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London Metropolitan University

Postgraduate Studies

MSc IT Consultancy
Module CUP130N: Consultancy Skills (Interpersonal)

Consultancy Report
by

Mickael Abensur
1004448

26.01.2011

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MSc IT Consultancy
Module CUP130N: Consultancy Skills (Interpersonal)

DECLARATION
concerning
A CONSULTANCY REPORT
written by

Mickael Abensur

Declaration

I, the undersigned, declare that I am the author of the report indicated above,
which I have written as part of my work on Module CUP130N (Consultancy
Skills, Interpersonal) of the MSc IT Consultancy at London Metropolitan
University.

I declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief I have observed all
copyrights and other rights belonging to other parties and that I am the sole
owner of the copyright in the report I have written.

I hereby give permission to the course organisers and other academic staff
they may choose to copy and use the report or excerpts from it in its original
form or in electronic form including publication on the Internet or on CD-ROM
or other media at their discretion in the promotion and delivery of courses, in
research and in connection with consultancy or related activities on condition
that I am identified as the author of the report.

In case there is a need to contact me in connection with the report, please


contact me at:

E-mail: armouredorange@gmail.com

Signed:

Date: 26.01.2011

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Facial Motion Capture Systems

Executive Summary
The recent years have brought an exceptional quality of films and
games (e.g. Avatar, Gear of Wars). It is mainly due to a massive adoption of
digital mediums, which help to organize, manipulate and distribute media
content. The crowd is now very demanding; and sophisticated devices like 3D
scanners raise the bar to an unprecedented realism in visuals effects.

A very new approach to motion capture has been unveiled by the


White Structured Light Scanning technology. Structured light scanners have
the ability to acquire eight million cloud points in a single shot by projecting a
set of white fringes on the object. The capture compared to previous scanning
techniques is instantaneous. The main drawback compared to other scanning
techniques like laser or photogrammetry techniques, is it has a short range. In
average the depth of field of the scanner is one meter for small or portable
scanners, and five meters for bigger scanners.

This technology is a breakthrough in 3D modeling; an acquisition of live


motion is possible if the resolution of the points is reduced. Geometric
Informatics, an American company based in Boston sells a unique 3D
scanner for £32,000 that captures 300 000 cloud points at 180 fps. The
animated data can be used to control a soft surface like a human face. It
produces virtual expressions of an extreme realism.

Some early experiments done at ETH Zurich by four PHD students


(Weise et al. 2009) show a live facial puppetry system that works at 15 fps.
The captured 3D model transfers successfully the full motion capture to a
rigged face for ultimate control. Beside the enormous time saved for
animating a face, it really embodies the digital animation with true human
traits.

There is no complete animation solution on the market until now. 3D


WSL scanners find an application in a consequent variety of industries, and
are often sold for a generic use. WSL scanners are mainly originating from
European countries (Germany, Italy, Belgium). Live capture of full bodies are
presently not possible, and the technique does not work in very bright
environments.

The WSL scanners are very competitive and smaller portable models
find particular attention. Certainly, this technology is only at its first steps, but
has a great potential of growth. I expect a big impact on many industries,
particularly in medical industries (cosmetic surgery, prosthetics, dentistry) and
slightly less in the Film and Game industry.

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Contents page

Executive Summary....................................................................................... 3  
Contents page ................................................................................................ 4  
Introduction .................................................................................................... 5  
Technological Developments within IT as a Whole.................................... 6  
Cloud computing ........................................................................................... 6  
Online payment systems............................................................................... 6  
Mobile applications ....................................................................................... 7  
User interactive interfaces ............................................................................ 7  
Social networks............................................................................................. 8  
Augmented reality ......................................................................................... 8  
IT-based Technological Developments within the Film and Video game
industry........................................................................................................... 9  
Gyroscope..................................................................................................... 9  
Video-on-demand ....................................................................................... 10  
Online video player ..................................................................................... 10  
Stereoscopic camera .................................................................................. 11  
Virtual camera............................................................................................. 11  
Overview of one Major Technological Development within IT – White
Structured Light Scanning used within the Film and Video game
industry......................................................................................................... 12  
Current IT products using White Structured Light Scanning technology
....................................................................................................................... 15  
Reverse Engineering .................................................................................. 15  
Measurement .............................................................................................. 16  
Dentistry...................................................................................................... 16  
Dermatology................................................................................................ 16  
Archaeology ................................................................................................ 17  
Architecture................................................................................................. 17  
Others ......................................................................................................... 17  
Comparison of Similar Products using White Light Interferometry
Scanning technology................................................................................... 17  
Artec MHT................................................................................................... 18  
Mephisto EX................................................................................................ 18  
GeoVideo .................................................................................................... 18  
Gemini MF .................................................................................................. 18  
The Future of White Structured Light Scanning and how it could be used
in the Film and Video game industry ......................................................... 20  
Conclusion ................................................................................................... 22  
References.................................................................................................... 22  
Texts Sources ............................................................................................. 22  
Picture Sources........................................................................................... 26  
Unpublished Sources.................................................................................. 27  
Glossary........................................................................................................ 27  

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Introduction

In this report, I go through the most remarkable advancements in


information technologies, with particular attention brought on the real time
digital acquisition techniques of moving objects. We have observed that the
last few years have produced a significant number of successful movies using
special effects and especially, motion capture technologies. The increasing
demand for realistic digital character animations that can be seen in movies
like Avatar (Gray, 2010) or The curious case of Benjamin Button (Sydell,
2009) required intensive computer power. The computer becoming
mainstream and cheap pushed to a mass digitalization phenemenon.
Recently researcher have worked intensively to improve ways of managing
and visualizing data, some experiences based on old publications of matrix
figures and binary codes appeared to be impressively efficient compared to
other current technologies that use magnetism or mechanical physics.

Among the major trends in IT, computerization is a recurrent aspect


that blurs the line between foreign industries. Ultimately, the digital medium
profits to everyone and builds a common ground. I will primarily discuss about
few digital mediums that are the most likely to affect our society of tomorrow.

In a second instance, the report focuses on ways of dramatically


improving facial digital animation mainly intended for its use in the Film and
the Video game industries through a comprehensive motion-capture solution.
It began in 1962 with a device called “ANIMAC”, developed by Lee Harrison
(Harisson, 1976), an American bio-cybernetic engineer. The ANIMAC
computer was connected to a metal framework controlled by the human body.
The computer recorded the angles between different joints to move a digital
puppet accordingly. The number of wire connections between the human and
the machine, limited this rudimentary technique. Since then, a lot of
unpromising devices were constructed. Nowadays Microsoft has given the
tone, the Project Natal, followed with the development of the Xbox360 Kinect
opens a new horizon (Tate, 2010).

In a third instance, we will look at a similar device than the Kinect


called commonly a 3D scanner. This report demonstrates the efficiency and
flexibility of a particular scanning technology based on structured light and
phase shifts methods. I will demonstrate the proficiency of the White
Structured Light Scanning (WSLS) technology over his competitors, and lists
an up-to-date selection of the most popular products delivering the WSLS
technology to the public. All together these products are compared to give the
consumer a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses of this
technology.

Eventually, this report aims to advise filmmakers and video game


developers with the best available technology on the market in order to create
unique and realistic facial animation, efficiently and at minimal price.

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Technological Developments within IT as a Whole

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a new technology that provides to the customer a


full maintenance of his computer network, in order to smoothly run his
business. It allows the user to easily scale the computing power and storage
place that he requires. The user can customize the service provided to
choose through a range of options, only what he needs for his business. It is
payable as you go, this means that he can stop the payment subscriptions
anytime he wants.

Mainly cloud services are divided in three categories: Allocate a


database to different platforms, use platforms to build different software,
customize software to fit an application needs (Akka, 2009). At last, the user
saves time that can be spent to focus on his business instead of worrying
about his computer workstations maintenance. There are two major sensitive
issues with the apparition of this technology: Firstly, if the service is secured
enough not to leak the data of the users outside the system, and secondly if it
is stable enough not to loose the data of the users. Examples of cloud
databases: Amazon EC2, Joyent, FathomDB. Examples of cloud platforms:
Amazon RDS, Windows Azure, Rackscape cloud. Examples of cloud
softwares: Gmail, Twitter, Salesforce.

"
Online payment systems

Online payments became popular with the apparition of the company


PayPal founded in 1998 (Inarejos, 2007). Later purchased by eBay Inc, in
2002, PayPal is an American online auction and shopping website. To be able
as a vendor to sell products online you will need a payment gateway provider
such as Paypal, Cheddargetter, SagePay, Google Checkout, Wirecard plus a
merchant account which is a type of bank account that allows businesses to
accept payments by debit or credit cards. The payment gateway can be
integrated in a website if the vendor pays for an extra ordering service acting
as a Saas (Software as a service) such as OpenGateway, Caribou, Spreedly
or CannyBill. These Saas allow you to manage your orders, to follow the
evolution of your sales and to set up a recurring billing option, if the website
aims to develop a list of subscribers.

They are several fees that you need to pay in order to go through the
validation process of your e-business: the merchant account needs to be PCI
(Payment card industry) compliant (Fogarty, 2010) which means that your
system is secured enough for the consumers and that it complies with several
data security standards. This certificate cost £120 annually. Depending on the
mode of payment of the consumers, the transaction fee for your merchant
bank account will vary between 40p or 2.5% of the transaction price. Added to
that the vendor pays a transaction fee each time the payment gateway service
provider processes the same transaction in average of 3% + £0.20, if it is a

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single payment or 10 p per transaction + £20/month, if the payment gateway
has the ability to manage recurring billing for a list of subscribers (Electric
Function Inc. 2009).

Mobile applications
"
Gartner, an American IT research company, accounts that in 2010, the
market share of Smartphone in the mobile sales was of 19% (a. Gartner,
2010). Further studies demonstrate that by 2013, Smartphone (web-based
devices) will overtake the number of PCs with an Internet access. Indeed,
Gartner estimates that by 2013, there will be 1.78 billion PC units with an
Internet access in use compared to 1.82 billion Smartphone units (b. Gartner,
2010). It is interesting to note as well that by 2014, the 2 major Mobile
Operating Systems will be Android (Google) and Symbian (Nokia) with an
equal share of 30% each.

The number of mobile applications is dominated by the Apple store


with 250,000 applications available that boast an impressive 5 billion numbers
of download (Van del Elzen, 2010). The Android follows closely with 85,000
applications and 1 billion numbers of download (Wauters, 2010) . Social
media channels are very present in mobile Internet use, primarily Facebook
and Twitter.

A lot of applications based on your geo-satellite location emerge; they


will be able to make recommendations on products or events nearby.
Applications in interaction with your environment are also thriving (see the
Augmented reality section). You can notably scan code bars to get extra
pieces of information with your built-in camera device.

User interactive interfaces

User interactive interfaces have evolved a lot over the last decade.
They became user-friendlier, and multiplied the number of possibilities to
interact with the screen. In 1971, the first Touch Sensor appeared (Bellis
20??), a finger or a stylus was seen as an alternative to the classic mouse.

In 2001, a video game console was introduced; the Wii sold over 76
million units world wide (Ivan, 2010), its one of the most sold console after the
Game Boy, the Nitendo DS and the PlayStation 2. The console integrates
new technologies that enhanced the player interaction drastically. Effectively,
the console tracks the position of the controller, calculates the speed of its
movement and its tilted angle. This apparatus enables the player to browse
content and play games with a wave of their hand or by using the sound of
their own voices. The new AvatarKinect software will also give Kinect owners,
an innovative way to socialize. A motion capture facial recognition technology
will also drive the facial basic expressions of a digital double, in a specific
application. This hardware uses the human body and face for controller.

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Additionally, a major advancement in the interactive field, is the new
Microsoft Surface, It features the PixelSense technology, which gives LCD
panels the ability to recognize the colours in contact with the surface without
use of cameras (Conneally, 2010). This touch screen of a TV size, will
presumably allow you to scan images but mainly provide a multi user touch
screen experience that can computes 50 simultaneous touch points. This
product, planned to be launched in 2011, is at the moment only reserved for a
industrial use.

Social networks

By 2014, Gartner expects 20% of business intra-communications


currently using E-mails to be done via cloud-based social networking services.
Social networks allow users to discuss and share files at the same time.

Microblogging streams such as Twitter, become very popular among


enterprises, and Gartner reckons it will serve over 50% of businesses by 2012
(c. Gartner, 2010). But due to its simplicity, the possibilities of further
development are scarce. Social Platforms such as Facebook are very useful
for retailers to analyse the composition of people in specific consumer groups
and potentially spot the influencers. Methods like viral marketing can be very
productive in these environments. Wikipedia is another good example of
online collections available for everyone to edit, and can be a great tool to
share the knowledge of an enterprise between employees, in one single
place.

Social Media intrinsic value is “transparency” and it can be risky, if a


firm hasn’t evaluated its reach, to control defamation.

Augmented reality

By definition, augmented reality (AR) technologies inform you in real


time on your environment, by bringing the digital world into the physical world.
Augmented reality products are often manufactured to be portable in order to
interact with a wide range of exterior activities.

Common hardware devices that enable interactions in real time are


motion sensors, video cameras, and video projectors who can track, capture
and display media content. There are very few product built for the sole
purpose to augment the reality and are seen most of the time as “gadgets”.

Currently, the main Mobile Operating systems developers unblocked


funds for laboratories such as “Google’s Goggles” and “Nokia’s Point and
Find” to deliver AR applications on their systems (Jogee, 2010). AR
applications generally recognize real objects, and can display on your mobile
screen the geo-location of relevant places that are in your surroundings.

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IT-based Technological Developments within the Film and
Video game industry

Gyroscope

Gyroscope devices are used as a tool to measure rotational force.


Additionally, compared to a compass it is a mechanic device and cannot be
interfered with magnetic sources. Since the science has found ways to
miniaturize its size (MEMS), they become an integrant part of many products.
The three principal manufacturers are InvenSense, STMicroelectronics, and
Analog Devices (Taulli, 2010).

In the Video Game industry the most proficient use of this technology
can be found in the Wii Nintendo console. For instance, it allows the player,
the opportunity to swing a sword above his head accurately, bringing thus,
another level of game play.

In a second instance, gyroscopes recently made their entry in the


mobile industry with the Iphone 4 of Apple, in June 2010. MEMS allow the
user, for example, with a simple tilt of his hand to slide a photo or zoom in it.
iSuppli Corp predicts that competitors will need to keep pace with Apple by
adding gyroscopes to their Smartphone too, catapulting the market from zero
in 2009 to 285 million units by 2014 (Johnson, 2010).

In the future gyroscopes will add new intuitive functionalities to video


games. Furthermore, they will help to stabilize the video captured from your
phone, as a Steadicam apparatus will do.

Motion-capture

A motion capture system digitalizes the motion and code the


movement into animation curves that control the rotation and position of a
virtual object. Body Motion Capture Systems (BMCS) have undergone many
transformations since their apparition. In 1962, Lee Harisson invented a
BMCS who was working mechanically. In 1991, Medialab invented the first
BMCS who was working by magnetic pulse. In 1993, Acclaim invented the
first BMCS who was working optically. The latter system has proven to be the
most powerful because of its high sensibility to the movement and its wireless
functionality (Sturman, 1998, pp 38-45).

Simultaneously, Motion capture systems have been used to capture


facial expressions. In 1988, deGraf and Wahrman developed a Facial Motion
Capture System (FMCS) called “Mike the talking head” where you could see a
digital puppet head animated in real time by mechanical joysticks (Wahrman,
1988).

Optical MCS use markers that are placed on the actor’s body in order
to track the motion in a limited volume. Nowadays, two types of markers can

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be found: active and passive. Active markers emit light and can be seen from
very far, hence useful for the capture of a very large seen. Passive markers
can be made of reflective plastic balls or just dots painted on the skin.

Alternatively, FMCS like the Microsoft Kinect accessory for Xbox360,


uses no markers at all, they are “markerless”. The system uses facial features
like the nose, eyes, and mouth positions to track the motion. This new
technology will probably thrive in the future along with the White Structured
Light Scanning technology (explained further down in this report).

Video-on-demand

Video-on-demand (VOD) is a system, which allows users to watch


video content at any convenient time. It started in 1998; Kingston
Communications delivered their service via ADSL to individual homes. In
2005 they were notably followed by Virgin Media who provides their service
through an optical cable. VOD has become extremely popular thanks to
Internet and streaming technologies. Instead of monthly subscriptions,
consumers have the option to pay per single screening.

Two popular providers of VOD content are the American company


named “Netflix” and the British company named “LoveFilm”. Netflix technology
requires Microsoft’s online video player called Silverlight to run (Heuer, 2009).
It gives unlimited streaming content for a monthly subscription. Their
subscription service started in 1999 and they are surpassing now 10 million
subscribers. Similarly, LoveFilm has over 1.5 million members and can come
also with an unlimited plan (Journalism.co.uk, 2011). LoveFilm player uses
Adobe Flash technology to display his videos.

Online video player


"
In order to be played online, the video has to be downloaded first by
the computer. The user will have to wait a long time if the file is heavy. Some
online players enable the user to buffer the video. This action allows him to
watch the beginning while the rest of the video loads, it is called “streaming”.

The Silverlight streaming player is based on the windows media player


code and videos are encoded under the .wmv format. On the other side, the
Flash player is encoded under the .flv format. The .flv format is the widest
spread format over the Internet. Popular video publishing websites such as
Youtube, use it. Another format that encodes video with a better quality but
bigger file size is the .mp4. This format is used by another video publishing
website called Vimeo. Lastly the .mov format developped by Apple, allows
also to stream online videos. Itunes the popular media content management
software of Apple proposes some video-on-demand under the .mov format.

In 2010, the first open source video format and royalty-free patent was
released. Mozilla and later Google have actively supported this new format

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called .webm. The .webm format is designed exclusively for an Internet use,
and does not need any other proprietary software to run. Instead, the new
HTML5 Internet language supports it. At the moment, only one browser can
read it successfully, and it is the Google Chrome browser. According to
Zencoder (2011). Inc. only 16.6% of Internet users can read this format in
2010, and it can take a while before its unanimous adoption.

Stereoscopic camera
"
Stereoscopic camera systems are around for a number of years
already, but due to their heavy rig weight averaging 60kg, it was difficult to
manipulate them for shooting action film sequences. They are made usually of
two side-by-side camera recorders. But in august 2010, Panasonic was the
first to release a fully integrated 3D HD digital camera recorder. The
Panasonic AG-3DA1 weights only 3kg, and integrates two lenses under the
same shaft.

Acclaimed film director Peter Jackson, has recently bought 30 Epic


cameras that will serve the purpose to shoot his next movie “The Hobbit” in
3D stereoscopic (Brownlee, 2010). The stereoscopic system will be mounted
of 2 digital cameras of 5000 pixels wide resolution each; so up to 4 times
more than the standard HD resolution. The weight of the rig itself made by
3ality Digital, the TS-5 model is around 10kg without cameras, and 15 to 20
kg with the cameras.

Since, the Avatar release in 2009, a sensational 3d stereoscopic blockbuster


movie, we are going to see a rising number of directors shooting in 3d
stereoscopic in the upcoming years.

Virtual camera

During the production of James Cameron’s last movie Avatar, a


breakthrough technical achievement occurred. Glen Derry, the Head of the
technical department created a Virtual Camera System (Robertson, 2010).
The Virtual Camera resembles a videogame controller with a video monitor
attached. Instead of looking through a lens, you look at a monitor with a digital
representation of the scene. Because it is a virtual camera without physical
limits, the director can set the device to create a five-to-one scale for vertical
moves. Moving the camera three feet in this mode translates into a 15-foot
crane move. The virtual camera shoots the performance captured by the body
sensors. It can either work online (while the actors, wearing motion-capture
suits, are acting) or offline (after the motion capture data has been
processed).

Similar equipments are in use in some big upcoming Hollywood films


like Real Steel (release in 2011) or The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of
the Unicorn (release in 2011).

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Affordable system like the Insight VCS:Pro by NaturalPoint is made
available to the public for a price of £3400. The Insight VCS:Pro system has
been showcased at the SIGGRAPH in 2010 and can feed real-time motion
captured data to Maya or MotionBuider software (Teo, 2010).

Insight Virtual Camera:Pro by NaturalPoint

Overview of one Major Technological Development within IT –


White Structured Light Scanning used within the Film and
Video game industry
White Structured Light Scanning (WSLS) is an extremely powerful tool
for optical measurements. While WSLS is certainly not new, combining rather
old algorithms with modern electronics, computers, and software has
produced extremely powerful measurement tools. It all started in 1968, with
the invention of Rainbow Holograms by an American professor called
Stephen A. Benton. Rainbow holograms are visible by using common white
light (Murphy, 2003).

The hologram principle is based on the physical fact that when light
bounces off an object, it carries with it the information of its reflectivity;
therefore by projecting a second laser beam, it creates interferences with the
first beam revealed on a transparent surface. A small aperture, placed in front
of the light source splits the ray in several beams that cover the whole surface
of the object. With an additional mirror and some adjustments, the beams
converge exactly on the glass plate. While Benton was working at the
Polaroid Corporation known now as the MIT, he captured a three dimensional
portrait of himself on a thick glass plate.

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Portrait of Stephen A. Benton on a glass plate (1977)

Later, different laboratories used the Rainbow Hologram method to


study the shape of ancient artifacts. It is interesting to precise that this method
was entitled “Rainbow” because depending on the point of view; the color of
the hologram perceived varies and creates an artistic effect due to the
diffraction properties of the white light source.

The WSLS technology uses a computer instead of a glass plate as a


mean to store the 3D image. This new system is comprised of a Digital Light
Processing (DLP) projector, a high-speed monochrome cameras and a color
camera that are mounted to a frame. The projector illuminates alternatively at
a very fast pace the object or person with three distinct fringe patterns known
as “structured lights”. The different patterns are using a succession of white
and black strips to cover the object. A binary code proposed by Posdamer in
1981, is used to assign a unique suite of binary numbers to a specific
grayscale of a pixel (Posdamer & Altschuler, 1982). The accumulated
intensities of each stripe reduce the position of the surface points to one line
of the same grayscale value. The y position of a pixel is found. With the
distance between the camera and the projector known, and after comparison
between the angles of the incident ray and reflected ray, we triangulate the
depth of the surface point hit by the related ray. Knowing the position of the
unique surface point on two axes we can easily determine its exact spacial
location.

A set of binary-fringed pattern Set up of the projection and triangulation

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A color camera can be implemented to the system to bring another
parameter, which is the RGB value of each pixel. The different components of
the system are synchronized. A second extra high-speed monochrome
camera is sometimes added to increase the field of view of the scanning
device. The data is in real time computed and processed with all different
sorts of algorithm to smooth the noise and the shaky motion that are affecting
the digital point clouds representation of our model.

This brand new method can capture a 3D version of a model, in


average at a speed of 60 frame per second, with a resolution of 300 000 cloud
points. The 3D model is reconstructed in a 3D software were the points are
converted in vertices, these vertices once connected together will form a
virtual surface that can move in real-time as the object or person performs.
The ability to scan 3D objects at a super fast rate has not yet been properly
implemented in a big film or game production. As far as I know, two American
students located near New York, named Song Zhang and Peisen Huang have
executed the earliest tests in 2004 (Zhang & Huang). They have notably
helped to produce four years later, the 3D images in the music video clip of
Radiohead, the “House of Cards”.

Thom Yorke singing the House of Cards (2008)

A comprehensive list of 3D scanners using the White Structured Light


Scanning technology is available on the market, for commercial and personal
use. It ranges from portable devices, to devices mounted on a tripod or fully
framed devices. The density of the recorded cloud points depends on the
resolution of the camera. While three different fringe pattern are sufficient
enough to code a certain number of pixel, if the resolution augments, an extra
layer of fringes is necessary to extend the coding range (Karpinsky & Zhang,
2010 ). The acquisition time of the projector is delayed by the projection of the
extra pattern. Additionally, If a second camera is added, the device called
stereo scanner will then be slower, because the number of computed points
will be multiply by two. As a general rule, the more accurate they are, the
slower they are. The field and depth of view of the scanner represent the
volume. The volume captured varies depending on the 3D scanners; usually
bigger scanners have the possibility to capture bigger objects. As the volume
capacity varies between 50 cm3 and 150 cm3; the speed of the capture varies

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between 5 milliseconds and 4 seconds. The main impediment of the scanner
is the size of the volume. It cannot increase due to the limited power of the
projected light source. Indeed, the data becomes incorrect as the intensity of
the projected pattern fades.

Within the film and game industry the criteria of choice for an efficient
scanner are not the same that in the medical industry or in the automotive
industry for instance. A portable device with a precision close to a millimetre
and with a measuring field of 1m3 seems appropriate. The possibility of
capturing the colour of the related object is also important. It gives an extra
useful resource for 3D artists that will, at a later stage, be working on the
textures of a digital scene. Last but not least, the speed of the acquisition is a
crucial element to the product, if you consider using the data for an animated
sequence. Utterly, it is not advised to choose a product that captures less
than 15 frames per seconds for an animation that will use the data for motion
capture purposes, otherwise the final output will appear jittery and hard to
work with.

On the software side, some scanners are not compatible with all PC
operating systems; it is also preferable to connect them via an USB port for an
easier and quicker installation. It is imperative to get a post processing data
software, normally provided with the product that allows you to manipulate
and modify the digital scanned pieces of your model without troubles. It is
convenient to query the sorts of format that are available to export and then
integrate the 3D models with ease in other 3D packages. The most popular
formats that encode 3D scanned data are .stl and .obj. It will give a maximum
flexibility to reuse and tweak the digital model at a postproduction stage.

Current IT products using White Structured Light Scanning


technology
"
Reverse Engineering

Wide range scanners, used mainly for a reverse engineering process


are very popular tools to analyze and improve a manufactured object. Actually
this type of scanner is the most popular, it helps designers and engineers to
quickly and accurately reproduce a 3D model from the solid individual parts of
an existing manufactured object. The automotive industry uses this type of
product extensively. Additionally, a 3D printer can be used to create, from the
modified 3D scans, a plastic prototype of the new manufactured object (Fu,
2008).

Quality Control
"
Very accurate scanners are used for quality control of manufactured
parts. Some 3D scanners are mounted for industrial needs, on a robot arm.
Different materials might be used to create a specific element of an object. By
scanning the various alternative parts that are tested, it is possible to compare

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"
and detect fine deviation of surface between them, due usually to a shrinkage
of a certain material after moulding. Trimmings of metal sheets or missing
holes are also easily identified. Flaws of construction can be represented with
a colour texture applied on the scan, like a bathymetric relief-colour map. Tiny
deviations of up to 10µm can be detected (Breuckmann, 2009).

"
Measurement
" "
The WSLS technique is a non-contact technique; as a consequence
fragile components or material can be scanned without being bended in the
process. This scanning process retrieves precise measurements of an object.
While other types of scanning technique will require coating the object with a
non-reflective powder in order to avoid disturbances, the WSLS does not. The
measurements might be used to section the object with an other material of a
precise size.

Dentistry
"
Dental scanners using the WSLS consist of a box that scans small
objects. 3D dental scanner is the perfect tool to assist in the production of
individual and detailed fitting dental constructions such as inlays, onlays,
crowns or bridges. They can also help to analyse the masticatory surfaces
with a relief-colour map texture. Further developments of the WSLS technique
managed to achieve an accuracy level of up to 20µm. This level of accuracy is
even more beneficial for the scan of small object like a tooth mould (AEGIS,
2011). After manipulation of the 3D dental model, and creation of the fitting or
filling components with an appropriate software, the acquired data can be
coupled with a grinding and milling machine that shapes the final filling dental
component. If it happens to be a whole tooth made in an elaborated plastic
material or in ceramic, an extra heating treatment is necessary to solidify the
component before placement.

"
Dermatology

With an optimal macro camera lens, the topography of the skin can be
examined with a 3D scanner. The system analyses the profile roughness
parameters of a skin along with the wrinkles depth. The tool is useful to
determine the effectiveness of a cosmetic product. As we get older, the skin
has a natural tendency to loose its elasticity; an anti-age product can reduce
this effect. By comparing different scan stage of the skin, we can testify that
the wrinkles are tightened and thus the good quality of the cosmetic product.
Additionally, the epidermis scanner, for an accurate diagnostic, has to be
powered by a LED light bulb. The diode compared to other types of light
produce significantly less heat. It is an essential aspect to prevent the skin to
be dilated under hot conditions (Breukmann, 2010).
"
"

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"
Archaeology

3D WSLS scanning appears to be a praised method to archive ancient


sculptures or small buildings. With the acquisition of different scattered parts
of an object, Conception Assisted Design (CAD) software can help
archaeologists to reconstruct the building. Assembling the pieces in a virtual
environment before starting to move them with a crane on their real
architectural remains reduce the amount of errors. WSLS permits the
archiving of fragile artefacts, and enables researchers to study them off
location (McPherron & Gernat & Hublin, 2009). The 3D scanner also gives the
researcher, the possibility to compare the shape of different artefacts and
even their colours, by importing the various data in a same virtual
environment. In palaeontology, the scan of extinct specie’s bone or tooth help
the scientists to carry experiments on their virtual shapes. It may reveal
information about a particular diet of the studied specie.

"
Architecture
"
A number of possibilities are made available with the 3D WSLS
technology applied to architectural buildings. The captured data can serve for
the creation of a virtual tour, for a website’s museum. Secondly, the cost
estimation of a particular damage can be evaluated by comparing the
damaged building with the original plans. Consequently, floor plans and
elevation print out might be extracted from the 3D data. The WSLS
technology contributes also to measurement surveys or erosion observations.
Although it is possible, but because of the general short field of view of the
white light, laser light or photogrammetry scans are principally used in this
field. A combination of different scanning techniques is conceivable (Langnau,
2010).

"
Others
"
We can found 3D WSLS scanners in more disciplines such as forensic
identification, visual effects for films and games, orthotics, prosthetics and
fashion. Forensic facial reconstruction uses 3D scanners to reconstruct a
person’s face, based on the anatomy of the acquired skull. 3D scanners can
be used for motion tracking or ghost effects in films and games. 3D scans
provide as well, valuable negative casts of a patient for the creation of
accurate custom orthotics (Rx Orthotic Lab, 2010). Similarly, prosthetists use
3D scanners to create an accurate prosthesis by simply mirroring and printing
the healthy limb of the wounded patient. A full body scan gives retailers, the
possibility to make clothes on measure to their clients better.

"
Comparison of Similar Products using White Light
Interferometry Scanning technology
"
Listed below is a relevant selection of products that are suitable for use
in the Film & Game industry. Four products using a similar WSLS technique

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"
are compared. All of the models hereafters are equipped of one lens that
captures the texture, a camera and a projector that captures the point clouds.
The models are calibrated in the factory.
"
"
Model name Artec MHT Mephisto EX GeoVideo Gemini MF

Price of the model £11,529.20 £24,559.54 £31,159.37 £10,466.08

Field of view 2940mm x


536mm x 371mm NA 690mm x 520mm
(maximum) 2200mm

Depth of field 1000 mm 4500 mm 700 mm 900 mm

Texture colour yes yes no yes

Texture resolution 1.3 Megapixels 8 Megapixels 4 Megapixels 3,2 Megapixels

Accuracy 0.1 mm 0.05 mm NA 0.65 mm

Geometry res. 33,333 points 786,432 points 300,000 points 800,000 points

Acquisition time 15 fps 4 fps 180 fps 2 fps

Supported OS Windows Windows, Mac Windows Windows

Output format WRML, OBJ PLY, OBJ OBJ OBJ, ST L, FBX

Tripod yes yes yes yes

Portable yes no no no

Country of
USA Belgium USA Canada
production
Geometric
Manufacturer Artec Group 4D dynamics Creaform
Informatrics

The 5 models have been selected on the basis of 14 different criteria.

The price of the model is a primordial element to budget the production


costs of the acquisition. Added to the price of the model, a Computer Aided
Design (CAD) software will be purchased and costs in average £2000.00. The
CAD software allows easy manipulation of dense point clouds, and is
generally compatible only with the model purchased. The manufacturer will
charge for the shipping of the product. The delivery cost is estimated to £300.
A further optional cost of £800 can be added if the customer wishes to receive
a special training course on the manipulation of the CAD software along with
the installation of the 3D scanner (Fernandez, 2010). A guarantee scheme is

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"
normally available if the customers wants a full support and maintenance on
the material purchased, throughout the year.

The field of view of the projector determines the volume in which the
scanned object, ought to fit. Bear in mind that the volume covered by the light
has the shape of a pyramid; therefore the closer we are from the light source
the smaller the field of view is. The depth of field defines the furthest distance
an object can be detected by the 3D scanner. If the object is placed too far
from the light source, data will be lost.

The product, if equipped of a second camera, can attach colour


information to the cloud points. The color information either is in black and
white or full colours. A texture is then processed and applied to the digital
surface. The resolution of the texture map determines the amount of details
and accuracy of the map. The texture map is even more crucial if the captured
digital model is used for realistic scenes (Zhang & Yau, 2008) . An other
technical aspect regarding the texture acquisition process is important to
observe; the texture is acquired on a projection plan, as a result, details that
are located on the side of a rounded object will loose in accuracy. Some CAD
softwares have the possibility to interpolate correctly the missing pixels. It is a
good option to have for an optimal final texture.

The accuracy depends on the resolution of the camera sensors and the
good contrast of the white pattern projected. A good quality DPL projector has
enough power to emit 2600 lumens. The combination of both equipments will
result in an accurate position of the points. The criteria set in the table,
indicates the margin of error from the true position of a point.

The geometry resolution determines the amount of points captured


once all different fringe patterns have been projected (also called “Gray-scale
period”). The number of points acquired in a single period resembles to a
snapshot of a human face at a certain time. The acquisition time sets the
speed of the capture. The acquisition time is calculated in frame per second,
where a frame corresponds to one snapshot.

The output format is the encoding format used to compile the data.
Once the data acquired is sent to the proprietary CAD software for
visualisation, it is necessary to export the 3D model into another more popular
and advanced 3D software such as Maya or 3DSMax Autodesk. The CAD
software usually provided with the 3D scanner is very limited in terms of
animation and visual effects. The CAD software will give you different output
format that may or may not be compatible with your popular 3D software. OBJ
and .STL formats are the standards in the industry, as such they are
compatible with most 3D software on the market (Adler, 20??).

It is useful to be able to fix the 3D scanner on a tripod, to modify the


scanning angle. Prior stabilization of the scanner is imperative for a good
capture. Some 3D scanners are light enough to be portable, It can be
convenient to hold the 3D scanner in hands, if the area meant to be scanned,
is difficult to reach (Langnau, 2011).

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"
Eventually, the table lists the relevant manufacturers. Their names are
appreciable if the consumer wishes to contact them and buy the product.
Countries of production are useful to know in order to estimate shipping
distances for time delivery.

The film producer or game developer might purchase a 3D scanner for


3 different reasons. The best product choice depends on his principal reason.

If the producer wants to acquire a movement, I will recommend the


GeoVideo 3D scanner in order to obtain a fluid movement. Actually, the fast
rate ability of this product is unique; it is the only product on the market that
offers such power due certainly to the novelty of its technology. As an
indication, science shows that a human eye can perceive motion as fast as
220 fps, so the faster the better (Brand, 2001).

If the producer wants to acquire 3D still snapshots of very good quality,


I suggest him to purchase the Mephisto CX for big objects (e.g. a table, a
human body, a furniture). On the opposite side, with a lower price and still the
same resolution, the Gemini MF is a perfect fit for smaller objects. Noticeably,
the field of view of the Gemini MF is 4 times smaller than the one of the
Mephisto CX. The Gemini MF will handle correctly the acquisition of medium
size objects such as a human face, a computer, or a cushion.

The Future of White Structured Light Scanning and how it


could be used in the Film and Video game industry
"
WSLS system offers great benefits compared to laser light or
photogrammetry. It is now possible to capture a moving colored texture.
Further studies have consolidated the fact WSLS is the quickest method to
acquire a large amount of points. Geng (1996) proposed to separate the
binary patterns in the three RGB channels of the DPL projector, thus
acquisition time is divided by three. Geometric Informatics shows that
accurate 3D acquisition can be now done at 180 fps (Ilascu, 2008). Problems
produced by an overlapping of the colors have been resolved by removing the
color wheel from the projector; a single chip for fast synchronization has been
also added to the device. Theoretically, the scanning time can reach the
speed rate of the camera. Further tests done by Song Zhang in low scanning
resolution, pushed the speed limit to 667 fps (Zhang & van der Weide &
Oliver, 2010).

Further improvements to the acquisition accuracy are conceivable. We


can imagine encoding the pixel uniqueness in a better binary pattern. Instead
of fringes, why not using dents, or a helicoidal pattern.

Real-time full body acquisition is the next obstacle to overcome,


XYZRGB Inc. specializes in full body scanning services (XYZRGB, 2007).
Where it is not difficult to synchronize three 3D scanners around the body to
capture the whole surface, some interferences occur between the different

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"
projections and alter the accuracy of the digital surface. Other problems
include the apparition of spikes and holes on the 3D surface that requires a
cleaning step. Moreover, the scanning data often encloses more than the
object itself and some points that belong to other objects need to be cleaned.
Panoply of algorithms will surely correct all this minor mistakes in the future.

For film and games, the level of effectiveness satisfies entirely the
purpose. In the film and game industry, NURBS (Non-uniform rational basis
spline) surfacing technique based on mathematical functions is often used to
create faces or characters. The NURBS surfacing handles better deformation
and has a very smooth appearance (Kolarevic, 2003). The motion data
captured will only be driving the second skin of our character made with
NURBS, as a bone will do with our skin. The NURBS surface wraps the
motion-captured surface that has been approximately cleaned. So a rough
scanned figure does not affect the final result. However, a slow frame rate will
cause the driven surface to jump. The most important criteria for film and
games motion capture devices is then the scanning acquisition time. Weis
(2007) has recently experimented at the ETH university of Zurich and in
collaboration with Disney Studios, a very promising facial puppetry real-time
system.

Restructuration by NURBS surfacing of a 3D face

Three big forums of 3D scanning and modeling tools are held yearly in
Germany. Reports from Vision, EuroMold and Control demonstrate common
trends in the industry (a. D’Apuzzo, 2009). The majority of clients insist to
have a complete solution from hardware to software that fulfills very specific
needs. A constant demand rose for dental scanners that offer intuitive
solutions (b. D’Apuzzo, 2009). The classic dental scanner is a small box with
several lenses. The item revolves on a turntable inside the box and is then
automatically captured, cleaned and aligned in the CAD software. The system
is very intuitive and adjusted to a specific demand.

Miniaturization of the product will also be at stake in a near future, we


can see a range of “pico” projectors already on the market (Carew, 2010). The
3D scanner of the future will probably look like a wide camera recorder that
you can carry wherever you go. The hologram will become a good way to
visualize a 3D model of your friends; holographic decoration crystal balls will
be widely commercialized. Photo booth will sell to its new customers a fancy
holographic photo identity.

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Conclusion
We can conclude that the major limitation of this technique are just
material. Ideally, with a very powerful light source and ultra fast camera,
capturing the motion of an entire human body is manageable. The only big
handicap of the WSLS technology is the impossibility to scan in a very bright
environment. Archeological sites, for example have to be scanned by night.

There is clearly a better precision in WSL scanners than other types of


3D scanners. WSLS also appears to be cheaper than its peers (e.g. a
projector is cheaper than a laser engine). It has the benefit to be a non-
intrusive technique, allowing the scan of fragile parts. The WSLS plays an
important role in the 3D modeling industry; it completes or improves previous
acquisition techniques of 3D data. Finally, WSLS technology has a long term
potential, and the combination with other technologies like a GPS system can
produce surprising results. The absolute location of the data provided by the
GPS helps to align and reconstruct faithfully the virtual environment captured
by the 3D scanner (Thornton, 2007).

WSLS scanners are based on a robust technology that has proven to be very
reliable over the past 20 years.

"
"
"
References
"
"
Every online links below have been accessed in January 2010.

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"
"
Glossary
Rig: In 3D animation, the rig is comprised of blend shapes, controllers and
bones. The rig is the structure underneath the surface that drives the 3D
surface. The rig is only visible in the working viewport of the 3D software.

Viral Marketing: Viral Marketing is a method of marketing particularly suited to


email and Internet due to its immediate nature, that encourages people to
pass on the message to colleagues, friends or family, as they perceive it to be
relevant.

MEMS: MEMS, microelectromechanical systems is the technology of very


small mechanical devices driven by electricity.

Steadicam: Steadicam is a stabilizing mount for a motion picture camera,


which mechanically isolates the operator's movement from the camera,
allowing a very smooth shot even when the operator is moving quickly over an
uneven surface.

Streaming: Audio or video files that can begin playing as they are being
downloaded to a computer.

HD: High definition. Usually used to describe any device capable of


generating or displaying a signal with a resolution of at least 720 vertical lines.

Vertices: (singular=vertex) Vertices are commonly used in computer graphics


to define the corners of surfaces (typically triangles) in 3D models, where
each point is given as a vector.

CAD: Computer assisted design programs and systems to create detailed


two- or three-dimensional models of physical objects, such as mechanical
parts, buildings, and molecules.

Lumens: In general, the more lumens a projector is rated as, the brighter the
image on the screen. Most digital projectors usually rate from about 500
lumens to over 3500 lumens.

Pico: It is a prefix that means a ‘trillionth of’ or a very small quantity of


something.

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