Canon 3D Software Object Modeler creates high-quality 3D graphic models in minutes

Mon 20th Jan 2003 | News

(JCN Newswire) - Canon today announced in Japan the introduction of software that automatically creates in a matter of minutes high-quality 3D graphic models from a sequence of still images captured using an ordinary digital camera: Canon 3D Software Object Modeler (3D S.O.M.).

Developed at Canon Research Centre Europe Ltd. (CRE), Canon's U.K.-based research and development center, 3D S.O.M. enables users to create 3D graphic models quickly and inexpensively and requires no special hardware other than an ordinary digital camera.

Until now, the creation of 3D graphic models with modeling software was a completely manual process requiring not only specialized expertise, but also an enormous investment of both time and expense. Additionally, while several laser scanner systems that make possible the automatic creation of 3D graphic models are available, the technology comes at a high price.

With CRE's 3D Software Object Modeler, the object to be modeled is placed on a calibration mat that can easily be printed out on a commercially available printer. The object is then photographed from approximately 15 angles around its circumference using a standard digital camera. Upon inputting the images, the software calibrates the distance between the camera and the object based on the markings printed on the calibration mat to create a full-color, photo-quality 3D graphic model in only minutes.

As 3D S.O.M. utilizes the texture from the actual image data captured by the digital camera for the 3D graphic model, it can accurately recreate the surface qualities of the object being modeled. Also, S.O.M.-generated models can be displayed in a VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) viewer for rotating and zooming, or imported into commercially available 3D editing applications for further manipulation, such as adding animation.

Canon intends to actively develop 3D S.O.M. for applications in a wide variety of fields, including e-commerce, mobile commerce and electronic catalogs.

About Canon Inc.
Canon Inc. (TSE: 7751) (NASDAQ: CAJ) is the world's second-largest manufacturer of integrated office equipment, making printers (40 percent of sales), copiers (30 percent of sales), scanners, and fax machines. The company also produces optical products used in semiconductor manufacturing, broadcasting, and medical equipment, leaving Canon's original camera business (including camcorders and liquid-crystal display projectors) accounting for just 12 percent of sales. The company makes more than 70 percent of sales to customers outside of Japan, with the Americas comprising a third of sales. For further information, please visit the Canon Inc. home page at: Canon

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