Digital camera to 3D scanner?

The first thing I thought when I saw the Nikon COOLPIX S1000pj, an upcoming compact digital camera with built-in projector, was: “That is so cool!

My second thought was: “If it can project images and take photos at the same time, you could use it as a structured light 3D scanner!


Calibration shouldn’t be an issue since the projection lens is a fixed distance and orientation from the camera lens. If the camera has a decent processor, it may even be possible to make it process the data internally and output textured 3D models.

Hmmm… that said, it would probably be much more practical to just have it run a standard structured light pattern and save a series of images for post-processing on a PC. šŸ˜‰

Update: More wild speculation. It could capture diffuse and specular textures by coordinating high-speed successive photos: without flash, with flash, and with a structure light patterns.

3 thoughts on “Digital camera to 3D scanner?”

  1. Hm, I’ve been keeping an eye on the tech, you basically get 3 types now in the micro-projector market, one is a standard LCD + LED projector light source, another is DLP + LED, the last is laser based which has advantages of not needing focus and initially higher res (but rapidly getting standard). It’s all looking quite promising for exciting stuff these days!

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