DekkoScan Tutorial

DekkoScan, the real world to Minecraft importer, is now available on iTunes!

Supported devices (iOS 6.0+):

iPad 2 & newer, mini

iPhone 4S & newer


Not supported (may appear available in the AppStore):

iPhone 4 & below

iPod Touch

Android support on the road map. Help us by voicing your support for an Android version on twitter, reddit and forums!


Supported exports:

Anvil save file (Minecraft 1.6 Desktop and up). A .zip file is generated with region files containing the chunks with the object represented in 56 materials on top of a "superflat" world, centered on (0,0). The maximum size of the object is 128x128 as of update 1 (August 2013).

.schematic file (MCEdit & WorldEdit). Included in the .zip file. Schematic files are used by third party Minecraft tools to easily include objects into existing worlds. Added in update 1 (August 2013).


You will need:

A supported device

An object to scan

A flat detailed object, like a large picture or a magazine

Good lighting conditions, preferably daylight

An email account set up with the default mail app to send the generated file to yourself.


1. Choose an object to scan

Some objects are easier to scan. Look for those characteristics: Simple shapes, matte texture, bright colors, high detail and contrast density, especially at the top. Not too much plain color, transparent or reflective surfaces.

Objects are ideally sized anywhere between 1 and 5ft (30cm to 2m). The system is not accurate enough for smaller objects and requires copious amounts of scanning for larger objects. The object must be absolutely still during scanning. As of current version (Aug 2013), empty space is not recognized, it is filled with cubes.

Well rendered objects include: large pictures (incl. on computer screens), posters, piles of books, large toys, guitars, food, bottles of beer/coke, sneakers, Hawaiian shirts, tattoos, heads (with some patience), sleeping pets, inflatable owls.

1. Choose an object to scan

Poorly rendered objects include: action figures (small), empty bottles (transparent), cans of coke (shiny), dress shirts (plain colored), people (complex shape), awake pets (moving), cars (big, shiny, low detail density), houses (big).


2. Set the ground level

Setting the ground does two things at once: it starts the scanning technology, and it determines the elevation of the ground level (grass). The technology needs to start from a flat and horizontal surface with enough details, like a magazine or a large picture. It is okay if the object itself lies on a non-detailed table.

2. Set the ground level

The green grid shows where details are detected. You will notice that the "FIND GOOD SCENE" button fills up as the green grid covers the screen. Start off a flat texture like a magazine or a photo. The table will almost never be detailed enough.

Better results when you fill the screen, either by adding more magazines...

... or by getting closer (it changes the scale of the reconstruction too). Usually, zooming on a magazine cover is good enough to start scanning. You do not need to include the object you wish to scan in the field of view for now; it is more important to get the scanning system started with the flat image.

Tap the "FIND GOOD SCENE" button when ready.

You now have to physically slide your iPad to the right. The goal is to align the moving iPad to the "3D" icon on the right. This is the tricky part.

The system calculates a stereoscopy from the left and right positions and starts the scanning system.

For a successful stereoscopy, make sure that you do not rotate the device at all during the motion, just translate steadily to the right. In video terminology, you must do a tracking shot, not panning.

If the system cannot compute the stereoscopy, the iPad will come back to the left. Try again with more images, from closer, or in better light conditions. Sometimes, sliding slower helps.

After the computation, a new message appears and the ground is positioned at the center of the screen (albeit transparently). You may already see a few squares, that will become cubes after the export.


3. Scan the object

Slowly, move and look around. The small squares represent the location of the cubes that have been scanned.

If the squares don't appear, go back to the starting position, keep scanning slowly, get closer, try from another angle.

3. Scan the object

Scan your object from as many angles and distances as possible. The more you move, the more accurate the reconstruction gets.

By the end the object should be obscured by all the squares that cover it.

Get very close to the small details to make sure your capture them.

Sometimes, if you move fast, if the camera auto-focuses, or if you move too far, positioning gets confused and cannot update, making the squares red and fixed to the screen.

The squares show you where you should go back to resume positioning.

The squares are back to their normal color when positioning resumes.


4. Preview the object

The purple "INGAME VIEW" button at the top right of the screen lets you toggle modes between the faster "wire view" and the prettier "ingame view".

4. Preview the object

The "ingame view" is also augmented reality, you can keep moving around and exploring. It shows exactly how the cubes are going to look like in Minecraft.

For performance reasons, the cubes don't update automatically in the ingame view, use the "REFRESH" at the top right corner to update.

Cubes only show if their color is known. The "RECOLOR" button at the top left corner resets all color info. Since updates in the "ingame view" are incremental, you can use it to crop & clean-up your scan.

Move your device to include only the part you want to keep, and hit "RECOLOR".

Step back, you'll see that the color of the cubes changed and the model is now cut around the edges of the screen. Caution: hitting "REFRESH" will attribute or update the color of all the cubes in view, potentially bringing back garbage cubes.


5. Generate the savegame archive

Click the "EXPORT TO MINECRAFT" button to send the zipped minecraft save file by e-mail.

5. Generate the savegame archive

You can uncompress into an existing superflat game and overwrite the affected region files (just /tp yourself to coordinates 0, 5, 0), or open the level.dat with third party tools like MCEdit.

The current version of DekkoScan (August 2013) also generates a schematic file, that can be used with MCEdit, WorldEdit and other third-party tools to include the object into existing worlds. Note that you can generate several times. The save name is "DekkoGenerated".


TUTORIAL: open the object in a superflat creative world

1. Download the .zip file from the e-mail you sent from your mobile device.

TUTORIAL: open the object in a superflat creative world

2. Expand the zip file. It contains: level.dat with some level data region files, that contain the object in chunks of blocks schematic file, not needed for this tutorial

3. Open Minecraft (1.6 Horse Update and above) and create a new creative world, with superflat settings and cheats enabled to enable teleportation.

4. Hit "Create New World".

5. The object will be positioned around 0, 0. Teleport yourself there by typing in the chat (open the chat with T):

/tp <yourplayernamehere> 0 5 0

y=5 because otherwise you'll fall through the ground.

6. Save your world & close the game.

7. Locate your save game.

On Windows, find the hidden folder at

On MacOS X, open Finder and Go>Go to Folder... (Cmd+Shift+G)
/Users/<yourusernamehere>/Library/Application Support/minecraft/saves

It is good practice to backup the folder before you modify it.

8. Drag and drop the contents of the zip file, level.dat & the regions file, to replace the existing ones in your save game.

9. Go back to Minecraft and open your saved game

10. Here we go! You're done!


TUTORIAL: import the object into an existing vanilla game with MCEdit

1. For this tutorial I created a new vanilla survival with all default settings. It works just as well with long-running games and multiplayer server saves.

TUTORIAL: import the object into an existing vanilla game with MCEdit

2. I use MCEdit. As of today, it is version and doesn't include features from Minecraft 1.6 Horse Update. MCEdit is a free editor of Minecraft saves. Close your Minecraft game if you have it running. Launch MCEdit and click Load World...

3. Find your game in the list and open it.

4. Let chunks load a bit, move with WASD to a vantage point overlooking the location where you want to drop the object. Click the "Import" button (with a crane, circled in yellow in the screenshot) and navigate to the unzipped folder of DekkoGenerated, select the object.schematic file and click "Open".

5. Drag and drop the faces of the green cube to position the object exactly where you want it to be.

Use the keys E, R, F, G to rotate, roll, flip and mirror to the right orientation. When you're done, hit the "Import" button in the menu on the left.

As of today (August 2013) MCEdit wasn't updated to the Horse Update (Minecraft 1.6) to include stained clay, so those blocks appear purple. But they will render correctly in the game.

6. Save your world with Ctrl+S. You will see a pop-up message with a loading bar, then the chunks will reload. You can now close MCEdit.

7. Reopen your save in Minecraft and voila! The object now sits exactly where you placed it.



You can use it offline! The e-mail will be saved in your drafts.

Details and good lighting make everything easier. The technology sees in black and white and wants to see a lot of contrast.

Most details should be found at the top of the object for better results.

If the iPad icon repeatedly slides back to the left when scanning the ground, it means the technology doesn't see enough details. Add another object or improve the light conditions of the scene!

Use the "RECOLOR" button to reset the coloring of the blocks. Results vary with distance and light.

In Ingame View, 3D scanning is paused. Use "RESET" for incremental updates. The "RECOLOR" button can be used to crop the model!

Reflections, shine, repetitive patterns, transparent materials, uniform colors make it harder. Also, auto-focus and varying exposure will sometimes interrupt scanning. Play around, but results may vary!

You can't move objects after you start scanning yet. Use the reset button!

Use the great tool MCEdit to clean-up and rearrange the chunks after you generate. Always copy region files before you overwrite them!

Follow @dekko on Twitter! Check out our other game TableTop Speed, to see what Dekko's technology can do in real time!

Contact /u/portemantho on reddit or @portemantho on Twitter for feature requests and feedback.



Thanks /r/minecraft for getting me to the front page last month!

Thanks Mojang, I borrowed your textures for the blocks in the "ingame view" and I hope it's okay.

Thanks MrWishmaster35 for the CubicWorld package for Unity3D that saved me a lot of time for the rendering of the "ingame view".

Thanks Blimpus for the inflatable owl thing.