3D scanner created from hacked camera and firmware

A computer engineer named Giancarlo Todone developed a $50 do-it-yourself system that uses a single hacked Canon Powershot camera and some custom firmware to create a 3D scanner.

Content Dam Vsd Online Articles 2013 07 3d Scanner Camera Hack

A computer engineer named Giancarlo Todone developed a $50 do-it-yourself system that uses a single hacked Canon Powershot camera and some custom firmware to create a 3D scanner.

The project, known as DephtInition, uses a technique called focus stacking, where a multiple images taken at different focal lengths are combined to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field than any of the individual images. In this case, Todone captured a number of images with his Canon camera and analyzed the brightness of the pixels in relation to each other. He then used an algorithm to discern areas of focus and assign “focus ranks” to parts of the image, which enabled him to create a depth map, according to TechHive.

After estimating the focus rank of each pixel for each shot, Todone combined his depth map with the RBG images to create the final 3D imagingpoint clouds using MeshLab to display the pictures.

While the DephtInition system may be the cheapest 3D scanner available, Todone did encounter a few issues along the way. Specifically, it is really only useful for capturing subjects that are perfectly still, and the subject has to be illuminated just right for the computer to pick up the depth data needed for the process.

That said, the inexpensive DephtInition is an innovative way to turn a camera into a 3D scanner, and has provided the code, along with a point cloud, for free on his blog.

View Giancarlo Todone’s blog.
View the TechHive article.

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