Can I use a phone or a compact camera?
Yes, as long as the device can save photos in RAW format and can be set to use manual exposure and manual flash power. However, Shimmer Views scanned using a DSLR or mirrorless are usually higher quality than scans taken using a phone or compact camera.
Which lens should I use?
We recommend using a prime lens, which is a lens that has a fixed focal length (no zoom). This avoids the chance that the zoom might change during scanning, and typically gives higher quality photos. Good focal lengths to use with a full-frame camera are 50 mm or 85 mm. However, if you only have access to a zoom lens, you can still scan. Just use the highest quality zoom lens that you have available, and be careful to avoid changing the zoom during the scan.
Do I have to use RAW format?
Yes, RAW format is essential. Our algorithms depend on having unprocessed RAW input images to accurately measure how light interacts with your material.
Can I use a different ISO (instead of ISO 100)?
We recommend using the “base ISO” of your camera which has the best dynamic range and least noise. Usually the base ISO is 100.
Why do you recommend using such a narrow aperture, such as f/16?
We need the flash to be the strongest light source for the photos in the scan. Setting the aperture to f/16 and the ISO to 100 means the flash will usually dominate any ambient lighting. You can check this by taking a photo with the same manual exposure settings but with the flash switched off. If the settings are correct, then the photo should be completely dark when the flash is switched off. Switch it back on to do the scan.
Setting the aperture to f/16 also gives a large depth of field. This means all of the material and the chart is in focus for every photo in the scan, even when you move the camera down to take photos from different angles.
What type of flash should I use?
We recommend using an external flash, such as a Nikon Speedlight, a Canon Speedlite, or any similar flash from other camera companies and third party suppliers.
The flash should be attached to the camera hot-shoe and should illuminate the material from above the lens. Avoid using a ring flash.
Can you tell me more about what flash power to use?
Different flash units have different strengths and some materials are shinier than others, so the best flash power might be different for each scan. The goal of the flash power setting is to make it low enough so that no pixels in the photo exceed the maximum value. This avoids intensity clipping or saturation.
You can take a test photo, and use the camera histogram to check that it goes to zero before the end of the range. On the other hand, if the histogram falls to zero within the first half of the range, you have room to increase the flash power and get a better result.
Why doesn’t my flash fire (when I set the shutter speed to 1/200)?
You may need to check which flash sync speeds your camera and flash support. Use the fastest supported shutter speed. For example, sometimes the fastest flash sync speed is 1/125 s.
My Shimmer View looks over-exposed no matter how I adjust it in the editor. What went wrong?
Your photos may have been over-exposed. We recommend lowering the flash power and scanning again.
What chart sizes are available?
We have a range of chart sizes:
|Chart size||Scan width x height||DPI with 30 Mpx camera||Download|
|A4||229 x 134 mm||454||A4 Bandicoot chart|
|A3||324 x 190 mm||321||A3 Bandicoot chart|
|A2||458 x 268 mm||227||A2 Bandicoot chart|
|A1||648 x 379 mm||160||A1 Bandicoot chart|
What texture formats do you support?
Shimmer Scan and Shimmer View are based on a physically-based rendering (PBR) workflow and our textures can be imported into many tools used for 3D fashion design, 3D graphics and visual effects.
You can download a PBR texture pack using Publish > Download when viewing your material in the Bandicoot web app.
The PNG images inside the ZIP download have suffixes indicating the texture channel:
|Filename suffix||Channel name||Data range|
||Ambient occlusion||Linear greyscale data, 0 to 1 range|
||Height map||Linear greyscale data, nominal -0.5 to 0.5 range. Height scale mapping 1 unit to metres is the
||Metallic||Linear greyscale data, 0 to 1 range|
||Normal map||Linear data, 3 channel, unit vectors in XYZ object space, OpenGL convention, scaled to 0 to 1 range, with 0.5 being zero-length component|
||Specular roughness||Linear data, 0 to 1 range|
The DPI for each texture is set in the EXIF metadata.
The ZIP download also contains:
Render.png- a sample rendered image of the texture
render.json- scan metadata
The U3M download contains the same files as the ZIP download but with a
.u3ma extension for easy drag and
drop import into 3D fashion tools.
Please contact us if you’d like a different texture format.
How do I import a Shimmer Scan into 3D fashion tools?
- Download the U3M tiled texture from Bandicoot
- In VStitcher use Materials > Fabrics > Add Fabric to open the downloaded
- Download the ZIP tiled texture from Bandicoot
- Unzip the ZIP file and open the
- Drag all 5 texture PNG images into the corresponding Map squares in the CLO3D Property Editor
- Change the fabric Type to Metal (even for non-metalltic fabrics, the metal channel is used to achieve the best visual match to the material)
- Change the Roughness from Intensity to Map
If you want to import Bandicoot scans yourself, here are the steps:
- Download the U3M tiled texture from Bandicoot
- Open the swatchbook web app and login
- Click Create > Swatch on the left hand side menu
- Click Upload Scans in the top left
- Select one or more 3D models to preview the fabric on (T-shirt, shoe, etc.)
- Click the drop-down menu and select “generic”
- Click the “load scans” menu > U3MA > select the Bandicoot
- The texture channels, width and height should be filled in automatically as the U3M file is uploaded and parsed
- (Optional) Click “render swatch data” to request a rumpled-swatch render
- Click close
- Set a name
- Click done (top right)