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Frequently Asked Questions
What devices does Metascan run on?

Metascan's iOS app supports any iPhone or iPad from 2015 or later that runs iOS 15 or above. LiDAR Mode requires a device with LiDAR Scanner, such as an iPhone 12 Pro or iPad Pro 2020.

Metascan Web runs on any device with a web browser.

Does my data stay on my device?

LiDAR Mode processes completely on-device, while Photo Mode uploads your photos to our photogrammetry servers for processing. The photos are deleted from the server as soon as your model is processed.

Sharing a scan using Post Scan uploads it to the cloud. You can delete it at any time using Delete Post in the app.

What does the Metascan Pro subscription give me?

Metascan Pro unlocks the following features:

  • Export to all supported file formats.
  • Process 150 photo scans every 30 days.
  • Highest detail photo and LiDAR scans.
  • 4K video export.
  • Access to Metascan Web photo/video upload.

Metascan Pro is available as either a monthly or annual in-app subscription, and has a one week free trial period.

For more information, see our pricing page.

What file formats does Metascan Pro export to?

The following mesh formats are supported:

  • USDZ is an open standard, supported natively on iOS and macOS.
  • OBJ is a simple text-based format which is supported by almost all 3D software. Metascan stores the OBJ file and its JPEG textures in a ZIP file when exported.
  • glTF is an open standard format for sharing 3D data on the web. Metascan uses the .glb format to embed all data in a single file.
  • FBX is a closed format, created by Autodesk and widely supported by 3D software applications and game engines.
  • STL is a simple format, widely used for 3D printing, rapid prototyping, and computer-aided manufacturing.

The following point cloud formats are supported:

  • LAZ is the de facto standard format for sharing point cloud data in GIS. LAZ files are georeferenced and exported in the WGS84 coordinate system and EGM2008 vertical datum. Import LAZ into GIS systems such as QGIS for analysis.
  • PLY is a simple format that can be used to share point cloud data. Metascan stores the 3D position and color data in binary.
  • XYZ is a simple text format used for sharing point cloud data. Metascan stores the XYZ file in a ZIP file when exported.

When exporting multiple scans, files are stored in a single ZIP file. Contact us if you'd like to see additional formats supported.

What units are exported models measured in?

All coordinates are expressed in units of meters.

How are model textures exported?

Texture maps are stored in one or more square RGB images at maximum 4096x4096 pixel resolution and compressed with JPEG to 92% quality level using 4:2:0 Chroma subsampling.

How do I take better Photo Scans?

Photo Mode uses photogrammetry which relies on finding matching visual features between images to estimate distance.

Anything that makes the same part of an object appear differently between photos will degrade your scans.

Here are some tips to improve your scans:

  • Opaque, matte objects with varied surface textures scan best.
  • Make sure your camera lenses are clean. Wipe them with a cloth before starting.
  • Capture all sides of your object in a series of orbits.
  • Minimize motion blur by holding your device steady while taking a photo.
  • Adjacent shots should have 70% overlap or more for alignment.
  • Make sure you have even, good lighting and a stable environment for scanning.
  • Avoid hard, direct lighting. If scanning outdoors, cloudy days work best.
  • To capture all sides of an object, include the top and bottom, rotate it and enable Object Masking when processing.
How do I take better LiDAR Scans?

Taking good scans requires practice. Here are some tips:

  • Scan bright, well-lit areas and try to avoid capturing small objects.
  • Make sure your camera lenses are clean. Wipe them with a cloth before starting.
  • Check that the tracked feature points (colored dots) appear stable before you start scanning.
  • Aim to keep between 0.5 to 3.0 meters between you and the surface you're scanning.
  • Avoid moving too quickly – it causes camera motion blur.
  • Avoid transparent, shiny or reflective surfaces such as windows, metal or mirrors.
  • Avoid any moving objects, people or animals.