Lynx Labs Creates Camera For 3D Capture and Modeling

Camera Generates 3D Data Points And Meshes In Perfect Scale of Images in Real Time

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

During the last few days of production for Battlestar Galactica, producers took the interesting action of capturing detailed digital images of every set with plans of using them in the future as digital background plates for any future BSG project. The results gave them a great leg up when making Blood and Chrome – which would rely on green screen and those digital images as digital sets. The sets were then destroyed and the props and set pieces auctioned off. And while the digital images gave effects personnel a leg up in creating the world of the Bucket in 3D space, if they had had a Lynx Instant 3D Modeling and Motion Capture Camera, it would’ve changed everything.

The Lynx A produces detailed meshes, motion files, and 3D panoramas in real-time thanks to the integrated hardware/software experience. The research that makes this possible was conducted over a year and a half by a qualified research team. It’s certainly true that many of the hardware components are readily available, but the same could also be said of an Xbox 360. The real magic is in the software! – Lynx Laboratories

The basic premise of the Lynx is roughly based on the same technology as the Microsoft Kinect, but with a 3D algorithm that takes the panoramic image you shoot and generates a 3D model in real time. The prototype is a bit rough, producing low-resolution (640×480)  3D images that have a lot of digital noise. But the creators were able to take the 3D models produced and actually print them using a MakerBot 3D printer, to all the data is there and it looks quite realistic.

And not only can the Lynx Instant 3D Modeling and Motion Capture Camera capture scene data for virtual sets and object modeling for rapid prototyping, it can also be used for motion capture, as it instantly analyzes a subject and builds a wire-frame model to skin with realistic movement.  It really is a ground breaking concept.

The Lynx A camera is for anyone who wants or needs 3D content. Whether you’re an architectural surveyor, VFX artist, video game engineer, maker, or just think its cool, you’ll find the content produced by our camera to be useful and easy to acquire.

And the 3D model and data information it captures can be imported into 3D applications like Maya, Blender, 3D Studio Max for fine tuning and upscaling to higher resolution 3D models.  So even in it’s rudimentary configuration, it shows great promise. And if Lynx can manage to fine tune the resolution, and make the hardware more compact and easier to handle, it could make set design, visualization, and post production move to the next level. We’re already seeing productions using 3D printers to build stunt cars and video game companies model athletes and actors for gaming characters, so the Lynx would represent the next step in the technology which will streamline the process and that will reduce costs tremendously.   And it will moving forward now that they’ve “kickstarted” the money to make it.

The Lynx Modeling Camera sells for about the same price as an DSLR, making it a serious value for small outfits and innovators trying to break into these technologies. And once it starts selling (currently priced at around $1800), it’ll put 3D modeling in reach of anyone.  The democratization of the art continues.

Hat Tip – NFS

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.