"The more I seek, the less I find, but you are always on my mind
'Cause I'm chasing your ghost, chasing your ghost
I hear your voice day by day, but your apparition slips away
I'm chasing your ghost, your ghost, chasing your ghost"
"Chasing Your Ghost," What Is This, What Is This, 1985.
Autodesk Labs is home to innovative new technologies and collaborative development with contributions from throughout the company. One of our areas of focus is "reality capture." That's why you see technology previews like these on the Labs site:
- Point Cloud Feature Extraction for AutoCAD Civil 3D
- Point Cloud Tool for 3ds Max / 3ds Max Design
- Project Photofly
- [Point Cloud] Shape Extraction for AutoCAD
Given our reality capture focus, we are interested in a variety of devices such as industrial-grade laser scanners, consumer digital cameras, and newer devices like the Microsoft Kinect. We recognize the benefits that Autodesk design application users could reap from not starting our applications with a blank canvas.
Dominique Pouliquen is our Marketing Director for Autodesk Labs. Dominique posted a video that was created by Benjamin Butin - our summer intern at our office in Sofia-Antipolis, France.
You can see how moving a Kinect around a room allows one to capture the geometry. This works reasonably in cases where being tethered to a laptop is possible. On the other hand, Project Photofly offers an alternative in that cameras are untethered and can photograph large swaths of space, e.g. mountain ranges, that would be painstaking even with laser scanners.
Even though cameras are handy and easy to use, laser scanners provide the highest degree of accuracy. It is for these reasons that Autodesk Labs continues to investigate any and all devices that can capture reality and bring it into a design application.
Creating models from the ether is alive in the lab.