Monday, November 23, 2009

Rapid Model Acquisition coming to a webcam near you!

Normally the process of translating a physical object into a three dimensional computerized format has one of two approaches:  slow, painstaking manual recreation by a human modeler and texture artist, or rapid acquisition using an incredibly expensive array of lasers and cameras.  Well, thanks to Cambridge Engineering student Qi Pan, there is now a simpler answer: your average webcam.  Check out the video below, or some further examples here.

This technology, with some refinement, could be revolutionary across any number of fields. Imagine the archaeologist able to map and piece together pottery or bone fragments on the fly in the field with nothing but his laptop. Imagine museum curators creating online repositories of their entire collection to be toured on the web. Imagine game developers using figures and sculptures to instantly create models for their games rather than wringing them from the ether manually.

This could be very, very big.

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