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.
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.
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.
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