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Laser lighting on 3d objects.

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Two parts: First, I would like to learn how to project lasers onto objects in OpenGL. I assume the process is similar to projecting shadows, and simply giving the shadow a brightening effect. Any pointers into the right direction would be nice. Something along the lines of this: http://www.szfki.hu/~czi/csik01.jpg Second, this is part of an automated 3d modeling system that I would like to produce. Essentially, I would project a laser line onto complex objects (sculptures at the local museum, in my case) and based on the shape of the laser line, be able to calculate the contours and shape of the object. Taken from multiple angles, software could create 3d models. This project is based off of image recognition of the laser line, not laser range finding. Essentially, I want to create a cheap setup for 3d capturing. Using a laser level (or a simple laser pointer and prism to produce the line), a digital camera, and this software, they will be able to make 3d models. This would be a much better replacement for the current sculpture virtual tour (which uses low-quality yet still bandwidth-sucking images). But I want to create test images with OpenGL before building and capturing the real life data. Any pointers to other 3d capturing projects would also be helpful, or just any advice in general. I''ve already looked over http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=73077

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I guess that you could treat it as a z-fail shadow.
But remember that even lasers get shadowed.

An alternative method would be a mix of decal texture and raytracing.
raytrace a scan line from the laser source and where ever it hits render a red dot.

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I guess you can get the desired effect by drawing a line on a fixed position on your screen (from bottom right to middle for example), which changes length based on how far the nearest object in your view is.

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