Friday, August 27, 2010

3D Scanning Downstream Applications: Visualization and Industry Specific Uses for 3D data

We wrap up this month's discussion of downstream applications with examples of visualization and industry specific uses of data.


This application definitely falls into the realm of advertising and entertainment but also museum presentations, legal cases, and even high quality training simulations are also all great uses for 3D model visualizations and animations.

* Direct 3Dview of your object – can be used to create an on-line 3D catalog or proof of concept.
* FaceScan – scanning a person for animations, avatars, mass personalization of consumer products, or even simulation programs.
* Animation – recent scans of people, objects, and structures have been used to create commercials, films, music videos, and video games.
* Rendering – high quality 2D renderings using 3D models can be used for marketing purposes. Renderings of structures and viewpoints have also been used in legal cases to prove/disprove eyewitness accounts.

This animation is a great example of scan data used for a visualization:

Industry-specific Applications

While many types of industries can utilize the previously listed applications, there are a few 3D model apps that are very specific, but we feel we should list:

* Architecture/Construction: scanning facilities for BIM databases and creating traditional blueprint drawings

* Museum Research/Fine Art: investigative scanning for provenance and comparative research

* Virtual 3D Worlds: 3D scanning facilities, objects, and people specifically for use in virtual worlds and social networks, such as Second Life

Same 3D Data, Many Different Uses: Repurpose!

Often, with just a little bit of extra work, you can create different, valuable deliverables with the same basic scan data or 3D model. Some examples are:

* A consumer products company has an object scanned so that it can be prototyped. What they might not know is that with a little tweaking of the model they can also gather the measurements needed to create perfectly fitting packaging and also creating photorealistic models for subsequent advertising or a virtual catalogue.
* An aerospace company has a cockpit scanned for human factors analysis. If enough data was initially collected, that same data could be used to help create training simulations.
* A major museum has a sculpture in its collection that is rapidly deteriorating and they want to scan it for documentation. That data could be used to create high quality mini replications to be sold in the gift shop or for research (possibly comparing it to similar castings by the same artist).

The Sky is the Limit!

The above examples are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to uses for 3D models. If you have a possible application that you think a 3D model would work for, you should just ask your 3D service provider if it can or has been done. If they are anything like us, they will either have already done it (or tried it) or be so intrigued by your application that they are willing to give it a shot! And if you can’t do it yet, check back often; new applications and methods are being invented every day.

The world of 3D imaging, modeling, and engineering continues to grow at such an incredible rate that older applications are always being improved upon and new ones are always being dreamed up.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!