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Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd. and now owned by The Walt Disney Company, forever changed the way movies are made and how we as the viewer experience them. The movie-making geniuses have continually raised the bar in computer-generated imagery (CGI) and visual effects (VFX) year after year since the company’s founding by George Lucas in May of 1975. Released today, ILM takes us behind the scenes to show us how they used laser scanning and other tools to transform Mark Ruffalo into the lovable Hulk character that almost stole the show in Marvel’s third highest-grossing film of all time, The Avengers.
Check out more ILM movie magic on their YouTube channel.
Being the bleeding edge technology geeks that we are here at SCANable, we have been closely following Microsoft’s adoption of Israeli developer PrimeSense’s controller-less motion capture technology which interprets 3D scene information from a continuously-projected infrared structured light. Now released as the Kinect for Xbox 360, or simply Kinect (originally known by the code name Project Natal), defined as a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform, and may later be officially supported by PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360′s audience beyond its typical gamer base. Kinect competes with the Wii Remote with Wii MotionPlus and PlayStation Move motion control systems for the Wii and PlayStation 3 home consoles, respectively.
Weeks before the Kinect was officially released, the hacking community was hard at work digging through this revolutionary hardware in order to test the true limits of its capabilities. There was even a bounty of $3,000 offered by development company “Adafruit” to obtain an open-source driver. A mere two days after the bounty was announced, that goal had already been reached — this according to an email Adafruit’s Phillip Torrone sent Gizmodo. Drivers have been available for Mac and Linux for a couple of weeks, but there are now working drivers for Windows for which we have successfully tested here at SCANable. Our early assessment has indicated that this inexpensive device is actually capable of much more than just a game controller. To our amazement, we discovered that it continuously captures 3d point cloud data of everything in your living room/game room. By tapping into the Kinect with a PC (Mac, Linux or Windows), we were able to gain full access to this multi-purpose 4-dimensional data with the ability to freely move around the feed in real-time. Using the OpenKinect drivers and basic viewing software, we were even able to set cut-planes which gave us the ability to isolate the moving object in the scene and view this data as colored depth ranges or true RGB color generated by the units embedded camera.
The possibilities of this technology are tremendous. We see a near future where we can navigate through a point cloud dataset or virtual 3D model using simple hand gestures (see Evoluce’s example below). Imagine being able to digitally record “true” 3D video and having the ability to easily remove data at certain depths instead of by color eliminating typical green screen procedures. Even better, what if you strapped one of these bad boys onto a robotic vacuum and used it to remotely capture 3D data of interior spaces. Think we are crazy? Keep reading…
How does it work?
Wired has a great article about!
We have compiled several of the best videos of the Kinect in-use. Check them out and be sure to post comments below. We all are masters of manipulating point cloud data, let’s pull together our resources and expertise and come up with some great applications for this affordable technology!
Evoluce, one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality multi-touch and gesture computing displays, demonstrates the future of how we interact with our computers.
MIT early experiments with a Microsoft Kinect depth camera on a mobile robot base. Say hello to KinectBot. Is this the indoor mobile mapping solution we have been waiting for?
Kinect-style device used to map the interior of a building:
For the launch of Xbox Kinect in Germany, seeper created an interactive projection mapping. Set at the highly visible Stachus in central Munich, this project attracted hoards of participants. Immersed in the experience, users took part in epic particle ball games, sending fluids shooting three stories high. Together with guests, including Sylvie van der Vaart, we explored the limits of controller free gaming!
Kinect used for real-time lightsaber:
What are your thoughts about this revolutionary device? Be sure to leave your comments and feedback below. Also be sure to check back here over the coming weeks for new updates!
As part of its eighth annual Worldwide User Conference devoted to 3D laser scanning in San Ramon, California, USA (near San Francisco), Leica Geosystems successfully launched a program devoted specifically to the law enforcement and public safety community. The event drew law enforcement agencies and forensic professionals from around the United States and the world over a four day period October 24-27, 2010.
Of special interest was the seven-hour “live fire” shooting reconstruction workshop titled “3D Laser Scanning of Shooting Scenes and Trajectories” taught by Mike Haag of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Major Crime Scene Team. Mr. Haag has used the Leica ScanStation on dozens of cases for shooting reconstruction and he is a Distinguished Member of the Association of Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners. Over 30 law enforcement professionals attended this class on a very rainy and wet Sunday at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department who provided their facility. The weather didn’t inhibit the operation of the Leica ScanStation C10 or the enthusiasm of the class which learned the fundamentals and best practices of shooting incident reconstruction and trajectory measurement using 3D laser scanning.
The Leica Geosystems ScanStation C10 is an easy-to-use, compact and portable 3D laser scanner that measure 3.5 million points at a scene in less than two minutes in any lighting conditions. The system does not require any special eye protection when used, is robust and captures the leveled survey-quality data required for accurate crime scene reconstruction and analysis.
In recent years many public safety agencies across a broad spectrum of law enforcement—County Sheriff’s departments, metropolitan police agencies and state investigative agencies—have acquired Leica ScanStations and now deploy them regularly for a wide range of tasks, including crime scene investigation, officer involved shootings and threat assessments of buildings and other infrastructure. Increasingly, criminal prosecutors are relying on compelling images and animations created with the system to present evidence to juries and to effectively counter the so-called “CSI effect.”
Dr. John DeHaan, of California-based Fire-Ex Forensics, Inc. an internationally recognized expert in his field and the author of Kirk’s Fire Investigation was the first speaker in the general session with a presentation titled “Documenting Fire and Explosion Scenes with Leica ScanStation Technology.” After guiding the audience through multiple cases including a home destroyed by a gas leak and an ambulance (VBIED) rigged with an explosive device as a test exercise Dr. DeHaan itemized 11 significant benefits and advantages of Leica’s ScanStation technology over other methods.
“Based on the recent, extremely rapid uptake of HDS for forensics and homeland security applications,” explained Tony Grissim, Leica Geosystems Public Safety and Forensic Accounts Manager, “the launch of a dedicated law enforcement track at this year’s conference demonstrates how seriously Leica Geosystems is committed to serving the needs of the law enforcement community.” Grissim added that portions of the program were recorded and will be available on Leica’s forensic web site at www.leica-geosystems.com/us/forensic
Leica Geosystems—when it has to be right.
With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems is trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze and present spatial information. The company is best known for its broad array of products that accurately capture, model quickly, analyze easily, visualize and present spatial information. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.
To view this release on the web please click here
For further information regarding the use of HDS for Accident Investigation contact: