After a significant amount of effort we are happy to announce that we have completed our new 3D Scanner. We call it the Hexo Scanner 70 A (HS70A) and it works using a process called photogrammetry to capture up to 70 individual images simultaneously. The name Hexo comes from the scanner shape which is a Hexogram (or a 6 six-sided polygon for you geometry fans), Scanner for obvious reasons, 70 because it has 70 cameras, and A because it is the first version of this scanner.
When we started this journey of ours, a 3D scan of a person could take 3 minutes and required a person to stand still on a rotating platform while we used a kinect scanner that would move up and down to capture the full image of a person. This was version 1.0. A person would have to rotate several times while holding still to get the full image. Not a very customer friendly experience and would not allow us to do groups, small children or pets.
Version 2.0 used multiple kinect scanners together to scan all parts of a person while they rotated on the scanning platform only 1 time. This reduced the scan time to 30-40 seconds. The Kinect images were then combined to create one 3D mesh of a person or object. This was better but we still had problems with any kind of movement during the scan and created most of the same limitations that we had with version 1 of our scanner.
We needed to do something different. Feedback from our customers showed that most people want to get scanned with someone else at the same time, wanted to scan their small children, or scans of their pets. So we abandoned our original model of using Kinect style scanners and decided to use the process of photogrammetry. This would allow us to use an array of normal cameras to capture a person or object from many perspectives in 1-2 seconds. Using special software we can then take all of the different images and stitch them together into a 3D mesh of a person (Avatar) or object. Further because we can do this so quickly we can scan small children and pets who have a hard time staying still. This gives us the ability to create a fully textured photo quality scan of someone very quickly, including in the ability to scan someone in a pose.
Having the ability to scan someone in a pose opens up the possibility to create an Avatar of someone that can be computer animated. Scanning someone in a TPOSE, which means standing with your arms out to your sides, palms down, and feet slightly separated; allows us insert a bone structure into the virtual avatar. Once we do this we can tell the computer which parts of the body to move with each bone, this is called skinning. This is how animated characters work in computer animation and we can do that now quickly and efficiently with any customer. So imagine yourself in a video game or in virtual or augmented reality. Watch our video on our How we do it on you tube.
Getting an animated scan allows us to upload you into our new MEandU2 app where we can place you into Augmented Reality on your phone. So you use your camera to view the world, then simply place your virtual avatar into the scene. You can then make your character dance, celebrate, run, jump, and more!