Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Andy Monument: New Sculpture Based on 3D Scanning and Imaging Unveiled Today in NYC

(Photo: Konstantin Bojanov/Courtesy of the Public Art Fund)

The Andy Monument, a sculpture of Andy Warhol by artist Rob Pruitt, is being unveiled today in Union Square at the corner of 17th and Broadway.

The 10 foot tall sculpture is a part of the Public Art Fund's exhibitions for 2011. According to Nicholas Baume of the Public Art Fund, "Pruitt’s sculpture adapts and transforms the familiar tradition of classical statuary. The figure is based on a combination of digital scanning of a live model and hand sculpting." To complete that scanning, Pruitt worked with Direct Dimensions to help recreate the spirit of Warhol.

Scanning the Live Model

Mr. Pruitt and a live model traveled to Direct Dimensions office in Owings Mills, MD for a day of scanning with our full arsenal of products, including the ShapeShot 3D Facial Capture System, the Surphaser HSX Laser Scanner, a patch scanner and a Faro arm with laser scanner. Mr. Pruitt directed the shot, dressing and posing the model. In addition to the live model, separate objects such as a shopping bag and Warhol wig were scanned to add detail to the final sculpture.

Raw Scan Data of the Live Model

The digital imaging was completed with Innovmetric's Polyworks software and Zbrush software. Once the individual models were complete, each of the individual elements such as the body, head, hair wig, bag, and camera were combined to create a high resolution 3D model.

With the 3D model from the live scan complete, Direct Dimensions then digitally sculpted Andy Warhol’s face and head in Z-Brush from photographs provided by Mr. Pruitt. The Warhol bust was then digitally stitched to the live scan model to provide the artist with a complete realistic digital recreation of Andy Warhol.

Mr. Pruitt envisioned a stylized presentation of the portrait for his monument. Working with our modelers Mr. Pruitt directed modifications to the pose, facial expression and surface characteristics to achieve his final vision.

Rendering of Final Pose from Multiple Angles

The 3D data was used to help create the final sculpture, which was surface-finished in chrome and will stand on the corner of Broadway and 17th through October 2, 2011.

You can read more about the project on the Public Art Fund's project page.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Free Sample Models! Sample Surphaser 3D Data

Known for its unsurpassed accuracy, speed, and ease-of-use, the Surphaser is ideal for rapidly capturing as-built objects of mid-range size including cars, planes, military vehicles, boats, monuments, rooms, buildings, and even people! Applications include reverse engineering, quality control, historical preservation, architecture documentation, and forensic reconstruction.

No other 3D laser scanner produces such dense, high-quality data so quickly. Download sample data sets and see - the quality speaks for itself!

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You can read more about the Surphaser HSX Laser Scanner here.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pterosaur Launch Animation

Last week we posted a case study about scanning Pterosaur bones to help research their launch sequence and how they were able to get their massive wings into the air.

Julia Molnar, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University department of Art as Applied to Medicine, used the 3D data to create an animation of what the launch sequence may have looked like.

The below video is a great example of how 3D laser scanning and imaging is aiding in diverse scientific research on a regular basis.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Case Study: 3D Imaging Brings Dinosaur Bones to Life

At Direct Dimensions, we love to 3D laser scan important historical treasures. Perhaps one of the oldest items we've gotten our scanners on is a Pterosaur we scanned for Johns Hopkins University.

Pterosaurs, known more commonly as pterodactyls, lived in the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous period. Pterosaurs are particularly notable because they are the first known vertebrate creatures to have evolved winged flight and could grow quite large—the largest known pterosaur had a wingspan of about 33 feet. However, because their bones were hollow bones, the skeletons preserved very poorly, as they are often crushed by the weight of sediment. So when you find a good skeleton, there is much to study about these great creatures.

This is what Julia Molnar, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University department of Art as Applied to Medicine, brought to Direct Dimensions – a set of bone castings from a well preserved pterosaur skeleton. For her masters thesis project, Ms. Molnar was studying the way in which pterosaurs would have taken flight. Very little is known about their launch sequence, and how such an enormous creature could vault into the sky without dragging its giant wings along the ground.

Thus the challenges – digitize the cast pieces, assemble correctly into a complete skeleton, and help formulate the 3D motion sequence for the ancient creature within the computer.

Step 1: Direct Dimensions scanned the castings of the 8-foot pterosaur skeleton with a FARO Arm equipped with the FARO laser line scanner. The FARO laser scanner also collects precise data without ever having to physically contact its target. The fragments were each scanned in two positions—one with the limbs folded inward, as they would have been when the pterosaur was grounded or at rest, and the other with the wings fully extended, as they would have been in flight.

Though there were some difficulties during the scanning process, they did not prove insurmountable. Ms. Molnar described the process: “The scanning was challenging because there were many undercuts, particularly around the ribcage, and the casting is very fragile. I was really impressed with the way they handled the challenges.”

With Molnar helping explain how the components go together, technician Jon Wood created two 3D digital models of the entire pterosaur skeleton - one for each of the two positions: on ground and in flight.

With these completed digital 3D models, Ms. Molnar then created a 3D animation to show the launch movement. Working in a software program called 3D Studio Max, she applied the constraints that paleontologists had previously discovered about pterosaur flight to animate the transition between the closed, resting position and the open flight position. She discovered that pterosaurs very likely had a quadrupedal launch—a two-phase motion that pressed upwards with the hind legs and then followed that with a forward vault motion using its forelimbs. This technique enabled the pterosaur to clear the surface without dragging its wing tips along the ground.

At Direct Dimensions we were thrilled to have used our 3D laser scanning and digital modeling skills to advance the research of this prehistoric creature. We hope to have more projects like this in the future. There are no limits to how we can use our innovative 3D technologies to uncover our world’s most ancient secrets.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CMSC 2011 Abstract Submission Deadline Extended to March 18th

Abstracts' deadline has been extended to March 18th for the 2011 Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) in Phoenix, Arizona

The Coordinate Metrology Society, the preeminent membership association for measurement professionals, has announced their "Call for Papers" in anticipation of the 2011 Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC). The 27th annual event will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from July 25-29, 2011.

Metrology professionals are invited to submit a 500-word abstract for presentations and technical papers covering industry best practices, scientific research and developments, and successful applications of 3D coordinate measurement systems. The CMSC is the only North American conference dedicated solely to users of portable, high-precision measurement technology used to inspect manufactured and assembled components on the factory floor.

Abstract submissions will be peer-reviewed by the Coordinate Metrology Society and considered for presentation at CMSC 2011. The deadline for abstracts has been extended to March 18, 2011. To submit an abstract for CMSC 2011, e-mail Michael Raphael, Technical Presentations Coordinator at Guidelines for presentations and technical papers can be downloaded at 2011 CMSC Guidelines.