NURBS Conversions Enhance Usefulness of Rapid 3D Scans in Animation, Medicine

MONTEREY, CA - February 1, 1994 - Cyberware has announced the availability of two software packages that convert the company's 3D scanned images into NURBS surfaces. NURBS (non-uniform rational B-splines) provides an efficient method for describing complex curved surfaces and is widely used in applications such as animation. The method also offers promise for high-end virtual reality work.

By working with NURBS models of scanned objects in modeling programs such as Alias' Designer, users can more readily make the types of modifications involved in animating the objects. The ability to make easy conversions to NURBS will therefore enhance everything from movie special effects to industrial mechanical animation. Surgeons can also use NURBS models of 3D scans to plan cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

Two software packages furnish Cyberware/NURBS conversions: Surfacer from Imageware, Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI) and Ntest, developed by Phil Dench of Australia's Curtin University of Technology.

Surfacer is a general-purpose application that includes tools for point processing, NURBS curve and surface generation, and geometry input/output. Users can perform filtering and sampling/data reduction of random 3D point data. Additionally, the program can automatically detect and extract features in the data. Once users have converted a scan to NURBS, Surfacer offers a robust modeling environment with tools for editing, trimming, combining and analyzing complex surfaces.

Ntest provides a more specialized environment for converting Cyberware scans to NURBS. This package places a NURBS network over a scanned surface and allows users to define how the surface should fit the digitized data. In addition to converting the 3D range-map data to NURBS, Ntest can also produce a texture map (using the data from Cyberware color 3D scanners) that maps onto the NURBS surface.

Imageware's Surfacer is available for Windows PCs and Silicon Graphics, Sun, Hewlett-Packard and IBM workstations. For more information, contact Imageware at 313-994-7300; fax 313-994-7303. Ntest is available from Cyberware for $2000.

Cyberware scanners work by shining low-intensity laser light on an object to create a lighted profile. A high-quality video sensor captures this profile from two viewpoints. Using an automated motion platform, the system can digitize thousands of these profiles in a few seconds to capture the shape of the entire object. Simultaneously, a second video sensor acquires color information.

Cyberware scanners assist in applications such as artistic product design, CAD/CAM, special effects for movies, research, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, medical appliance design, anthropometry/ergonomics, and personal portrait sculpture. For 10 years, Cyberware has manufactured the world's leading 3D scanners.