Multiple Linear Scan Tutorial

This Quick Start is not intended to be a complete resource for information on the use and operation of CyDir nor of CyScan, but only an introduction and guide through a basic, multiple-scan digitization process. For more complete information, please refer to the CyDir User Guide and the CyScan User Guide.

For this example we will use as the subject a small straight-blade screwdriver. For ease of scanning, we have painted it with a white, matte color tempera paint. It is approximately 90 mm in height (blade pointing up) and 35 mm in diameter at its widest point.

[Screwdriver]
Screwdriver Sample

General Approach

The basic procedure for scanning this object will be as follows:

  1. Place the subject onto the motion platform.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Create a directory to store scans from this orientation.
  4. Scan the subject.
  5. Edit the subject.
  6. Merge the scan files into a single file.
  7. Reorient the subject.
  8. Create a directory to store scans from this orientation.
  9. Scan the subject.
  10. Edit the subject.
  11. Merge the scan files into a single file.
  12. Align and Merge the different orientations into a single file.
  13. Continue with steps 7-13, as necessary, until a complete model is captured.
  14. Convert the File.

Place the Subject

Position the subject onto the motion platform as near as possible to the middle of the turntable. For the purposes of this tutorial, position the subject so that the blade is pointing up (as if you were turning a screw in the ceiling).

Launch the Software

For scanning sessions that involve multiple scans to achieve the most complete and accurate model, the CyDir environment should be used. To start CyDir, simply double-click its icon.

This action will open the CyDir Control Panel as illustrated below.

[CyDir Control Panel]
CyDir Control Panel

Create a Directory

This directory will be used to store all of the scan files of this orientation, and to be a general work area. Click the white arrow in the smallest window to open the extended Control Panel.

[CyDir (Extended) - Directory Creation]
CyDir (Extended) - Directory Creation

Select the "???" and enter a name for the new directory. In the example below, we have chosen "set1."

[CyDir (Extended) - Directory Naming]
CyDir (Extended) - Directory Naming

Scan the Subject

The scanning process involves several setup steps, such as opening the directory in which to work, launching the scanning software, and configuring the software to capture the best possible data.

Open the Directory and Guee

Click the white arrow to the right of the directory name to open that directory in preparation for scanning.

[CyDir (Extended) - Open Directory]
CyDir (Extended) - Open Directory

Press the green Scan button in the small set1 directory window to launch Guee, the scanning software.

[Guee]
Guee

Adjust the Scan Settings for Guee

Adjust the Script, Color On/Off, and Scans entries in the Guee Control Panel:

[Guee Settings]
Guee Settings

Open CyScan

Press the Open button in the Guee Control Panel to launch CyScan, the software that drives the motion platform and processes the scan data.

[CyScan]
CyScan

Adjust the Scan Settings for CyScan

Set the appropriate scan properties in the CyScan Control Panel; Width, Pitch, Surface and Texture.

[Scan Settings]
CyScan Settings

Scan the Object

To begin scanning, verify that all of the settings have been entered in the CyScan and Guee Control Panels.

Press the Scan button to begin the digitization process:

[Scan Button]
Scan Start

At this point, the user may be presented with a dialog box requesting to perform the home movements. The user should choose to home the platform by clicking Yes when prompted.

[Home Dialog]
Scan Start

Close the Scanning Software

Although this step is optional, it will greatly reduce the clutter on the desktop and make the remaining steps much more easily understood.

  1. Press the Close button in the Guee window to close CyScan.

  2. Press the Exit button in the Guee window to exit Guee. The user will be asked to confirm this action by clicking Exit once again in a pop-up window.

Edit the Subject

In the next step, the user should open the CyPie software, which provides convenient access to the editing functions normally used to process the scanned data and to the scan file merging process.

Open CyPie

In the small set1 window, press the green Merge button. This will launch CyPie and read in the scans that were just taken.

[CyPie]
CyPie

Edit the Individual Scans

The editing processes will ensure that each dataset contains the most accurate data and will create the highest quality final model.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will perform the Void and Despike editing functions only.

Void Portions of the Scans

This editing step will allow the user to remove any unwanted data points from the scans. Each scan file will be read into the program successively, allowing the user to perform the editing step. After selecting the unwanted data points using the cursor, and painting the unwanted points red, the user simply clicks the Continue button. This action will perform the editing function, save the resultant scan file, and read in the next scan file.

To void portions of a scan, select Void from the CyPie window, then press the green All button.

Please note that the display of the scan files in CyEdit may be distorted. This distortion is due to the display algorithm that is being used to very quickly display the scanned data.

[Void Points]
CyEdit
[Unwanted Points Selected]
CyEdit - Unwanted Points Selected

Despike the Scans

The despike editing function will automatically search through each scan file successively, eliminating any spikes that it finds. Any number of factors can cause spikes, however, if the user notices many spikes in the scans, it is probably due to an improper Surface setting.

To begin the despiking process, simply select Despike in the CyPie window, then press the All button. There is no user interaction required for this step.

For further information on the editing processes, please refer to the CyEdit User Guide.

Merge the Data

The scan merging process involves two separate actions from the user. The first is to align the scans, and the second is to actually perform the merging of the data files into a single file.

Align the Scans

To align the scans, click the green Auto Align button in the CyPie window.

CyPie - Aligned Scans

Merge the Scans

If the alignment came out well, then press the green Merge button to assemble the individual scan files into a single polygonal model. The files that will be created are in the PLY file format and are called lores.ply, midres.ply, and hires.ply. All three (3) of these PLY files are required in the processing to follow and will be stored in the set1directory.

Close CyPie

Although this step is optional, it will greatly reduce the clutter on the desktop and make the remaining steps much more easily understood.

  1. Wait for CyPie to complete the merging process. The merging is complete when CyPie presents the message, Merging complete in the CyPie Console.

  2. Press the Exit button in the CyPie window to quit the program. The user will be asked to confirm this action by clicking Exit once again in a pop-up window.

Close the Directory

Although this step is not required, it will greatly help to cut down on the clutter on the desktop.

Press the red arrow in the small set1 directory window to close that directory.

Reorient the Object

This step may not be necessary, depending upon the level of detail and completeness that you desire. We will however reorient the object for this tutorial.

Generally, reorient the object so that any areas that were not captured in the previous orientation will be captured in this orientation. It is important to allow a forty to fifty percent (40-50%) area of overlap between the two orientations. This overlap will allow CyEat to automatically align the objects in a later process.

For simplicity, simply place the subject so that the shaft is parallel to the floor and the flat part of the blade is facing the digitizer.

[Screwdriver]
Screwdriver Sample Model

Create Another Directory

To create another directory for this orientation's scans, press the green + button in the CyDir window. This button is located just to the right of the set1 directory name.

You will notice a new line in the window with ??? displayed in the naming field.

[CyDir]
CyDir - Additional Directory Creation

Replace the ??? with a name for this directory. For this example, we have chosen, "set2" as the directory name. Please note that the user must press the Enter key for the directory name to be accepted.

[CyDir]
CyDir - Additional Directory Naming

Scan the Subject

Now that the subject has been reoriented, it is time to begin scanning this new orientation.

Open the Directory and Guee

Click the white arrow to the right of the directory name to open that directory in preparation for scanning.

[Open Directory]
CyDir Directory Panel

Press the green Scan button in the small set2 directory window to launch Guee, the scanning software.

[Guee]
Guee

Adjust the Scan Settings for Guee

Adjust the Script, Color On/Off, and Scans entries in the Guee Control Panel:

Open CyScan

Press the Open button in the Guee Control Panel to launch CyScan, the software that drives the motion platform and processes the scan data.

[CyScan]
CyScan

Adjust the Scan Settings for CyScan

Set the appropriate scan properties in the CyScan Control Panel; Width, Pitch, Surface and Texture.

[Scan Settings]
CyScan Settings

Scan the Object

To begin scanning, verify that all of the settings have been entered in the CyScan and Guee Control Panels.

Press the Scan button to begin the digitization process:

[Scan Button]
Scan Start

At this point, the user may be presented with a dialog box requesting to perform the home movements. The user should choose to home the platform by clicking Yes when prompted.

[Home Dialog]
Scan Start

Close the Scanning Software

Although this step is optional, it will greatly reduce the clutter on the desktop and make the remaining steps much more easily understood.

  1. Press the Close button in the Guee window to close CyScan.

  2. Press the Exit button in the Guee window to exit Guee. The user will be asked to confirm this action by clicking Exit once again in a pop-up window.

Edit the Subject

In the next step, the user should open the CyPie software, which provides convenient access to the editing functions normally used to process the scanned data and to the scan file merging process.

Open CyPie

In the small set2 window, press the green Merge button. This will launch CyPie and read in the scans that were just taken.

[CyPie]
CyPie

Edit the Individual Scans

The editing processes will ensure that each dataset contains the most accurate data and will create the highest quality final model.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will perform the Void and Despike editing functions only.

Void Portions of the Scans

This editing step will allow the user to remove any unwanted data points from the scans. For more information, refer to the voiding section above.

[Void Points]
CyEdit
[Unwanted Points Selected]
CyEdit - Unwanted Points Selected

Despike the Scans

The despike editing function will automatically search through each scan file successively, eliminating any spikes that it finds. For more information, refer to the despiking section above.

Merge the Data

The scan merging process involves two separate actions from the user. The first is to align the scans, and the second is to actually perform the merging of the data files into a single file.

Align the Scans

To align the scans, click the green Auto Align button in the CyPie window.

[CyPie - Aligned]
CyPie - Aligned Scans

Merge the Scans

If the alignment came out well, then press the green Merge button to assemble the individual scan files into a single polygonal model. The files that will be created are in the PLY file format and are called lores.ply, midres.ply, and hires.ply. All three (3) of these PLY files are required in the processing to follow and will be stored in the set2directory.

Close CyPie

Although this step is optional, it will greatly reduce the clutter on the desktop and make the remaining steps much more easily understood.

  1. Wait for CyPie to complete the merging process. The merging is complete when CyPie presents the message, Merging complete in the CyPie Console.

  2. Press the Exit button in the CyPie window to quit the program. The user will be asked to confirm this action by clicking Exit once again in a pop-up window.

Close the Directory

Although this step is not required, it will greatly help to cut down on the clutter on the desktop.

Press the red arrow in the small set2 directory window to close that directory.

Open CyEat

Press the Align and Merge button in the CyDir window to launch CyEat.

[CyEat]
CyEat

The required files will be automatically read into the program.

[CyEat - Unaligned]
CyEat - Unaligned Files

Align the Orientations

Press the Guess button to begin the alignment process.

[CyEat - Guessed]
CyEat - "Guessed" Alignment

[CyEat - Refined]
CyEat - "Refined" Alignment

Once the refine process has completed, press the Final button to finish up the alignment of the files.

[CyEat - Aligned]
CyEat - Aligned Files

Merge the Orientations

When the alignment is complete, press the Merge button to assemble the files into a single model. This process will create three (3) files, lores.ply, midres.ply, and hires.ply, which will be stored in the same directory in which CyDir was started (one level above set1 and set2.

Exit CyEat

To quit CyEat, press the Exit button.

Capturing Additional Orientations

If you are still not satisfied with the quality of the model, you can continue to capture the object by repeating the steps above. These steps can be executed as many times as necessary.

Convert the File

To convert the file to any of a number of industry-standard file formats, use the Mtool program. Please see the Mtool Quick Start for more information.

For those users who do not have access to Mtool, please refer to the output formats listing and the translators section of this user guide.

Exit CyDir

To quit CyDir and complete the scanning process, press the Exit button in the CyDir window.

Summary

The above steps cover the typical usage of CyDir/CyScan to capture a complex object. We started the programs, scanned and merged two (2) separate orientations of the object then merged the two orientations into a final, complete model.