3-D Cameras for Matrix Sequels!

By Paul Martin November 22nd, 2001, in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions

FORGET Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman, the Hollywood spotlight is falling on a new Aussie.

I-SiTE Laser Imaging Camera is revolutionising the film-making, crash investigation and mining industries by creating something never seen in photographs before – A 3-D image.

Developed in Adelaide over five years, I-SiTE can capture a digital, three-dimensional image of a room or scene.

The image can be manipulated by a computer, zooming in or out and rotating through the scene.

It can be pieced together with other images to create a 360-degree internal and external picture.

The camera package including survey set-up, computer, control and modelling programs has a Hollywood price tag – more than $200,000 – although like most technology this is likely to reduce with time.

I-SiTE is used by Manex Visual Effects and will be used in the Matrix movie sequel to be shot in Australia this year and will star in the new Spider-Man movie with Tobey Maguire.

I-SiTE is also being used by big-name production companies, to assist in visual effects.

For example, if a film is set in New York, camera operators go to New York and take pictures with I-SiTE of buildings or sites they want in the film.

Instead of building these sets in the studio, they simply project a 3-D image on to a blue special effect screen, cover it with a high resolution digital image and a set is ready-made. The Transport Research Laboratory in London uses the I-SiTE camera as part of its rapid response investigation vehicle, which is usually among the first on the scene in a car accident.

I-SiTE’s parent company, Maptek, has been involved in the mining industry for 20 years, so I-SiTE also has mining permutations. With a range of 350m, the camera is able to survey mining sites from a safe distance.

Operations manager Michael Watson said the Frewville-based company was hoping for revenue of $65 million a year within three years, employing an additional 85 staff, at present only 12.

How it works

* I-SiTE collects real-world spatial data by emitting a laser at a rate of 6000 pulses a second.

* Each laser pulse is reflected back to the camera when it hits the surface of an object. The data is transferred to a computer and a 3-D image is constructed.

* Software interprets the data and allows the user to view the image from every angle and merge other scans of the same scene, to give a 360 degree view.

From Rebekah Devlin of The Advertiser

Source: I-SiTE 3D Laser Imaging

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