Rather then simply taking a photo directly into 3D Mobile Inspector, you may occasionally wish to separately annotate an image or capture a signature and insert that into your inspection. In that case, it may be convenient to use select image from the gallery options.


Note: To select an image from the gallery using 3D Mobile Inspector you need to tap and hold the camera icon. "Select From Gallery" lets you insert images from the separate Pictures/Gallery on your device. So prior to selecting such an image into 3D, you would use any other app of your choosing to snap and annotate your images or capture a signature. As long as the app can save standard images into your device image gallery, it may be used with this option. We found several free apps work nicely with this feature.  In addition, there are some alternate Camera apps that may have annotation options built in, which may be used along with the normal camera insert.
 
ON ANDROID

One app that works very nicely with 3D Mobile Inspector as a camera replacement option is Annotation Camera Pro.

Here is a video that demonstrates Annotation Camera Pro: https://youtu.be/vm-U1WGHSD8

In addition, we tried out a few free Android photo/image editors with annotation features (e.g. Pic Paint, Draw and Paint, etc.). The free one we liked the best at the original time of this writing was Draw and Paint, as it had abilities to free paint/draw, draw straight lines, circles, boxes, solid fills (with transparency level options), text, and more.

One may use this app to Take Picture, Open Picture, or simply use an Empty Canvas to create a new graphic (which could be used to capture a signature for instance).

You could first use the app to create or annotate and save the final image. It's packed with options and combos, so you may find view the Help list handy (i.e. tap last icon on main screen, and tap "?") Next use Android task switching to Recent apps to jump right back to your open report in 3D Mobile Inspector (usually press and hold Home or tap Recent). In 3D Mobile Inspector, while in the desired field, tap and hold down on the camera icon. Then choose Select From Gallery.  Navigate and select your annotated image from your device. That's all there is to it! Now your annotated (or signature capture) image is inserted into your report.

Note that once an image is inserted into 3D Mobile Inspector it becomes an integral part of the report, so you cannot annotate it further at that point or access it outside of the report. However one may tap an image thumbnail previously inserted and use menu to remove the image, and then take or insert a different image in its spot. Or one may simply bookmark an image one wishes to annotate further using features in the regular desktop 3D software later.

There are of course other various apps for purchase that may work nicely for annotation purposes in Android, and you may wish to demo some of them to compare features and ease of use. In addition to general photo annotation and signature capture, other apps available for your mobile platform may allow easy adding of measurements or dimensions onto photos or drawings/sketches you might create while on site and insert into your inspections.  For example, ImageMeter, Photo MeasuresIMAGinE Measures  or other similar apps may be a good option for some.

The handy Select Image option could also be used to insert any photos inadvertently taken with the separate camera app, in addition to those deliberately taken outside of 3D Mobile Inspector for various purposes, such as to apply annotations or capture signatures. It's nice to have options!


General 3D Mobile Inspector Image Tips and Considerations

Of course, in narrative inspections it's easy to insert as many additional photos as desired for any inspection component or item- simply by tapping the Photo button again (or using Select Image again). If your field already contains an image, it automatically copies to accommodate your additional images. So you can include as many as you need! And if you use the special below image positioning in your main program, all your images in the fields copied for that item will neatly print side by side across the page in the final report.

Note about inserting images into special graphical forms: Special care is needed if using special graphical forms that always print a certain pre-determined way for every single report item, such as for government or other official mandated forms. This is because graphical forms would need to use specifically designated fields for images and cannot just include additional images outside of those special fields. For example, if inserting a signature into a special graphical form, like Wind Mitigation, WDO, or similar, you would want to be sure to locate the existing field already set up for including the signature and insert your signature graphic there. The same applies to other fields preset for including regular images on such special forms. 3D Mobile Inspector itself won't know if the report is a graphical form, so you would just take care not to insert images into fields not designated for images, or to have it "copy" the field for additional images, since those copied items would not be able to link up to the final printed report design. Fortunately the vast majority of regular inspection forms are standard narrative style and not special graphical type forms, and would not need such consideration. If in doubt as to what type of form you are using, use the regular program Report Writer File > New to just view the list of form groups- form groups depicted there with a white icon are narrative, whereas yellow ones are graphical.

If including signatures, it may also be helpful to crop any white or unwanted space from the image imported into the final report before printing. Doing so is easily done by clicking the image thumbnail in the report in the regular windows 3D Inspection System and using the Crop utility. That way the image can expand to better fill the signature area provided in your forms.