by creating some kick-ass renders.

Tips for capturing photos:

  1. Make sure that camera doesn't move. Use remote or Intervalometer to take photo every 3-4 seconds while you change light direction. Otherwise you will need to align the photos manually and nobody likes that, so use remote.
  2. Make sure that highlight from your light source is visible on the spherical probe. For that probe you can use any reflective spherical object. I had success, with light bulbs, pool ball, christmas ball.
  3. For reflective, shiny objects you need to use cross polarization. In order to do that you need linear polarization filter for light source and for the camera. There are ready to buy filters for different lenses. For the light source you can order piece of linear polarization filter and fix it in front of the light source. When taking your photographs, you have to basically rotate the light source to remove the highlights.


Currently this tool is command line tool only. Read README.txt for more information or just watch this video to learn how to use it - http://www.dabarti.com/screens/667cdc294c2-9a6a-40ac-a9a7-3819db4380b1.mp4 .

Installation and licencing:

Start the installation and follow the instructions.

After installation you will need to activate your tool by entering the licence key that you've received after purchasing. You can do that by processing any data set with capture.exe and it will ask you to enter the key. 

Activation requires internet connection and after it's successful, there will be activation.lic file generated. It will work only on that PC, you can back it up and reuse it in future. There is a limit of 3 activations per licence key.

Author: Dabarti Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: normal dabarti
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