Zipper, Cyberware's New Technological Edge, Transports User From Scanning Limbo Into Scanning Paradise

The new software is, both literally and figuratively, a new direction in scanning. Traditionally, any object too big to be scanned in one pass must be digitized in sections. A complex object required multiple scans, especially if it has occlusions or hidden surfaces. By scanning an object both cylindrically and linearly, more detail is captured.

The Problem:

Once all of the information is collected, one surface model must be built from the information in several scans.

The Solution:

Zipper. Software that combines all the information into one contiguous dataset. With Zipper, the cylindrical scan is used as a "registration," onto which the other scans are anchored. Zipper then matches the various points, and adjusts the position of each scan. Finally, the "registration" scan is removed, and the rest of the scans are "zippered" together into a continuous mesh that can be more easily manipulated.

Marc Levoy and Greg Turk of Stanford University, with the help of Cyberware, have been developing this tool over the last year. Zipper offers tremendous potential for uses in animation and modeling. Zipper is a key element in the design of Cyberware's newest product, the Whole Body Scanner.

Cyberware Creates a New Dimension: Whole Body Scans

Perfectly detailed human images have always been sought by doctors and designers, animators and anthropologists. In the past oversimplified and inaccurate 3D models had to suffice.

The Future Is Here

In the Fall of 1994, Cyberware will introduce the first 3D Whole Body Scanner, which will allow you to toss previous models of the human body into the digital trash.

Building upon long-proven scanning technology, Cyberware's Whole Body Scanner creates a high-resolution, 3D model of the human body in just seconds.

0 to 60,000 In One Second

The Whole Body Scanner is as accurate as it is fast. Mounted on vertical towers, two or four optical heads scan a cylindrical volume with a diameter of 1.2 meters and a height of two meters. The multiple scans are then "zippered" to create a detailed model. The scan produces up to 60,000 3D measurements per second, and – amazingly – can be completed in just 20 seconds.

With Cyberware's introduction of the Whole Body Scanner, the anthropometric paradigm shifts into high gear.

You can watch a demonstration of the Whole Body Scanner at Cyberware this Fall. First orders for the scanner are being scheduled for delivery in January of 1995. For more information, call Cyberware at (408) 373-1441.

CySurf: B-spline Surfaces from Cyberware Scans

Reducing polygons can cause detail to wipe out. Cyberware's new scanning software, CySurf, efficiently fits accurate B-Splines to the range map. CySurf reads in Cyberware range and color scans, and writes out IGES 128 entities and SGI texture format file images.

The user interface allows you to fit surfaces to Cyberware scans quickly. Simply select the regions of the scan for which you want surfaces and CySurf calculates the optimum control point arrangement. CySurf then fits the best looking B-spline surface. You can create more detail, wherever you like, using force points. Which force lines, you can bend the surface to follow features of the scanned object.

CySurf allows you to create surfaces with a minimum number of control points, and allows a good fit with a minimum of artifacts.

Every surface defines color and bump texture maps. When modeling or rendering, your B-spline surfaces look as good as the original scans, but will have the advantages of compact storage. You can also play with them in your surface modeler.

Dan Collins – Art and Technology

Curriculum Vitae

This work was produced by first scanning the head of the artist at life size with the Cyberware 3D scanner. The resultant data set was then reduced in scan using the "scale" function of the Echo software. Similar to 2D computer graphics, the apparent resolution of an image will increase as the scale of the image decreases. As the artist was interested in achieving as much detail as possible, the work was milled in a hard blue casting wax, invested into a negative RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) silicon rubber mold, then cast in dental hydrocal plaster. The final translation into plaster was aided by the use of special dental vacuum casting equipment to eliminate air bubbles. While the Cyberware four-axis mill can produce prototypes in a wide range of materials-many suitable as "final products"-the use of the flexible RTV mold allows translation into conventional sculptural materials such as plasters, waxes, and bronze.

Speaking Like Adults

In this mixed media work, the head of the figure was first rendered using the Cyberware 3D laser digitizing process. An RTV silicone "slosh mold" was used to create a hollow, hydrocal head. (Hydrocal was poured into the mold, literally sloshed around the interior surfaces, then poured out. This operation was done repeatedly until a thin shell was built up inside the mold.) The final head was painted with acrylics. The wig was made from natural mohair. The jogging suit was made from an old jogging suit often worn by the artist's mother. The table and chair, made from plywood, were designed in a kind of mock 3-point perspective.

Eye on the Prize

This 3D laser digitized image appears to have been stretched. In reality, the radius values of the cylindrical data set have been reduced to 33% of the full scale using the "radius proportion" (rprop) function of the Echo software. This allows for the appearance of stretching without compromising detail significantly. (If, for example, one had increased the distance between latitudes, the resultant stretched object would have quickly lost facial detail.) The sculpture was milled in a dense synthetic urethane product called Renshape 450, then dusted with white lacquer to bring out surface detail.

Weight of Words

The polyurethane component of this sculpture represents the ability of the Echo software to merge disparate data sets. In the case of Weight of Works, the original data set-a conventional "straight" portrait of the artist-was combined with an inverted cone modeled in Echo software. Using the "paste" function in conjunction with the command for setting radius values outside the existing latitude and longitude range (extset), only those values that fell outside the specified inverted cone were included. The effect is like pasting parts of a face-Mr. Potato-head style-on a preexisting form. The polyurethane itself was coated with multiple layers of autobody primer to both introduce a neutral color and to create a more durable surface.

A New Star in Hollywood

When Dick Cavdek saw a sculpture created with a Cyberware image file and milling machine, Cavdek realized this technology could fulfill his own desire to create art using machine tools. He became a Cyberware distributor and founded Cyberscan to provide Hollywood studios with both the data and sculptured busts from which to create special effects.

From Rocket Ships to Infant Safety

While film projects are certainly among the most high-profile assignments, they represent only a part of Cyberscan's diverse clientele. Besides scans of famous actors for upcoming films and rock stars for music videos, other recent projects range from space technology to infant car seats.

A major toy company uses Cyberscan services to enlarge, reduce, and manipulate toy molds, resulting in shorter turn-around time and higher profit margins. Action figures of celebrities can be scanned, digitized, and then milled faster and cheaper than by traditional manual methods.

An infant car seat manufacturer brought Cyberscan a clay model of just the left half of a car seat. Cyberscan digitized the headrest, the backrest, and the remainder of the seat. The perfectly symmetrical model in now used as a prototype for production.

Before founding Cyberscan, Cavdek spent ten years in the film industry designing cameras and the machine codes to drive them, ultimately designing a special lens, which received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

3D High Resolution Color Scanner a Screen Hit

The world's most advanced 3D scanner now delivers color texture maps with incredible image detail. Cyberware's new 3030 HRC Scanner offers sixteen times the color texture map resolution of the standard model 3030 RGB scanner.

In less than 20 seconds the texture map delivers detail for rendering, animation or analysis--as fine as individual hairs during the scan of a human head. The model produced by the 3030 HRC defines 4 color pixels to each point of geometry.

Geometry and texture data are the same format as all previous Cyberware scanner data. Separate range map and Silicon Graphics format texture are created. Data can be manipulated by use of the same conversion, decimation and analysis software.

By using an infrared laser, cold white light, and a color video camera that filters infrared, both the geometry and texture maps are created simultaneously. The 3030 HRC maintains the same safety standards as the 3030 RGB Scanner.

A Digitized Makeover 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne's stories depict fantastic journeys under the sea and outer space. Now his novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, is going to be told using characters and creatures from cyberspace.

Gribouille, the French film company, recently finished a three-minute pilot for an all digital, feature-length remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The pilot won an award for research at Imagina, the Monte Carlo film festival. Gribouille is now looking for funding to complete the project.

The film is a major departure for Didier Pourcelle, the director of the remake. Until 18 months ago, Pourcelle had worked entirely with traditional film technology. This project, including the characters who inhabit the underwater vehicle ‘Nautilus,' will be entirely computer generated.

By combining digitized heads with motion capture data of an actor delivering his lines, the synthesized character can speak, laugh, and make facial expressions. Instead of hiring stunt doubles to stand in front of blue screens for special effects, the synthetic characters become elements in a seamless environment where Captain Nemo can battle immense sea creatures.

Gribouille collaborated with Professor Monique Nahas. Her University of Paris laboratory is carrying out facial animation research. Though the film project is not directory affiliated with the University, Professor Nahas has graciously allowed Gribouille to use the University's state-of-the-art Cyberware scanning equipment.

SIGGRAPH '94: A Cyberware Showcase

When SIGGRAPH reboots in Orlando, Florida this August, the organizers had better plan to turn up the air conditioning. This year, new products at Cyberware's demo booth are going to be so hot they'll generate system failure for the competition.

Hot new products to be showcased include the 3030 HRC Color Scanner, and Cyberware's new, state-of-the-art scanning software, CySurf and Zipper.

Demonstrations of hardware and software, as well as special techniques will be scheduled throughout the show. Details to follow. Stay tuned!

Hot Offer on Cyberware's Hottest Software


Cash in on Cyberware's limited time offer for the newest, hottest software products. We'll include both-- absolutely free --with the purchase of any Cyberware scanner, now through August 31.

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