3D Scanning is fun fun fun!

Posted by on September 8, 2010

I received a “focused line” laser module a couple days ago, I was able to put it to good use by attempting to scan real life objects in 3D using an old camcorder, a video input/digitalizing card, a tripod and of course the laser!

For the time being I’m using a shareware application (which I don’t feel like promoting due to certain issues with their programming, let’s just say they aren’t huge on polishing their product…)

Seeing how the instruments at my disposal aren’t what you’d call top notch, the results naturally won’t be astonishingly good, but they’re results nonetheless.

After setting up a stable platform and calibrating the camera, I decided to scan an Indian wooden carving of a cat, this is what I got:

Not bad for the first time!

I quickly began adjusting exposure settings and overall lighting condition of the scanning area, this is my second attempt – this time with another object:

There's some nice details being picked up, but the lack of resolution is definitely showing up!

Not bad, I still had some issues with the laser and it’s focus, I tried a bigger object and this time I got the following:

The third attempt, using a bigger object -- seems to yield better results!

Notice how there’s banding or “lines” visible throughout the 3D representation, that’s because the point-cloud was captured using a small sample rate, governed by how fast I was moving the intersection line (the laser) and the amount of frames per second available. The bands are just an artifact of the subdivision during the triangulation of the object.

A second scan, this time with nicer data sampling gave me this:

No more bands or gaps, notice the extra detail!

And finally, a quick render of the above in C4D:

With this type of lighting (HDR) some bands are noticeable, but remember I held the laser with my bare hands, no extra tripod was used so there ought to be some artifacts.

Of course there are missing parts because I only scanned one angle of the object, if I were to scan at least 3 more views, I’d be able to compose the entire object in 3D, and quite frankly I’m not disgusted by the quality obtained, remember.. this is old equipment I’m using, with a 1080p camera and a better laser module you’d be in heaven, well I’d be!

I’ll┬ádefinitely┬átry some other settings and lasers in the future, but for now this is all…