@edzacly1, your summary is essentially correct, except that after taking the photos and before putting them into Photoscan, I had to modify them to replace everything that wasn’t the tiki with white. (Btw, the Photoscan docs say not to do any other manipulation–color correction, compression, scaling, etc.–before importing them into Photoscan.) I think there are tools in Photoscan for doing this modification, but I didn’t want to take the time to figure out their tools, so I used Gimp for that.
Oh, and the Shimpo was perfectly stable, but I think that’s really not that important (if at all), since based on other photos, Photoscan will try to figure where the camera had to be to take the picture. I mean, some people apparently take pictures of environments (e.g., the village square) with their cell phones and get at least some results from Photoscan. So my Shimpo comment was almost an irrelevant detail I guess.
As far as the Arduino connection, I realized my D200 doesn’t have an IR sensor, so the plans outlined in the link a few messages back wouldn’t apply in my case. If you go that route, make sure your camera has a way for the Arduino to trigger it.
As far as depth maps go, I believe Photoscan can produce them… Found it–yes indeed:
Anyway, I’m only about six hours ahead of you in terms of Photoscan experience (got a lot of hours of Photoshop, Maya, and Evolve though which probably help), so take everything I’ve written with that pound of salt.
Edit: The depth maps are as seen through a particular camera as placed by Photoscan based on one of your photos. I don’t know if it can produce arbitrary depth maps (like perfectly orthogonal ones) de novo. But many 3D modeling and rendering packages certainly can if it comes to that.