# Turning video game sprites into 3D objects

Anyone who has played Minecraftfor a good amount of time should have a good grasp on making 3D objects by placing voxels block by block. A giant voxel art dragon behind your base is cool, but what about the math behind your block based artwork? [mikolalysenko] put together a tutorial for making 3D objects out of video game sprites and covers a lot of the math involved in turning pixels into voxels.

The process of modeling a 3D object from a series of 2D images is a very well-studied computer vision problem called multiview stereo reconstruction. This process has been used to build 3D models of random objects with devices such as the Stanford spherical gantry. Unfortunately the math for this algorithm is a mess, but there is another way: using photo hulls (PDF warning) to find the largest possible object from a series of images showing the top, bottom, left, right, front, and back views.

[mikolaly] put together an algorithm to produce 3D images from a series of images and even went so far as to build a web-based shape carving editor. With this web app, it’s possible to make 3D objects simply by inputting a bunch of colored pixels onto six 2D grids.

Once the models were complete, [mikolaly] sent some of the 3D models off to Shapeways for 3D printing. He’s completed Meat boy, Mario, and Link 3D sprites, all available for sale.

Now the only thing left to do is build a script to turn these objects into Minecraft object schematics.

## 9 thoughts on “Turning video game sprites into 3D objects”

1. nes says:

(…and build out of Lego bricks.)

2. mikolalysenko says:

Hi, I am the author of that blog. Here are some direct links to things people have made:

1. draeath says:

What exactly are those links supposed to show us? All I get is a white silhouette.

1. mikolalysenko says:

If you have WebGL, you should be able to see the objects and edit them. If you don’t have webgl, it uses three.js as a fall back, but sometimes it breaks and all you get is a white blob. The shapeways links should be more reliable.

3. ejonesss says:

now i wonder if anyone can turn the models in black and white 2 into plastic pieces so you can build the cities like life and monopoly

4. mikolalysenko says:
5. Hirudinea says:

Could these models be printed on a 3D sugar printer, Mario looks like he’ed be pretty tasty.