3D Surface Recovery using a Flatbed Scanner                                                                                                 Results

The ability to acquire descriptions of surface topography and reflectance of real-world textures both simply and cheaply would be of great value. In conjunction with bump, texture and displacement mapping computer graphics techniques, these data enable the realistic rendering of real-world textures in virtual 3D scenes. Such 3D texture data could therefore facilitate the work of a designer or artist working in mixed reality. Producing the data can be a rather involved process, however. Many of the methods employed for this purpose are simply not amenable to wider application outwith the lab. A more practical approach is desirable since this would provide the designer with an independent means of producing the data in situ. With this objective in mind, we have developed a technique which is based on the use of the humble flatbed scanner, of the kind found in almost every office.


      Figure 1     Flatbed scanner                                                 Figure 2     3D Plot of a texture's height map

The algorithm merely requires four input images of a texture acquired with a scanner such as that in Figure 1 to produce 3D texture data such as the height plot in Figure 2. Samples of output images for relighting are given in Figure 3 whilst the result of employing these data in a simple virtual visualisation is given in Figure 4. Follow the link for more results where 3D plots and relight data for both this texture and 47 others are provided. Animations which utilise the relight data can be found here.


      Figure 3     Relight data: normal, height, albedo maps                  Figure 4     Animation of relit texture


For further information regarding this patent-pending technology, please contact Prof. Mike Chantler or Dr. Andy Spence.

Phone 0131 451 3352, email M.J.Chantler@hw.ac.uk, A.Spence@hw.ac.uk or visit the website of our spin-out company Totallytextures.