The development of expensive photogrammetry rigs have perhaps dominated  3D body scanning applications during recent years particularly within film,TV and gaming. The downside of these rigs are perhaps the large floor space required and the large structures that cannot easily be collapsed and re-assembled. Artec handheld 3D scanners can offer a viable alternative particularly in those applications that require portable and flexible solutions.

Our engineers have recently been tasked by a number of companies within the creative arts fields to see what can be achieved with Artec 3D scanners as an alternative to photogrammetry. To begin, the Artec Leo is receiving a lot of attention within this field, as it has clear advantages over previous models. It has a built-in NVIDIA Jetson internal computer which means it is completely self contained without having to be tethered to a laptop or PC. It packs away in a simple hard case, that can  be carried as hand luggage on a plane and offers quite possibly one the most portable systems on the market place. This portability is very appealing to many companies whereby a flexible approach to their 3D scanning requirements is needed; the operator can quickly transport the scanner to the object/person to be scanned and be set up literally a couple of minutes. The scanner has a built in touch screen located on the back of the device which contains Artec’s proprietary software; a live feed of the data collection allows the operator to see exactly what they have captured on the object and intelligent colouring of the raw data guides on the quality and the extent to which complete data has been achieved in any one given area.

Artec Space Spider


A built in accelerometer, gyro and compass help the Leo with it’s ability to navigate around difficult objects without the need for any kind of ‘sticky targets’ or other navigation aids. This is a massive leap forward in comparison to similar technology that enables the 3d scanning of planar, uniform surfaces. Our engineers have discovered that the big advantage here is that not only can the Leo scan people but it can also scan objects,props and gaming assets. Objects can be scanned from one orientaion and then simply flipped over and scanned from the other direction; the software automatically picks up on areas it has already scanned and immediately registers itself to the new location.


Perhaps the limiting factor of Leo in comparison to a photogrammetry rig is the resolution of the scans; in a recent demonstration our engineers were asked if we can pick up skin pores? The simple answer is no (although there is an upgrade coming for Leo that will improve the resolution), however what is a plausible option is to combine LEO and Spider scans to create composite models that have higher fidelity areas where necessary. The Space Spider gives the user the option to scan local areas at a much higher resolution and then using Artec Studio 14 software the two sets of scan data can be combined to provide a result with exactly the right amount of detail in the required places. The process of the combined data sets is extremely quick and easy; making this a seamless process.

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