With so much cool stuff popping up these days you notice when something truly draws awe. Qi Pan, a PhD candidate at the Engineering Department of Cambridge University, has developed a novel approach to capturing 3D objects with a standard webcam. Called ProFORMA, Pan’s software digitizes and image maps an object in 3D as the user rotates it in front of the camera in realtime. Additionally, the physical object can be used as a marker to overlay the virtual object in realtime for potential Augmented Reality applications. [via Core77]
As the user rotates the object in front of a stationary camera, a partial model is reconstructed and displayed to the user to assist view planning. The model is also used by the system to robustly track the pose of the object. Models are rapidly produced through a Delaunay tetrahedralisation of points obtained from on-line structure from motion estimation, followed by a probabilistic tetrahedron carving step to obtain a textured surface mesh of the object.