Frequently asked

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 Scans 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 than 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.

My flash doesn’t fire (when I set the shutter speed to 1/200)?

You may need to check which flash sync speeds your camera and fl ash support. Use the fastest supported shutter speed. For example, sometimes the fastest flash sync speed is 1/125s.

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:

A5   (162 x 94 mm) DPI 643* - Download A5 Chart
A4   (229 x 134 mm) DPI 454* - Download A4 Chart
A3   (324 x 190 mm) DPI 321* - Download A3 Chart
A2   (458 x 268 mm) DPI 227* - Download A2 Chart
A1   (648 x 379 mm) DPI 160* - Download A1 Chart

*DPI with 30 Mpx camera

You can print your own chart by following our
scanning guide, or contact us if you’d like us to mail a chart out to you.

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 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:

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 displacement_units value in the custom > Bandicoot section of the .u3m file. Higher values in the map mean larger heights, so brighter pixels are closer to the viewer when viewed from above

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.u3maextension 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 Browzwear VStitcher?

1. Download the U3M tiled texture from Bandicoot
2. In VStitcher use Materials > Fabrics > Add Fabric to open the downloaded .u3ma file

How do I import a Shimmer Scan into CLO3D?

1. Download the ZIP tiled texture from Bandicoot
2. Unzip the ZIP file and open the textures folder
3. Drag all 5 texture PNG images into the corresponding Map squares in the CLO3D Property Editor
4. Change the fabric Type to Fabric_Matte
5. Change the Roughness from Intensity to Map
6. Adjust the sliders to give the best appearance, using the values below as a guide:

General fabric
Roughness intensity 50
Reflection 15
Metalness 0

Roughness intensity 50
Reflection 5
Metalness 0

Roughness intensity 15
Reflection 15
Metalness 100

how do import a digital fabric into CLO3D

Even for shiny or metallic fabrics, the Fabric_Matte type gives the most faithful appearance in CLO3D when using roughness and metalness maps.

For a step by step video guide please see the CLO3D guide on setting fabric textures.

How do I import a Shimmer Scan into Style3D?

1. Download the U3M tiled texture from Bandicoot
2. Go to Object Browser > Resource > Garment > Fabric and Click the + button
3. In Property Editor -> Click Open and select your downloaded Bandicoot .u3ma texture file -> Set Render Type to Matte -> Set Gloss Map to Invert
4. Apply Fabric to Garment -> Drag Fabric from: Object Browser > Resource > Garment > Fabric > (imported texture) -> To: Each piece in the Pattern Window
5. Adjust the sliders to give the best appearance, using the values below as a guide:

General fabric
Gloss map strength: 1.0
Metal map strength: 1.0

Gloss map strength: 1.0
Metal map strength: 0.0

Gloss map strength: 1.7
Metal map strength: 1.0

how to import fabric into style3d

How do I import a Shimmer Scan into Swatchbook?

Bandicoot can import your scans into Swatchbook for you. Please contact us to get started.

If you want to import Bandicoot scans yourself, here are the steps:
1. Download the U3M tiled texture from Bandicoot
2. Open the Swatchbook web app and login
3. Click Create > Swatch on the left hand side menu
4. Click Upload Scans in the top left
5. Select one or more 3D models to preview the fabric on (T-shirt, shoe, etc.)
6. Click the drop-down menu and select “generic”
7. Click the “load scans” menu > U3MA > select the Bandicoot .u3ma file
8. The texture channels, width and height should be filled in automatically as the U3M file is uploaded and parsed
9. (Optional) Click “render swatch data” to request a rumpled-swatch render
10. Click close
11. Set a name
12. Click done (top right)

Bandicoot icon logo PNG blue 3D digital fabric textiles
How to Scan

Take a handful of photos of the material from a series of different angles, using a camera with a flash.

Bandicoot icon logo PNG blue 3D digital fabric textiles
How to Process

After uploading your photos, we process them and show you the resulting ShimmerView.

Bandicoot icon logo PNG blue 3D digital fabric textiles
How to Publish

Publish the Shimmer View and embed it in your retail site, or download the texture files for 3D workflows.

Bandicoot icon logo PNG blue 3D digital fabric textiles

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