Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Graphics Software Technology

Software Converts 2D Images To 3D 152

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-waiting-for-the-avi-to-3ds-converter dept.
eldavojohn writes "Dr. David McKinnon from Queensland University of Technology, has recently launched a site that turns your sets of 2D images into 3D bump maps by way of 8 years of his research. The catch is that you need to have between five and fifteen photos of your object and they must overlap at least 80 to 90 percent. So with a video of an object, one might be able to extract every nth frame and use this site to generate a 3D model. Doctor McKinnon said, 'The full version of this software would be great for realistic learning simulators and training software, where you want everything to look like the real thing. This technology could also be great for museums wishing to turn their display objects into 3D images that can be viewed online. We are even looking into making 3D models of cows to save farmers spending thousands of dollars transporting their cattle vast distances to auction sites, allowing for an eBay style auction website for cattle. Films, animations and computer games could also benefit, since 3D film making is taking over from the traditional 2D method of filmmaking. Another application is allowing people to create 3D models of their own face to use on their avatar in computer games or 3D social networking sites such as Second Life or Sony's Home.' Physorg has more details."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Software Converts 2D Images To 3D

Comments Filter:
  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday July 09, 2009 @11:44AM (#28637541)

    between five and fifteen photos of your object and they must overlap at least 80 to 90 percent.

    So the 3D object in question will only have a front side? That's nowhere near enough for all sides.

    • by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @11:48AM (#28637591)

      So the 3D object in question will only have a front side? That's nowhere near enough for all sides.

      It creates a bump map, not a 3D model. Think of a brick wall in a video game. This is simply a texture image stamped on to a rectangle, but newer games use bump maps to make the bricks stick out. This generates that bump map for you.

      • by acidream (785987)
        crazybump does an excellent job of this already. we've been using it since early beta at the studio. http://www.crazybump.com/ [crazybump.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by esampson (223745)

        Actually it does create a 3D model. The summary is a bit misleading. I went straight to the website, hoping to get in before the slashdot, and examined some of the results. After the photos are processed a 3D model is built and the bump map is generated off of that. You can also download the model separately as a .ply file.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quadrox (1174915)

      If you can generate this sort of bump map for each of the 6 sides (think a cube) you should be able to generate an actual mesh. At least you'll have the precise 3D location for each pixel, shouldn't be too difficult to create a mesh from that.

      • There are better ways to generate the actual 3d point cloud if you are taking pictures of all sides of the object. Voxel Carving [cmu.edu] for one.
      • by binkzz (779594)
        That only works for some items. Take a vase with a small mouth and large body for example, the software would not be able to generate a 3d model of it. A spring would not work either. Or a cage with something inside.
    • No. The pictures do not have to overlap with all pictures on the same 80 to 90 percent of the image. Which means you can just record a film of a object turning around, creating a 180 3D "ring". Then do it vertically (eg with some more rings), and you get the complete model.

      Think of it like creating a QuicktimeVR view, stitched together out of many images, just from the outside instead of from the inside.
      I wonder if this software will work for "inside" views too. At least in theory, it should.

      The first thing

  • We are even looking into making 3D models of cows to save farmers spending thousands of dollars transporting their cattle vast distances to auction sites, allowing for an eBay style auction website for cattle.

    -So... you spent the last 8 years of your life to develop a 3D generator so that one day you may help farmers model their cows instead of spending thousands(!!!) of dollars on transfering them for auction?
    -Yes.
    -OK, just checking.

    • Not to mention the fact that cattle buyers (like my former stepdad in Oklahoma) seldom if ever need to see a three-dimensional model of a cow before deciding whether to purchase it. They already KNOW what a cow looks like in three dimensions. A grainy video of cattle grazing in a field is more than enough -- and *that* technology has been around since the early 1980s (and has led to the demise of most small-town cattle auctions).

      Anyone who proposes an "eBay for Cows" has never been involved in real-world

      • Agreed. It's not just about how a cow looks, it's how it moves. How someone looks & feels can be easily faked when doing photography - and I don't mean with photoshop. Ask any photographer and they will rattle off tricks to help you lose the extra chins, have thinner shoulders, hide certain things, etc. When you are looking at buying a cow you look at things like how alert it is, how it moves, etc. Hence why you can use a film when buying cattle. Alternatively (since 99.9% of slashdotters have no ide
        • by noundi (1044080)

          Pictures are fine, but they can't be substituted for driving it and feeling how it rides, weird noises and so forth.

          I know it's an analogy, but I can't help feeling deeply disturbed.

        • by Psyborgue (699890)
          The method they are using would not work with a moving cow (unless it was multiple video cameras synched up). In that respect, there is already video conferencing software that generates a real-time 3d model using 2 webcams.
    • Personally, I'm about thinking of launching a cow airbrushing service website.

      Ummm... Oops. Whoever read that above sentence needs to sign an NDA.

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        I've found cows do ok with burns and dodges in the darkroom, but they can't airbrush worth a damn

    • Meh. I think he's just milking his research.
  • Why bother (Score:3, Funny)

    by MrMr (219533) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @11:51AM (#28637647)
    Cows are spherical, as every mathematician knows.
  • Bump maps are so 20th century.

    • by tepples (727027)
      If you have a height map, use its gradient [wikipedia.org] to compute the normal vector at each point on the surface. There's your normal map.
      • by argent (18001)

        If you have a height map, use its gradient to compute the normal vector at each point on the surface. There's your normal map.

        That would seem somewhat akin to converting to a PNG from a JPG; the resulting normal map is less precise and of lower resolution than one you would derive from the original data.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Okay, so I'm not as dumb as this post will seem to make me by asking, but for the sake of the uninitiated...

    What is a bump map? and how is it significant in relation to photos and 3D?

    • by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @03:36PM (#28641009) Journal

      Bump mapping [wikipedia.org] is often used to add textures to otherwise flat surfaces. Basically, the bump map is a channel where the intensity of a pixel represents the height (rather than colour) of the pixel.

      It's very similar to this toy [shinyshack.com], which I'm sure you've probably seen before. The bump map represents the 3D shape of the object being portrayed. (It does have certain limitations; since each pixel can only have one height, the bump map can't represent surfaces which fold over themselves... e.g. a bump map of your face would look like your face from the angle it was intended to be viewed from, but from other angles you'd notice that the nostrils were solid underneath.)

      Once you've generated a bump map, you can use it to render a true 3D surface, calculating the shadows based on the bump map and the position of the light source.

  • Misleading title (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JobyOne (1578377) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @12:07PM (#28637825) Homepage Journal
    Article title is misleading. A bump-map is less exciting than converting 2D to 3D. It's not like it's going to build a perfect model of your head from 15 photos.

    Photosynth [photosynth.net] is far more interesting if you're excited by this concept.
    • by esampson (223745)

      Actually it is the summary that is misleading. The program generates a 3D model first, which can be downloaded as a .ply file. The bump map is made from that.

  • I assume this is a more fancy version of something like Microsoft PhotoSynth?

    Shame it doesn't involve lasers. :-P

  • But...

    I've been doing some side research in computer vision for a month or two in order to solve a problem regarding constructing a fairly accurate 3D model of a cat walking in front of a webcam. I'm totally ignorant about the entire field, so I've been trading ideas with another friend of mine who actually brought up the idea in the first place. Some of the ideas went from some sort of "averaging" between rough 3D sketches of a cat between multiple frames (with some sort of checking to see if they are, i

    • In any case, does anyone know of any good resources / articles that deal with this very problem?

      Oh, this is simple. If it's moving and ignores you - it's likely to be a cat.

      Bonus points if you can project laser dot and move it around. If the object tracts that, it's almost assuredly a cat.

      • by Merc248 (1026032)

        Hahah, well, yeah. But what if there was a person who did the same exact thing? No, what if there was a person who did the same thing, AND he had a beach ball on top of his head with two ears pasted on top of it?

    • by Yokaze (70883)

      With a web-camera? My guess, next to impossible. An array? Maybe a chance. A cat is fairly soft and elastic, which makes model based approaches hard. The fur likely has to few identifiable features to provide enough depth information for a 3D-model.

      Best chance Structured light [wikipedia.org]. Preferably in the near-infrared spectrum, this can be captured by your web-cam, but doesn't scares the cat.
      If I'm not mistaken, your run-of-the-mill projector does (also) emit near-infrared light. Band-pass filter for the camera, low

    • You can create distance estimates using two cameras in stereo. I would recommend starting there. Check out a paper called "Remote Gaze Estimation with a Single Camera Based on Facial - Feature Tracking without Special Calibration Actions" by Hirotake Yamazoe, et al. You might be able to use some of the distance estimating formulas in there.
  • Mr Santax (Score:4, Funny)

    by santax (1541065) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @12:22PM (#28638005)
    is uploading about 15000 pics of Halle Berry as we speak. Man I'm gonna have a blast tonight!
  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @12:25PM (#28638045)

    You take the cow to auction to sell it - to get it off your farm and on to someone else's. The point of the auction is to move the cow. It might be somewhat more efficient to move the cow directly from farmer to farmer, but this intermediate stop at an auction house can't be that big an inconvenience, can it?

    It sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      I'm assuming once someone buys a cow at the auction house they are responsible for transporting the animal. If the same holds when the auction is online, the original farmer is no longer paying for transportation of the animals (if that is not the case, the buyer is no longer directly paying for transportation). You wouldn't buy a plane ticket from A to (random location), then (random location) to B- so why wouldn't you ship the cows directly? Not to mention at the auction site the cows have to be handled,
      • You wouldn't buy a plane ticket from A to (random location), then (random location) to B-

        You obviously don't fly much. Lay-overs suck.

        • by T Murphy (1054674)
          That's what I said: you don't want to do that; if you can efficiently go straight from A to B you do so.
    • unless you're just selling the model of the cow, even Judge Judy can see the logic in that [youtube.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      It might be somewhat more efficient to move the cow directly from farmer to farmer, but this intermediate stop at an auction house can't be that big an inconvenience, can it?

      Sure, it can (especially if the place the cattle end up going is closer to where they came from than the auction house is to either). Probably more importantly, so can actually having and supporting an auction house capable of holding cattle auctions (cattle are large, live animals), even before considering transportation. So that adds

    • by rm999 (775449)

      "It sounds like a solution in search of a problem."

      Welcome to the world of academia :)

    • Especially if farmer A is selling 10 cows to 10 different sellers, one of which is farmer B who is buying 9 additional cows from 9 other sellers as well. Auctions scale, 3D cow models don't scale. QED

  • This is Crazybump (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alteveer (979070)
    ...except Crazybump (http://www.crazybump.com/) is faster, funnier, and has more features. Indispensable for 3D shader development.
    • by url00 (1345327)

      ...except Crazybump (http://www.crazybump.com/) is faster, funnier, and has more features. Indispensable for 3D shader development.

      I wish I had mod points, I would give you a raise!

  • Quark tried to take 'images' of Major Kira so he could re-create her 3-D image in the holodeck for some pervy customer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mistermocha (670194)
      That's nothing! CSI Miami takes crappy security cam shots from hundreds of feet away to turn a speck that covers eight pixels into a full 3D model of the killer every week, and that's in THIS century and planet!
  • What about videos? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MindVirus (1424817)

    What happens if we use this for videos (which are just sequences of generally overlapping images)?

    If any progress could be made in this department, we could make video game maps by simply recording a factory with a video camera.

  • dating websites (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This would be very useful on dating websites where you need to know if the girl has a big ass. They often provide a very vague 2D image of their frontside.

  • This is Great! Now we can feed in old episodes of Gilligan's Island, extract 3D facial maps of each of the castaways, and paste them onto different actors. Finally we can produce new episodes! We can replace Fake Ginger with Real Ginger in the movie. Imagine the possibilities!

    Now, if only voice reproduction and voice morphing technology was moving at the same pace as video.
    • Now, if only voice reproduction and voice morphing technology was moving at the same pace as video.

      I've always wondered about that. Sound recording is so much easier than video, you'd think that bringing a dead actor's voice back to life would be a piece of cake compared to their image, but it's not. I guess that's just and example of some things that are a lot harder than they seem at first. (Like predicting the weather)

      • Perhaps it's a lot easier to fool the eye than to fool the ear. My guess is that there just isn't as much demand for high resolution, digitally generated sound as there is for video, so fewer people are really working on it.
  • I've always thought it would be cool to have a tool that could take scenes from old movies where the camera was pointing out the window of a car and convert it into a perfect 3-d map.

    You could even extract the people and build models from them including movement.

    It's kind of the same as when they put all those dots/lines on a person's body to be able to model the exact movements of the body, just using smarter software instead of dots...

    You could gather massive amounts of data from a single shot once a comp

  • by i621148 (728860)
    They could combine this with: http://www.cyberware.com/products/software/fileFormats/iges124.html [cyberware.com] to create some more useful file outputs than .ply
  • what's new here ? Three dimensional reconstruction from images or video are not really new. The INRIA does it for a long time ( http://grimage.inrialpes.fr/index.php [inrialpes.fr] ) and even forked a startup that works with the cinema industry ( http://www.4dviews.com/ [4dviews.com] ). I even recall a demo which is two or three years old where a guy playd street fighter in front of several cameras. I was not able to RTFA (slashdotted), so can someone enlighten me ? Is the novelty the webservice ?
  • before someone comes up with stereoscopic porn?
    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      Uhm, I hate to tell you but porn was some of the FIRST things they made into steroscopic images. Just go looking for it and you will find it. Much of it uses the red-green 3d glasses to view.
  • If you are really going to try and take your technology mainstream, you may as well go and get a bunch of Shroud of Turin pictures, use your technology to reconstruct Jesus in 3d, and get yourself a guest TV spot on Fox. If your Jesus winds up looking like Peter O'Toole, so much the better!

  • by rwaliany (798184)
    this is a one-week assignment in the computer vision course at Carnegie Mellon...
  • There's already a biometrics security firm [cyberextruder.com] that puts your face on Second Life avatars using their facial recognition technology and database, for $10/face with bulk discounts, which can turn out very crappy or very real depending on the lighting used, the angle of the head, and the photo quality. I suppose that the main customers have probably been people from companies that want to maintain an air of professionalism as they appear in a virtual world, since several IT companies like Cisco use Second Life fo
    • Indeed. There are also folks who use 2-d to 3-d technology to produce a 3-d head model of a subject based on 2-d images, rotate the head to the proper perspective, and then render the head at that perspective in order to compare it to a current 2-d image for face recognition.

      The tricky part is picking points of correspondence in the images. The overlap requirement in TFA is probably to ease the difficulty of this. Usually, some kind of iterative error minimization is performed over the parameters of an a

  • Go to Angkor Wat (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wisebabo (638845) on Friday July 10, 2009 @08:49AM (#28648287) Journal

    I'm posting this really late in the thread so maybe nobody will read it (or care) but...
    If there is one place on earth that is crying out to see this technology used it is the KILOMETERS (really!) worth of intricate stone carvings at Angkor Wat (Cambodia). I've thought about borrowing (stealing?) a friend's $500,000 laser scanner to capture them but the 1) he (his institute really) probably wouldn't let me 2) the thugs who run Cambodia would probably not let me use it without me paying some extortionate amount. There really is no-where else on earth where you can see the results of thousands of man-years of skilled stone carvers. This priceless cultural heritage should be captured before pollutants like acid rain slowly erodes it or thieves literally dynamite it to pieces.
    Now perhaps anyone with a good video camera, a steady hand, and a LOT of patience can get this done! Perhaps if this job is too large for any one individual to complete it could be done in sections and the individual video sequences shared over the internet. Anyway, I hope this software is modified to handle video (subject to certain restrictions such as shooting in progressive mode).

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

Working...