Tank 3D Scanning : Renault FT 100th Anniversary!

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Tank 3D Scanning is a quite complex field because tanks are huge, they present a lot of occluded areas, sharp edges, and small details. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Renault FT (operational use in 1918), the first modern light tank in History!

3D Capture of the Renault FT

Renault FT Tank
Renault FT tank at the Exhibition

We 3D Captured a Renault FT at the Armored Vehicles Museum of Saumur, we used photogrammetry because we wanted high-quality textures, and we had developed powerful photogrammetry workflows for subjects of that size.

Photogrammetry shooting of the Renault FT
Shooting the Renault FT on site for photogrammetry

The capture was a bit challenging; The overall lighting was quite low/directional, and there wasn’t too much space to move around the subject. (It’s not that easy to move a 12600 kg tank !). We used short lenses for close range capture.

You can check the 3D Scanned tank in real-time using the Sketchfab viewer below. Feel free to try the Sketchfab VR / AR Features!

If you want to see the tank in real-life, make sure you visit the Armored Vehicles Museum of Saumur.

Logo Armored Vehicles Museum

Tank 3D Scan: Soviet 2S3

We also scanned an old Soviet 2S3, a self-propelled gun developed in 1968. The capture conditions were better, and this specific 2S3  has really interesting texture details.

Reconstruction produced a nice point cloud of one Billion points!

Raw point cloud of the Russian 2S3 3D Scan
2S3 3D Scan raw point cloud

We decimated the mesh to a decent number of polygons, here is a preview of the raw decimated mesh.

Raw Scan mesh preview
Raw 2s3 Scanned Mesh decimated to 5M polys.

To maximize texture quality, we unwrapped the model using 8 UDIMs, final output was an 8K map per UDIM.


Preview of the texture on the tank back
Base Color Texture Preview (back)
Base Color texture on the front of the tank
Base Color Texture Preview (front)

You can check an optimized version of the model on Sketchfab :

Scanbox Vehicle 3D Scanning Service

3D Scanning of Armored vehicles is great for Cultural Heritage. But it can also be really helpful for Video Game / VFX projects, providing an excellent base for modelling/texturing.

If you need tank 3D Scanning (or another vehicle) for a project, you can check our Props & Vehicles 3D Scanning page, and contact us for more details.


  • nutbomb
    June 7, 2018, 1:46 am  Reply

    nice details! what software did you to decimate 5M polys 2S3? Zbrush?

    • Paul Parneix
      June 7, 2018, 8:47 pm

      Thanks! We used Zbrush Decimation Master for this one.

  • Anoir Ben Tanfous
    September 8, 2018, 4:20 am  Reply

    Amazing LOD… it would take a lot of time to model something like this from scratch but if it is done by using your scans are retopology medium this can be done in a very reasonable time I guess and achieving Cinematic Quality.

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