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Product Review: Strata’s Foto3D CX 2

by on November 3, 2009

strata-foto3dcx-logoEarlier this month, Strata announced a new version of Foto3d CX with improved accuracy and several new features.  The idea of scanning physical models, reversing the traditional digital prototype to physical model pipeline, is not new and laser scanners have been around for some time.  Doing this with nothing but a run-of-the-mill digital camera intrigued me, and Strata was happy to oblige my curiosity with a version of the software to review.

Read all about it after the break.


Cyberware's Model Shop Color3D Scanner

Cyberware's Model Shop Color3D Scanner

Model scanners, like Cyberware’s Model Scanner (shown right), place a stationary model on a turntable with a special camera and sensor to generate a high-resolution point cloud in mere seconds.  This point cloud can then be reconstructed with some advanced geometric algorithms (something like a Delaunay Triangulation) to reconstruct a 3D model, and combined with the color photographs to create the proper color textures to map on top of the model.

Used frequently to digitize physical models of characters for cartoon or VFX shots, and used extensively in product design, there are several companies creating these model scanners.  However, they are frequently limited in the maximum model size they can scan (whatever can fit in the imaging chamber), and are very expensive, typically in the $10k+ Range.

Strata’s Solution

The Foto3D CX system operates almost identically to the higher-end image scanners, taking digital photographs (a minimum of 15) around the object and then reconstructing a 3D model from the resulting photographs.  They provide a simple 3D marker that you can place underneath the object to aid in the registration, and can use the images for both geometry and texture.