Frequent Ask Questions:
Most the questions presented here are related to the Fujifilm Camera we are selling. If you have your own 3D scanner, you can skip those questions. Also some basic questions are for absolutely novice users, you may simply ignore them if you are experienced users.
- What are the 3D file formats I can upload here?
- Do I need any special software to upload pictures?
- Where can I get the instructions for 3D picture taking?
- How can I tell the format of a file?
- What precautions need to be taken before shooting 3D pictures?
- How can I tell whether my 3D pictures are good?
- How can I transfer files from 3D camera to my computer?
- How can I use MPOViewer to reduce the file size?
- How can I pack all files into a ZIP file?
- Why does Apis web site keep telling that I am not logged in?
- How to use Sense3D scanner for custom shoes/inserts
What are the 3D file formats I can upload here?
Here is a list for formats we currently support: PLY, OBJ, STL, XYZ, STL, 3DS, 3DM, WRL, and MPO.
We do not recommend the STL format, because the file size of the same 3D model in STL format would be at least 3 times larger than other formats, so it would take 3 times longer to upload.
The last one is the MPO format, which is not a real 3D format, instead, it is a multi-picture format, meaning that it contains more than one 2D pictures. Usually it contains two pictures, one from the left camera lens, and one from the right camera lens. When taken with projected stripes, we will be able to use these two pictures to calculate the 3D information of the object in the pictures.
Beside the MPO format, the Fujifilm Camera also produce a JPG file for each shot. Please do not submit the JPG files saved by the camera, JPG files are there easy for you to get a preview if you don't have a software to open the MPO format, but the JPG files are useless for 3D digitizing. So please submit only the MPO files from the camera. See "How can I use MPOViewer to reduce the file size" for more details.
Of course, you can alway submit other supporting files together with the 3D scan files. For example, you may want to send a picture to show us the foot condition, or even a scanned order form. Some people prefer filling the order form on paper while casting the patient, and then scan the written order format for uploading.
Do I need any special software to upload pictures?
No, you don't need any special software to upload your files. You can always use our web site to upload. However, if you are using Fujifilm 3D camera to take pictures, you can use the ApisPortal program to reduce the file size, so that it will take less time to upload. One other benefit of using ApisPortal is that you save the pictures and the order form locally for later submission. This is specially usefully when you are visiting patients where no Internet is available. You can download ApisPortal here. After downloading, copy the ApisPortal.exe file inside the ZIP to anywhere on your computer, e.g., your desktop.
Where can I get the instructions for 3D picture taking?
You can download the 3D Capturing Manual here.
How can I tell the format of a file?
Microsoft Windows heavily relies on the extension name to distinguish different file formats. For example, the extension "EXE" means an executable file, and "JPG" means a JPEG format, and so forth. Microsoft assumes that you know nothing about the file name extension, actually it does not want you to know anything about the file name extensions, so by default, Windows hides that part of the file name. Normally this is not a big problem. However, for each shot, the Fujifilm camera saves the pictures in both MPO and JPG formats, you will end up seeing two files with the same name, because the JPG and MPO parts of the file name are hidden by Windows. Because of this, it is necessary to change the "Folder Option" in order to see the full file names.
- Click "Start" button from Windows task bar.
- Choose "Computer".
- Click "Organize" from menu
- Choose "Folder and search options".
- Click "View" tab.
- Click "Hide extensions for known file types" to uncheck this option.
- Click "Apply" button.
From now on, you should be able to see the file name extensions when you open a file folder. By looking at the file name extensions, you can tell what formats they are in.
Of course, do not change the file name extensions, otherwise the sytem and all software will be mislead by the wrong file name extension, and end up with not being able to open those files. And this is the main reason that Windows want to hide the file name extensions from you in the first place.
What precautions need to be taken before shooting 3D pictures?
- The capture surface should avoid direct light, such as ceiling lights, window lights. You can see this video for more details.
- The shooting mode is set to Auto.
- The image format is set to 3D.
- The flash option is set to Forced Flash.
- The lens cap must be removed.
- A name label must be placed beside the foot or foam impression. Because without proper labelling, you won't be able to tell which one is which.
How can I tell whether my 3D pictures are good?
After a picture is taken, press the preview button, you should see the picture on the display. Here are checklist:
- Does the picture has stripes? If not, it could be either the flash mode is not set to Forced, or the cap still covers the lens.
(picture without stripes)
- Are some areas of the capture surface over-exposed (white out)? Normally under-exposure is not a problem, as long as the flash is on.
(picture partially without stripe)
- Is the picture blurry like the one above? If so, it means that the camera did not achieve a good focus or was shaken by the user. Usually this can be prevented by using a tri-pod and the camera timer, also press the shutter-button half-way to let the camera to find the correct focus before taking the picture.
- Do you see the picture information on the display like the picture here? If not, press the "Disp/Back" button and the "Macro" button to change the display setting.
- Do you see the 3D cube (not the word 3D with red background) on the display like in the above picture? If not, the picture is not a 3D picture, to try reshoot the picture using the follow steps: press the shutter button, and then press the "3D" button to switch to 3D mode, and reshoot the picture.
This checklist is very important, because if the pictures are not good for 3D digitizing, and the patients are gone, it would be very embarrassing to re-schedule an appointment with them again.
How can I transfer files from 3D camera to my computer?
Basically, there are two ways to transfer the files from the camera to to your computers: via USB cable or via an SD card-reader. In the following example, we assume you use the USB cable to connect the camera to the computer, because not all people have an SD card-reader. If you use the USB cable to connect the camera, you will not be able to reduce the file size directly from the camera. So we need to copy the files to a folder on the hard drive first.
Please go back to "How can I tell the format of a file" section above to change the "Folder Option" if you haven't.
- Connect Fujifilm Camera to your computer using the USB cable that came with the camera.
- Click "Start" button from Windows' task bar.
- Choose "Computer".
- Double-click "FinePix REAL 3D W3", either from the left panel or the right panel.
- Double-click the "External Memory" folder.
- Double-click "DCIM" folder.
- Double-click "###_FUJI" folder. Here "###" means a 3-digit number, different cameras may use different numbers.
- Click the MPO files while holding the "Ctrl" key, this way it allows you to select multiple files.
- Right-click on one of selected files, then choose "Copy".
- Right-click on "Pictures" library from the left panel. Scroll the panel if you don't see the "Pictures" library.
Of course, you can copy the MPO files to any folders you like, but for the beginners, we use the "Pictures" library folder in our example.
How can I use MPOViewer to reduce the file size?
The original size of an MPO file is 1.4MB to 5MB, depending on the resolution you set on the camera. But for shoes and foot orthotics, the resolution does not need to be that high. Also all MPO files will be submitted through the Internet, it would be ideal to reduce the file size first before uploading, which in turn will reduce the uploading time. Here's how:
- Copy the MPOViewer program from the CD which came with the camera, to your computer's desktop. This is optional, because you can directly start the MPOViewer from CD.
- Double-click the MPOViewer program either on the CD or from your computer's desktop. If you see any error messages, it means that your computer does not have the correct Microsoft .NET package installed. The correct .NET package can be found on the companion CD, the file name is "dotnetfx35.exe". Just double-click on it to install.
- Click "Open" from MPOViewer's menu. Browse to the "Pictures" library, and double-click on an MPO file. You should see two pictures contained in that MPO file, one from the camera's left lens, and one from the right lens.
- Click "Save" from MPOViewer's menu.
- Click "Save" button to overwrite the original file.
If you want to keep the original file, you can change the file name before clicking the "Save" button.
How can I pack all files into a ZIP file?
Though our web site allows to upload multiple files, it is still a good practice to pack all files for the same patient into one ZIP file. It is easier to archive, and it saves a few clicks during the uploading.
You don't need a special software to package files into a ZIP file, Windows has that ability embedded into the system. Here's how:
- Click the files you want to pack while holding the "Ctrl" key. This allows you to select multiple file in any order.
- Right-click on one of the selected files.
- Choose "Send to" option from the pop-up menu.
- Choose "Compressed folder" option from the sub-menu.
- Enter a new name for it if you want to, or just press "Enter" key to accept what is there.
Why does Apis web site keep telling that I am not logged in?
That's because your browser rejects the identification information issued from the web site. If you are using Internet Explorer (if you don't know what kind of browser you are using, most likely it is Internet Explorer), you need to do the following:
- Open the "Internet Options" from "Control Panel" or from Internet Explorer's menu
- Under "General" tab, click "Delete Cookies"
- Click "Delete Files", and then select "All offline contents", and click "OK"
- Go to "Security" tab, set slider position to "Medium", and click "Apply"
- Go to "Privacy" tab, set slider position also to "Medium", and click "Apply"
- Click "OK" to close "Internet Options" window
- Close Internet Explorer and restart it, now everything should work as expected.
Other browsers have similar settings, adjust those settings accordingly.
That's it, it is that simple.
How to use Sense3D scanner for custom shoes/inserts
Here are 4 videos to show you how to use Sense3D scanner for custom shoes/inserts:
- Scan dorsal aspect for custom shoes: sense3d-dorsal-foot.mp4(5.5MB)
- Scan plantar aspect for custom inserts: sense3d-plantar-foot.mp4(4.8MB)
- Scan foot impression for custom inserts: sense3d-foot-impression.mp4(6.3MB)
- Make a scanner stand: sense3d-scanner-stand.mp4(10MB)