User Guide

User Guide

Getting started with Polycam

Whether you’re a first-time user or a Polycam Pro, this detailed guide will help you take advantage of all of Polycam’s capabilities.

Creating a scan

There are four different ways to create a scan in Polycam. To scan objects and spaces, use either Photo Mode or LiDAR Mode. To create models and floor plans of indoor spaces, use Room Mode. To capture 360 panoramic photos, use 360 Mode.

Capture modes

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Photo Mode Usually the best choice for objects where you want a lot of accuracy and detail, or if you don’t have access to a LiDAR sensor. It works by taking a sequence of standard photos and uploading them to a more powerful computer which creates the reconstruction. View the full guide here.
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LiDAR Mode Great for capturing spaces or if you want to capture quickly. It uses depth data provided by the LiDAR sensor to generate a reconstruction directly on your device, usually in a minute or less. View the full guide here.
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Room Mode Allows users to generate professional 3D and 2D floor plans and instantly measure indoor spaces. View the full guide here.
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360 Mode Allows you to take fully stitched 360 panoramic skybox photos with AI infill. View the full guide here.

Processing your capture

Once you have captured your object using Photo or LiDAR mode, it is time to process the images into a 3D model. Both modes offer processing presets that can be selected based on how you plan to use the scan – for game engines, VFX, professional workflows, etc.

Photo Mode

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Optimized

Best for fast loading and real-time rendering environments. Best for game engines and web.

Polygon count:

Texture size:

Texture maps: ✓ Ambient Occlusion Map ✓ Normal Map

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Medium

Provides a good balance of high resolution and usability. Best for game engines and iOS/mobile.

Polygon count: ▲▲

Texture size: ■■■■■■

Texture maps: ✓ Ambient Occlusion Map ✓ Normal Map

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Full

Recommended for very high-definition image and video rendering. Best for rendering and VFX.

Polygon count: ▲▲▲

Texture size: ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■

Texture maps: ✓ Ambient Occlusion Map ✓ Normal Map ✓ Roughness

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RAW Recommended when you want high detail and no PBR maps. Best for professional workflows.

Polygon count: ▲▲▲▲

Texture size: ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■ ■■■■■■

Texture maps: ✓ Albedo textures

Adjustments

Albedo textures
Ambient occlusion map
Diffuse color
Displacement
Normal
Polygon count
Roughness
Texture image format
Texture maps
Texture size

LiDAR Mode

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Fast Reduces polygon counts and texture size
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Space Best for processing larger spaces.
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Object Best for processing individual objects.
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Custom Allows you to select the desired Depth Range (m), Voxel Size (m), and Simplification (%) of your model. See below for an explanation of these terms.

Adjustments

Depth range
Voxel size
Simplification

Adjusting your capture

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Crop Use the crop tool to edit out unwanted portions of your capture. There are several features inside the crop tool, outlined below:
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Measure Allows you to easily calculate perimeters and surface areas. You can swap between Imperial or Metric using the gear icon.
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Use the ruler to measure from point to point.
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Use the pen tool to determine your own measurement points.
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Use the area tool to measure the surface area of your scan.
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Video Use this tool to export a video of your capture.
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Orbit around the scan.
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Tours the scan along a path.
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Add your own custom keyframes and navigational points.
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Background Use the new background feature to add a custom color backdrop to your scan. You can also use your 360 panoramic captures as backgrounds for your models!
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Floorplan Generate unlimited scale-accurate schematic blueprints. Polycam Pro feature.
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Extend With the Extend tool, you can add more images to your scan and process it again. You may also add photos to a LiDAR scan.
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Rotate Rotate your capture within
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Rescale Adjust the size of your scan.
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Reset The Reset tool removes all edits and returns the model to its original state.

Ways to view your capture

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This is the default view setting for your capture. View and toggle through the scan - pinch to zoom, swipe to rotate.
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Orbit around your scan.
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Adjusts the 3D capture to display correctly on a 2D screen by creating perspective.
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An isometric view of your capture displays all elements with equal dimensions.
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View your scan in Augmented Reality. See your capture to-scale in your space.
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Save an image of your scan. Use markup tools to annotate and sketch up the image before export.

Exporting from Polycam

File export types

Polycam scans can be exported as a number of different file types. Use this guide to help select the best file type for your project.

DAE
DXF
FBX
GLTF
LAS
OBJ
PLY
PTS
STL
USDZ
XYZ

Next →

Photo Mode