So after weeks of trolling eBay and Craigslist, you've finally found it — the object of your obsession at an affordable price. In my case, it would be a 1968 Gibson Super 400 CES archtop electric guitar with a sunburst finish. Yum.
But there's only one online photo, the lighting isn't good and who knows how many dings are on the back side of the guitar. Let the nail biting begin.
If only I could spin the photo around, and twirl the guitar like I was dancing with it — then I could get a good look at it and make a sound judgement.
Well, thanks to Sudipta Sinha and his colleagues at Interactive Visual Media, that's now possible.
Along with his research team, Sinha helped develop a system that allows a regular digital camera to create a 360-degree, 3-D image from a collection of about 40 ordinary digital photos. The team unveiled the 3-D scanning demo earlier this week at the Microsoft Research hosted TechFair 2011 in Washington, D.C.
“Suppose you see something interesting and you want to capture different views of an object from different angles,” Sinha said, according to a Microsoft Research news release. “You take these pictures from different viewpoints, send them to our system, and it automatically figures out a 3-D model by measuring the 3-D depth behind the pixels in the images. Once you have that, you can interactively, seamlessly change the view from one camera location to another, and this allows the object to be viewed interactively in 3-D.”
The photos get transferred to a PC and uploaded to the cloud, then are processed by a pipeline that matches similar images and learns how the camera moved in 3-D. This enables the creation of a depth map, similar to the depth data provided by the Kinect for Xbox 360 sensor.
The depth data gets stored in a compact format and is then viewable on virtually any screen you prefer: phone, laptop, desktop.
[Via Microsoft Research]