Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mars needs models

Custom translator: NASA Mars Orbital Lidar Altimeter to 3D printing data.

3D Prints 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Software controlled DMX portrait lighting with Kinect based automatic positioning, 12 Nikon D800e camera satellite

The goal: to create a portable lighting system able to capture diffuse, specular, and normal texture maps with even shadowless lighting, and capture a 3D model of the actor or subject at the same time, with or without augmented structured light from a satellite of five projectors. Add in enough software control of lighting to create a mesoscopic normal map.

I spec'ed and designed the rig, and wrote the software that drives the cameras, projectors, and lighting, as well as an automated Kinect-based trigger that detects the moment when the subject is in position and holding still.

A mastery of the Nikon SDK was required to control the cameras, but USB timing limitations required a separate microcontroller-based hardware trigger to half/full press with precise timing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Software dev - DAM automated digital asset management

The problem: even the fastest 3D data viewer is brought to its knees by dense scan data, making DAM difficult without indirection.
The solution: automated preview generator that in a "live" manipulatable window that allows rotation, scaling, and lighting changes before committing to a 2D bitmap version to be used in cataloging software.

Avengers 2 cross polarization camera + filter control

A fast but stable (vibration free) polarization angle switcher. The embedded microcontroller also fires the camera(s). By taking a continuous sequence of several shots, two that match closely can be culled.

Truth-be-told, I had about five hours to design and build this contraption before leaving LA for the Manhattan photo studio where the actors would converge the next day. 

This allows diffuse and specular skin reference images without using a beam splitter (and thus halving of light intensity.)