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adventuredesign

Is LIDAR useful for game design?

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I just read this at yahoo news: Click and wondered if this technology could be useful for game design in a cost reduction or perhaps even a mobile game setting. Technological cogniscenti please reply. Adventuredesign

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I'd sya it would have to do with the speed of the actual scanning technology.

If it is slower, say it can scan a square meter at .1 cm resolution in an hour or two, then maybe it could find use in landscape modeling. Instead of building the landscapes in a modeler you could employ artists who work in many different mediums to create the landscape in scale, say with paper mache, plaster, or marble if you wanted to blow money ^_^. The advantage being that it is a lot easier to visualize what your landscap elooks like (its right in front f you), and you have a much larger labor pool that can do work in this manner instead of just 3D Modelers.

On the other hand, if it is fairly rapid (and non hazordous to the eyes) it could become a new input methodology. The eye toy already works with 2D images to determine body movement, but the options would be a lot more diverse if an actual 3D representation of even just an arm could be created a few times a second. If full body recognition could be developed with high speed and adequate resoltuion we could be a step closer to interaction with 3D environments without bulky devices.

Just some ideas ^_^

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I used to work for a company that makes this sort of equipment, so I know a little bit about the technology. Generally speaking, there are a couple of trade-offs that govern the capability of the scanners. It's possible for such scanners to have very great accuracy, but at the expense of range. High resolution generally comes at the expense of increased scanning time, and so forth.

I know of several movies in which this technology was used to make a digital 3D model of a physical set, so that CGI could be blended seamlessly with live action. I actually had the chance to play with the raw hi-res scan data of the "Burly Brawl" set from Matrix Reloaded. It was a very large set, which required scans from many different positions, and my guess is it probably took about a day or two to scan it all. Each scan covered about 30 degrees horizontally and vertically, had samples taken at about 10mm spacing, with 6mm accuracy in distance.
Since that was made, there are now 360 degree scanners on the market, which obviously have the potential to speed things up quite a bit.

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If it isn't harmfull for living beings to be exposed for a moderatedly long time a next gen console could use it to digitalize the player's face.

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