Computer Graphics World

March/April 2013

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Digitizing Aligned scan data created in Geomagic Studio by the Idaho Visualization Lab of a fossilized Hagerman horse head. The skeletal remains were found in Idaho in 1928. Hagerman horses lived in American plains and grasslands three million years ago. Capturing Fine Details 3D – birds, walruses, sea lions, otters, bears, camels, even a prehistoric helicorpion – along with artifacts, such as arrowheads and primitive tools. It's all part of a project that Maschner has championed for the past decade, starting with his 3D Virtual Zooarchaeology of the Arctic Project (VZAP). Beyond VZAP, the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory's projects include the Virtual Museum of Idaho, Virtual Museum of the Arctic, and Whales of the World, all of which can be accessed at IVL's website ( "VZAP has been a real help training students in basic sorting and identification of faunal specimens," says Dr. Anne Jensen, the general manager and senior scientist at UIC Science in Barrow, Alaska. Jensen, an arctic archaeologist, works with local high school and junior college students who have no prior experience in faunal analysis. Her students use VZAP's images in lieu of short-term, cumbersome physical collections to classify the specimens they unearth. "Recently," Jensen adds, "we have been using it to narrow the range of species that we need to compare specimens with, both to target loan requests better and to make sure we take the appropriate specimens to the repository." Tale of the Sitka Whale One of the lab's more ambitious assignments came about after a juvenile orca whale washed ashore on Kruzof Island near Sitka, Alaska, in 2011. After the University of Alaska scientists finished processing the whale skeleton, the IVL team journeyed to Sitka to digitize the remains. Where typical jobs involve 3D scanning only certain animal bones, the Kruzof whale skeleton had to be completely digitized. In the course of a seven-day process, IVL technicians scanned skeletal data into Geomagic Studio to rapidly create quality 3D images. In only the second undertaking of its kind, scientists were able to take the captured 3D data, build 3D models, and articulate an intricate, entire skeleton in digital space. most computers to process within a reasonable timeframe. Geomagic Studio enables technicians to subdivide the low-resolution image and superimpose it onto the full-resolution image. The result is a clean topological surface and a flexible file that can be displayed in one of several layers of resolution depending on the capabilities of the user's computer. Finally, technicians use the photographs taken in the opening stage to overlay a texture map and color data onto each 3D model. This final version is rendered into a U3D file that is then converted into a PDF file. The resultant PDF is viewable via Adobe Acrobat and allows users to take measurements, view in full 3D, and conduct comparisons. IVL also makes the Euclidian geom- The job of creating 3D models of each bone falls on the lab's regular four-technician staff. The effort is led by Schlader, one of the region's most skilled 3D technicians and a self-proclaimed "computer guy" who helped to build the lab from the ground up. At this point, the team has developed a streamlined 3D scanning process that begins with data compilation and photography of each specimen. The photographs become part of the IVL's archive and aid in the digital modeling process. After photography, depending on the article to be scanned – its size, detail and morphology – the team selects from a range of scanners, including two FARO Technologies Edge scanners and one FARO Focus3D, Minolta VIVID 9i, NextEngine 3D scanner HD, Cyberware Model Shop, and Cyberware Desktop. Each object is scanned A 3D surface model of "Kruzof," the four-year-old whale (SSSC-2011008) in several positions to that washed ashore in Sitka, Alaska, in 2011. SSSC-2011008 was recovered, processed, and scanned under NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP Permit 932-1905. capture a complete 3D model. Scanning small specimens, such as etry of the image available, so it is possible birds, can be particularly challenging. IVL's to extrapolate dimensional data required for team has gotten creative to overcome some casting, machining, or rapid prototyping. of the challenges, often dusting specimens with talcum powder. Because the grains are Teachers and Researchers smaller than the scanner resolution, talcum By bridging the real and virtual worlds, IVL helps the scanner pick up the surfaces, and it is fulfilling its mission to democratize science one scan at a time. It's a sometimes painstakdoesn't damage the specimen. ing process, but a challenge that the IVL staff From Real to Virtual undertakes contentedly, knowing that its work IVL technicians use Geomagic Studio for the is helping students and researchers in counpreliminary editing of the resultant polygon tries throughout the globe. meshes to remove any unnecessary artifacts "Biologists teaching high school kids in from the scan. The software automates the Alaska, teachers of faunal analysis of skelprocess of filling remaining holes, removing etal material, osteology researchers and intersecting polygons, and clearing vertex teachers, and professors studying human and color data. VZAP material," says Schlader, "they're all Using Geomagic Studio, technicians cre- using our images to do it." n ate two 3D model files: one at full resolution and one at roughly 1,000-polygon Josh O'Dell is a content creator for Geomagic, whose resolution. The two files are needed because scanning and design software solutions are used to capture full-resolution 3D models often contain and model 3D content from physical objects, organianywhere from several hundred thousand cally sculpt complex shapes, and prepare products for to several million polygons – too large for manufacturing. March/April 2013 CGW0313-LVIpfin.indd 31 n n n n 31 3/14/13 12:18 PM

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