Blog

Discover what makes us unique
← Back

After 3 years of hard work, allot of research, help from Family, a sacrificed social life and many freelance projects to pay off this research. I have finally finished the 2nd iteration of IR’s Fullbody Scanner.

Back in 2002 as a young 3D Environment Artist I could only have ever dreamed of owning my own ‘Laser’ Scanning System. I had no Character Artist Experience, ZBrush was just a 2D painting tool. I was in debt and had no business. But in 2007 that all changed …starting my own business was a gamble but also a fortunate move, it opened up new doors to things I had never imagined.

My point.. if you keep trying you can achieve bigger and better things.

IR’s Custom Built Capture System

The system boasts 70x DSLR Canon Cameras. It’s a Single Shot system from a full 360 Degree Array. Not only can the system capture a single moment in time instantly but it offers over 1,260 MP’s of colour texture resolution.

So in this blog post I wanted to show off some example captures (at the bottom) but first I wanted to explain (visually) why this system is better than previous scanning solutions. Of course all of them have their benefits and weaknesses. Times are changing and even this system in a few years will be out dated, but for now there is still time for it to reign.

There are now other systems springing up around the World. I’ve seen data from a system in Europe and 2 in the UK.

“So what are the benefits of IR’s Capture system?”

Here is a simple set of animated pictograms to explain why:

Old Scanning Solutions
.

[column_one_fourth]

Steady Hand Poles

Slow. Cumbersome. Dated

[/column_one_fourth]

[column_one_fourth]

Laser Scanning

Slow. Wobble. Poor Colour

[/column_one_fourth]

[column_one_fourth]

Multi Shot & Turntable

Slow. Wobble. Lots of Data.

[/column_one_fourth]

[column_one_fourth_last]

Fringe Pattern

Slow. Bad for Eyes. Stitching.

[/column_one_fourth_last]

IR’s Solution

You think of a Pose, IR can capture it. Mid flight! It also has a built in Face Capture System.
No manual alignment. No stitching. No seams. No Distortion or Registration issues. Minimal Post Processing.

 

Too good to be true?

The only draw back to this system is, it isn’t Mobile.

“Isn’t it expensive?”

The system is vastly cheaper than any structured light or Cyber Scanning systems on the market, and it uses all off the shelf hardware and software, available to the general public. People are asking how much I have sunk into this system, well 50% less than if I had invested in a commercial solution. Do the maths, 70x DSLR’s and Lenses, 70 Mounts,  280 Wires. Multiple PC’s. All this ….and still cheaper.

Conclusion

The 3D scan captures below, are only possible thanks to the hard work from the guys behind the processing software at AgiSoft LLC, who created Agisoft Photoscan that I use to process the 2D images. The whole process is very easy to set-up and use, with a little ingenuity and drive it’s possible to get this all working in unison.

Thus, contrary to popular belief and sales marketing, you don’t need a PhD to design or use a capture system like this. Cracking The Black Box of Photogrammetry Scanning.

Some example 3D Scans

 

47 Comments
  • hervéReply

    awesome Lee !!

    June 25, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks Hervé :)

      June 25, 2012
  • AReply

    So awesome. I don't think I've seen any digital sculptors get wrinkles and poses so natural looking.

    How long is the processing time for these files on your rig?

    Are you still planning on releasing scans within the next couple of months?

    June 25, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks! Processing time varies from 1 hour to 3 hours. I plan to release allot of files soon, just a matter of booking and capturing models.

      June 25, 2012
  • JacoReply

    Great "Old Solutions" specially the white light one.. "My eyes!!!!""....

    June 26, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Ha ha! is all true, I used to get head aches all the time from testing that method. You have to close your eyes, no good!!

      June 26, 2012
  • MarkReply

    Lee, this is great. Congratulations on your new system. As i mentioned before your blog is a treasure trove of amazing information so im really grateful for you sharing it.

    Well done again, i love the examples and their fidelity is incredible.

    Regards,

    Mark

    June 26, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Hi Mark, that is very kind. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to leave a message. Lee

      June 26, 2012
  • SBL Infotech UK LimitedReply

    Really Awesome!!!! Good Work and Thank you for such amazing stuffs.

    June 27, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks!

      June 27, 2012
  • JosephReply

    The results from the 2nd iteration are incredible! Great stuff! Thanks for sharing all your researching; it's extremely insightful.

    June 28, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks Joseph.

      June 28, 2012
  • Dwayne EllisReply

    Lee,
    Absolutely amazing! Very inspiring. Got a couple questions...How large is the area inside the circle of DSLR cameras? Have you tried object with varying surface materials? Are the DSLR cameras setup with a certain amount of overlap and height? Keep up the great work man...truly inspiring...glad you stuck with it and saw it through to where you are at!!!!

    June 29, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Hi Dwayne, many thanks! The capture area is about 2 meters in length by 2 meters width and 2.5 meters in height. This can be modified to be larger say 3 meter squared but you start to loose some quality. There has to be overlap when using a tiered approach to allow for the mosaic build up and alignment of the point cloud, which Agisoft seems to cope well with. Lee

      June 29, 2012
      • Dwayne EllisReply

        Would the techniques scale up to...say a 5 meter box if one was willing to accept some loss in accuracy? I mean i can see crazy detail in the models that you are generating...i think we are working within 2-3 millimeter tolerences. I just wonder if this is something that may work for us. I'm assuming all the same caveats apply for shiny/reflective and transparent surface materials for reconstructing from the images.
        The detail in your models is phenominal!

        June 29, 2012
        • InfiniteReply

          Thanks, yeah there are allot of details there and these are only High builds, there is another level up Ultra High, this can extract another hidden level of about 30%-40% extra details. The problem with bringing Cameras further out is loosing actual detail in the images due to distance. If you can replace some of the Cameras with 23MP or 36MP then it would be fine. But 18MP you start to loose clarity because there is not enough information there, so noise is introduced. But yes you could do a 5 meter box, I worked on one last year in LA on a Nike shoot (60 Cameras) but allot of noise crept into the scans. Same caveats apply, correct, like in most scanning techniques. Shiny and very dark objects are not good. Although you could introduce some IR (converted) cameras into the array and project in a certain IR wavelength noise pattern. But this is one reason why the Kinect is not great for scanning humans, as the red and infrared wavelength of light is absorbed by the skin (and scatters) but useful for dark objects.

          June 29, 2012
  • Mike A NashReply

    Wow Lee, that's just awesome. Love the amount of details you manage to capture. Looks like 20%-40% more detail then other scan data I've had to rebuild models from. Some of the full body scans I've had look like rubbish.

    July 5, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Haha! Thanks for posting Mike. I appreciate that, very good to know. I've been keeping an eye on your thread on CGFeedback http://www.cgfeedback.com/cgfeedback/showthread.php?t=2863&page=9 incredible work and discipline!

      July 5, 2012
  • GeorgeReply

    This is exciting stuff! Does your system require calibration? How does this compare to SK?

    July 21, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks George. No Calibration just careful camera placement. This means no orientation, position or scale information but scale can be acquired using markers in scene and the guys at AgiSoft LLC are developing some other control tools for orientation and positional information. You can't really compare between Agi and SK, each have their own benefits. Personally I prefer Agisoft (at the moment) because it produces volumetric based captures, not pairwise.

      July 21, 2012
  • Wayne EvansReply

    This is definitely great, but 70 cameras...what i have done is took 3D scanning to a new level. i have found another method and most importantly another use for 3D scanning. I can not reveal at the moment... but i can say its far cheaper and the market is flooded with 3D scanning devices both expensive and cheap. one hard hint I will give "i do not need to produce a 3D object to have a 3D object"...yes that may sound stupid ...and I have several methods and the purpose of my scanning device I can not reveal..that just basically keeps everyone in the dark....this one you would quit your job for.

    December 7, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      It's 90 now actually. Good for you "Wayne" @ anonymous "yahoo.com". Make sure you don't tell anyone about it! and patent it so you can sue them, just like Apple and Samsung do to each other. Much better for business, the global economy and lawyers. But seriously. Walk the walk. As they say "pictures... or it didn't happen!" sorry meant to say "BIG pictures, or it didn't happen!" :)

      December 7, 2012
  • AndreasReply

    Hi Lee,

    I have asked for a quote for the Mephisto scanner, thats about 85000€... a little bit above my budget:-))), I really need a proper human body scanning system, for a project that will start next year... so for good consulting money, would you be able to show me your system and advise on camera position, synchronization, postprocessing... I have started some trials with one Canon and the Agisoft software, its quite encouring but far away from our requirements, please contact me I really need help !!! THX a lot, regards Andreas from Vienna

    December 15, 2012
    • InfiniteReply

      Hi Andreas, thanks for your message. You can email via the online contact form. Thanks, Lee

      December 15, 2012
  • mecadiagReply

    good work thank.

    December 19, 2012
  • Anshuman SinghReply

    Hi Lee, Amazing stuff. Well I have used Agisoft Photoscan for GIS Imaging and it works great, but never for Human work. As I am into architectural visualisation it does not hold much of an importance for me, But i am very Curious to know the specs of your SLR. What IR lens or Ir Filter do you use? Also Why is your studio white and not Green? Does that have anything to do with Photoscan? Please let me know. Your work is simply Great,

    January 8, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      Hi Anshuman, Thanks for your post and kind comments. At the moment I use 550D and 600D with a combination of D800's. White walls = Bounced Light, then no unnecessary green spill. Standard 50mm prime lens, cheap ones. No filter, no need, as it just introduces another level of glass to impact on focus, blur and stop down in light level. In Photoscan you can Mask by difference.

      January 8, 2013
  • CableguyReply

    unbelievable....and with 280 cables knitting around - hats off, Lee. Did you consider some MVs with PoE? And with a new Kodak 29MP chip you could make some room in the studio perhaps...to me you are the Leeder of 3D body scanning.

    January 13, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      many thanks. I'm experimenting with D800's at the moment (36MP) very difficult to use multi-tethered an at full frame. I would love to build an MV or CCD system but raising the finance is tricky. Trivial to build, tricky to get the $!

      January 13, 2013
      • CableguyReply

        Can I guess? Same system is 10x more expensive but you need a half number of cameras = 5 times more bucks for better reliability and mobility.... Andreas from Vienna sounds quite desperate - may be he can throw in some good consulting money or organize a fund raising event :- )....entschuldigen Sie mich Andreas...Seriously, do you personally consult the set-up at all or you r spreading your craftsmanship opensourcely?

        January 14, 2013
        • InfiniteReply

          Consulting is a route to take, I used to go the open source route but the market is becoming more competitive now. Other studios are copying the method, so a price has to be put on it to stay a head in business and continue to grow and fund the newer research.

          January 15, 2013
  • PedroReply

    Is it possible to get acurate measurements (like some 3D scaners do - for clothing industry) of several body parts (ex- waist, arms length and grith)?

    Would you be interested in expanding your business to other countries?

    May 10, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      Yes and yes :)

      May 31, 2013
  • MiguelReply

    Hi.. great work.
    Can you help me to construct a system like that in Portugal?

    May 31, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      Send me an email via the contact form. You will need a healthy budget.

      May 31, 2013
  • CometReply

    Hello,

    You said 'Other studios are copying the method', but I found only IR which is using PS that way. Or other studios are just hiding that from clients. I had situation when I was talking to owner of company which uses PS to get DTM. I saw it's PS but had to talk for 5 min till he own up it' PS. Dunno why..?

    June 3, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      There are various other studios, they just don't talk so much about their methods or show much public information of their rigs. Many other studios are copying the method though.

      June 3, 2013
  • NickReply

    Hey Lee!

    Really like what you are doing here!

    I have a simple question. I am working on setting up my own studio for scanning static objects. Would it be necessary to achieve the capture in one take like you do with your body scans? (would I need 70 cameras and structured light?)

    Thanks!

    July 8, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks. Yes you need as many cameras as possible :)

      July 31, 2013
  • Jim EllisReply

    This is amazing. Thank you for sharing your work!!!

    Questions:
    1) Which version of AgiSoft will work?
    Can I accomplish the 360 degree scans using the $179 version
    or do I need the more expensive version?

    2) How do you wire the 90 cameras and what software do you recommend
    for remote control to take the simultaneous pictures?

    3) How do you set up the lighting or flashes so that the flash from opposite
    Camera angles to not wash out the opposing camera positions?

    Thank you for your answers.
    Jim

    September 29, 2013
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks. This is what I offer a consultancy service for. I don't give out too much free information these days, as many companies have exploited the information for financial gain. So I now have to charge.

      September 29, 2013
  • Lex StrahornReply

    Exactly what I am looking for! I do CNC woodworking and this is a great way to get the real life appearance I am looking for. Do you sell the system or just services? Definitely tough for me to send architectural items/models to the UK from the U.S.

    August 12, 2014
    • InfiniteReply

      Thanks yes. Feel free to get in contact via the contact form to talk further.

      August 12, 2014
  • GabrielaReply

    Hi,
    Your scans look awesome!! Are you going to be selling scanned people at any time?
    Regards
    Gabriela

    June 2, 2015
    • InfiniteReply

      We will be selling head scans for sure no body scans for the time being.

      March 29, 2016
Would you like to share your thoughts?

Leave a Reply

*