Today I was lucky enough to get training in the use of the College of Fine Arts’ new 3D Laser scanner. The Konica Minolta Vivid 910 3D Laser Scanner uses a 2.5 second vertical Laser scan to capture depth information. The Laser is “eye-safe”, so there is no problem scanning faces (as you can see), and multiple scans can be recombined to produce a highly-details result.
The scan above is the result of one low-detail, wide-angle scan of my shoulders and head, combined with three closer, higher detailed scans of my face. This was all done in about 15 minutes including post-production stitching. We were in a bit of a rush, and improved results – in the eye region where the merging is a bit messy, and the neck – would have just taken an extra couple of minutes. The moustache is transparent, as it was relatively dark compared to the rest of the face, so the laser was not seen scanning across this section. Another scan on a higher intensity would have picked it up, and this could be merged into the other scans. Alternatively we could have used white spray-on hair dye to allow it to reflect. Reasonable colour texture details is also picked up, but in the rush to pack up I did not export this.
This is my first experience with professional Laser 3D scanning equipment, and it was very good fun. The Vivid isn’t a magic wand – there is a little work in producing good results from an object – but it is a versatile scanner that can even be brought out into the field for scanning building fascias, vehicles, and sculptures. It should be interesting experimenting!