How to scan with Canvas
3D scanning is new to many people. You may not have used a tool like this before, so you could be confused or nervous, but don't be! Most of the time, the software is doing the work for you. Follow these suggestions to get the best results every time you scan.
Watch this first to learn how to get the best results every time.
Get ready to scan
Clean the camera lenses
Make sure your lenses are clean by regularly wiping them with a soft microfiber cloth.
Plan your route
Walk through the space you will be scanning to determine the best route. You can capture one room per scan, several rooms per scan, or a whole floor in one scan. Evaluate the space and how you plan to capture it before you begin. While there's no hard rule on a maximum amount of square footage you can capture in a single scan, you may find it easier to limit scans to 1,000sf or less, especially while you are still learning. Regardless of the scan size, however, you should avoid scanning the same area more than once in a single scan. If you come back to an area you've already captured, just end that scan and then start a new one. More on scanning multiple rooms below.
Prepare the space
Turn on lights, open all doors and closets, open window treatments so the windows’ corners are visible, clear your path of objects, people, and pets.
Primary scanning method
Start in a corner
Point camera at the floor, furniture, or other details, not a blank wall.
Keep within 3-10 feet of the walls
Don’t get too close or too far from what you’re scanning. Between 3-10 feet is ideal; note that the maximum range is about 15 feet.
Scan in a patterned motion
Start in front of your feet, scan across the floor, go up the wall and about a foot or two into the ceiling, move sideways, down the wall, across the floor to in front of your feet, move sideways in the same direction, go up, and repeat this pattern.
Move in a single continuous loop around the space
Go in one direction. Avoid zigzagging. Do not scan the same area more than once in a single scan. You'll know if you've already scanned it because the white overlay covers what you've captured.
There’s more than one way to scan!
The primary method described above is used most often, but other techniques may better suit some spaces.
U-pattern and J-pattern
For narrow spaces like hallways and stairs, move your device in a "U" pattern as you walk through the area: up one wall, back down that wall, across the floor, and up the wall on the other side. In the area around kitchen islands or for pony walls, for example, you'll use more of a "J" scanning only up to the top of the island, then down across the floor and up the wall.
Lean and pan
For spaces like a pantry, small closet or a half-bath, try capturing the space without entering. While standing at the doorway, you can simply change the angle you are holding the device and pan to capture where the walls meet the floor and ceiling.
Around the perimeter
Scan the edges of blank walls, large extremely bright windows, and reflective surfaces such as stainless steel and large mirrors. There’s no need to “fill it in.”
Kitchens can require using multiple techniques. Please watch this video for things commonly encountered when scanning kitchens.
Scan room by room, several rooms at once, or a whole floor in a single scan. Multiple scans can be merged into one global CAD model of the entire space. While there's no hard rule on a maximum amount of square footage you can capture in a single scan, you may find it easier to limit scans to 1,000sf or less, especially while you are still learning. Regardless of the scan size, however, you should avoid scanning the same area more than once in a single scan. If you come back to an area you've already captured, just end that scan and then start a new one. More detail on merging scans >
Scan your own home, office, and those of family and friends. Remember, scanning doesn't cost anything; there is only a cost if you place an order. When you have had a chance to practice, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and request a scan review at no cost. We'll provide feedback on your technique so that you're comfortable before using Canvas at a client site. You can also join us for one of our live weekly webinars for an overview of Canvas as well as Q&A. Please register here to attend.
Download the correct app for your device
Download the correct app for your device: Canvas: LiDAR 3D Measurements for Phone 12/13/14/15 Pro and Pro Max as well as iPad Pros (2020 and newer).
Canvas Lite is available for most iPhones 8 and higher but is not recommended for professional use.
***We strongly recommend LiDAR devices and Canvas: LiDAR 3D Measurements for professional use. See compatible devices for more details.