RE: JPEG to 3D Solids

From: Bibb, Richard (PDR) (
Date: Wed Jul 31 2002 - 10:47:45 EEST

Dear Dan,
I have had a similar request recently and as far as I can figure there is no
way of doing it satisfactorily. There all sort of software applications that
can produce a height based 3D structures from pixel images but these are
usually based on greyscale values (height being proportional to grey value).
There are other systems like ArtCAM, which is very good for line artwork for
coins, stamping dies and such like but would be very difficult to apply to a
human face as you would have to manually draw in the contours of the face on
the photo and chose heights that would give the face a realistic profile.
The kind of software that is used for making models from CT or MRI data
won't help you because it uses multiple images to create the third dimension
There are some software packages that can give a rough 3D model of a face by
using multiple photos taken of a person's profile as they are rotated. Its a
pretty crude and slow process and you've got no chance of getting the
required photos if your dealing with babies.
My conclusion was that the only way to get 3D was to use a light or laser
scanner. I've done this many times successfully with adults and older
children but scanning babies is difficult as they never stop moving. Even
fast scanners that may have a capture time of 0.6 seconds will give poor
results if the baby moves during the scan (0.6 seconds is a long time, ask a
Of course I didn't do an exhaustive search but I spent long enough thinking
about it to come to this conclusion.
kind regards,
Dr. Richard Bibb
Western Avenue

Tel. +44 (0) 29 2041 6723
Fax. +44 (0) 29 2041 6973

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