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Eyetronics Announces ShapeCam for 3D Object Capture

Includes digital camera and flash device mounted on lightweight frame (January 10, 2002)
ShapeCam, a new hand-held system from Eyetronics, makes 3D object capture almost as easy as taking digital snapshots, according to the company.

ShapeCam includes a digital camera and a specially designed flash device mounted on a lightweight frame. It allows users to freely move around objects of almost any size, automatically capturing 3D geometry and textures by simply taking pictures. Photos captured with the portable hardware are processed and assembled in 3D within Eyetronics ShapeSnatcher Suite software. The process produces fast and accurate 3D digital models that recreate the shape, colors and textures of the original object or person.

?ShapeCam is the first portable 3D scanning system that gives users total freedom to move around an object and capture it from every angle without recalibration, says Dirk Callaerts, CEO of Eyetronics. ?This is a huge leap for people who want to quickly transform human faces, human bodies or objects into realistic 3D models anytime and anywhere.

Once the application is set up, it is easy to use ShapeCam. To set the distance between camera and object, the user aims the camera until two laser points converge as one. At the same time the picture is taken, the flash projects a grid onto the object, providing the information the software needs to create a 3D image. Users can take as many pictures as needed to capture the parts of the object or person they want to digitally recreate.

ShapeCam can capture 3D models of different-sized objects, ranging from a small coin to life-size statues or a complete human body. The flash system is set up by simply adjusting the zoom and focus of the camera and flash lenses.

Pictures from ShapeCam are brought into a computer, where Eyetronics ShapeSnatcher Suite software takes over, calculating parameters, generating 3D models from the 2D images, and stitching the different models together into one smooth, completed model. For digital content creation applications, ShapeSnatcher SuiteXT provides additional tools to export alternative texture maps for captured models, and to reduce polygons for more efficient processing. For design and reverse engineering applications, ShapeSnatcher SuiteCAD adds polygon reduction and surface thickening tools.

A bundled product called Eyetronics ShapeWare, which includes the ShapeCam and either ShapeSnatcher SuiteXT or ShapeSnatcher SuiteCAD software, is available for $18,250 or 19,125.

The ShapeSnatcher Suite software is already being used in animation production, game development, research, engineering and retail to quickly create accurate 3D models from physical objects. The software runs on most PCs using Windows or Linux, as well as on SGI IRIX systems. ShapeSnatcher supports popular 3D animation and CAD software packages, as well as standard graphics import and export formats.

Eyetronics was established in February 1998 in Leuven, Belgium. The company has a sales office in Los Angeles and distributors worldwide. Eyetronics specializes in high-quality 3D acquisition systems for applications including realistic character generation for games, consumer-oriented products (such as low-cost sculptures of people), high-end special effects for the movie industry, and reverse engineering for manufacturing.

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Related Keywords:3D, capture, camera, Eyetronics, geometry

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